Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This may explain a lot.

With carpool, lunches, breakfasts, snacks that look like dinners, and dinner, coupled with soccer, football, volleyball, and serving as the president of the PTF this year at my children's school, my fall has been a little busier than usual.

I have found myself with both perpetual bad hair and puffy eyes which together go a long way in endearing your children to you - especially in front of their friends.

"No, seriously Mom, you're welcome to just WAIT IN THE CAR."

Also, when I don't take time to write down the things I think are funny, I have a tendency to over-tell those funny stories to my children which they LOVE. They love if the definition of love is to run away.

A while back I commented to Trey about how perplexed I was that my friend Gini is able to handle lots of activity, responsibility, and obstacles at once all the while maintaining poise and good hair. My husband responded with a gentle hand on my shoulder and some encouraging words. "You know, baby, some people are just able to get more done in a day than others. It's how they're wired."

Awesome. Sometimes, I wish my wiring had more wires and stuff. And frankly, I'd like someone to blame.

So, when my dad sent me a bunch of pictures the other day of his visit to see my stinky brother, I couldn't help but single one photo out. It was of my brother's giant and very well organized desk. I was not surprised. He is one of those people, like my friend, who can juggle mountains and still maintain composure.

I happened to open this photo while sitting at my own desk and when I looked up, I was appalled. I may have gagged. For sure if my brother sees it, he will gag.

However, in this comparison, I found relief. Although I cannot change how I am wired, I can, now, obviously blame my parents. Clearly, they loved him more.

At least enough to teach him the value of a right angle.

But, if you look really closely (because I did - sometimes I think I'm an investigative journalist), he's misspelled a word in the second paragraph on the document in the lower left hand corner of the picture. It's easily spotted because it's the one that's ever-so-slightly askew on his otherwise perfect desk.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

I have been incredibly neglectful of my blog lately. Mostly because I'm trying not to be incredibly neglectful of my husband or my children or my other responsibilities.

But, this afternoon, I needed to brush off the cobwebs of this little site to write down some of the things I remember from that morning when the twin towers fell ten years ago.

Three months pregnant with Graham, I was nauseous trying to cook Tee (2) and Olivia (7 months) breakfast and get out the door. (For the record; it's sex. Sex is how you get babies and I did know that then, I swear.)

I was tired and needing the little break that their Mother's Day Out would provide me if I could just get them out the door and into the car in 45 minutes. I perpetually late.

The phone rang and a friend told me to turn on the news - that a commuter plane -had hit the World Trade Center. That was the earliest speculation, that a random commuter plane had made a horrible error and crashed into the middle of New York's skyline.

As smoke billowed out of the buildings, we continued to change diapers, tie shoes, and grab jackets. Dallas was beautiful that morning but there was a little chill of Fall in the air. Just as we went to walk out the door, we saw a plane hit the other tower and I called my dad.

As a consultant, he flies an extraordinary amount and I wanted to make sure he wasn't in the air that morning. Thankfully, he was home and, being two hours behind, hadn't even turned on the news yet. We talked off and on the rest of the day.

As we walked into bible study, reports that the first tower had fallen came in and the speculations about the potential number of lives lost was staggering. Our study was actually a systematic theology class taught by my friend Paige Benton Brown. She was young but incredibly wise and she spoke with great wisdom and grace on the sovereignty of our most Holy God who, even in the midst of great catastrophes, works in them and through them for his divine purposes. And we prayed. We prayed for the victims, the wounded, the families, the children, for the city of New York, and for President Bush who would bear the burden of comforting a nation.

My friend and I cancelled a trip we'd had planned for months for that upcoming weekend to New York and as news continued to come in that day and in the coming weeks, we were rarely out of ear-shot of a television. I cried a lot. Having buried my mother two years before almost to the day, I was still raw with the emotion of losing a parent. My heart ached for every child that lost their mom or dad that day. I remember later hearing about the impact the attacks had on small burroughs who had lost so many men that they found themselves without any coaches, church deacons, or volunteer fire fighters. We saw the culture of our country change. Terrorism became a word used in almost every conversation. We talked to my brother almost daily. As a member of the U.S. Special Forces, we knew he would be deployed - and we wondered how soon.

The culture of our country was changing as security tightened, suspicions arose, and investigations were constantly taking place even here in Dallas.

Now, ten years later, those little babies I took to Mothers' Day Out are products of a post 9/11 America. When we fly, we don't even question taking off our shoes or being asked two or three times for the same identification. They've learned more about the Muslim culture than I ever imagined they would and are very familiar with some of the distinctions that make up the Middle East. They've seen their uncle go and thankfully come home from war three times. And they've been told the stories of that day when heroes ran into those buildings that were on the verge of collapse in order to save the lives of people who might never even know their names.

My hope for my children that don't remember every detail of that day is that they will learn the stories from those of us who do. And, just as I, over those few weeks was so thankful to be living in the United States, I pray they will always know how blessed they are to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.