July 1st - Jason's birthday -- we also celebrated baby Jack's 1st which was the week before. It was such a delight to soak up as much sweetness as I could from this little guy in the short week we had with him. Jack was apprehensive with me when we first arrived to visit, but I didn't give up...kept hovering over him and had him smiling in no time...such a happy little guy. On the 4th, we spent the afternoon at mom and dad's and had a cookout that evening. The kids played and played and played. I love mom & dad's yard...lots of room to enjoy the outdoors. They have it well stocked with outdoor toys that the kids take full advantage of.
OwenI could sit and just watch the kids interact and play together and be fully entertained. I love watching memories being made. There are nine grandchildren age 5 and under and these are busy ages for the kids and especially the parents. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when we're all together tending to their needs and keeping the noise level and mess at a tolerable level, but I never would trade the times we have together...watching them grow up together...I want to celebrate it.
"I accept (times with family) like a gift or a winning lottery ticket, and I hold that ticket in my hand tightly, and I take every chance I can get to be with them, for an afternoon, for a weekend, for a vacation, and every moment feels like being given one more winning ticket." - shauna niequist Grandpa cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on a campfire. Joyce made some of her famous jalapeno poppers and stuffed mushrooms to hold our appetites till the burgers were done.Helping with the wood chopping...thankfully no fingers were taken off. =)cousins - owen, caedmon, helen, kaiya & eastonGrandpa B & KaiyaGreat grandparents were also a part of the fun of the evening.Baby Jack with Great Grandma B.Sweet uncle & niece moments - Kevin & HelenGreat-Grandma B with Owen - Great-Grandma G with KaiyaAlthough a great time was had by all, there was one family missing. Lyndon & Krista, we missed all four of you!!! Time for fireworks. Yes, it is still daylight outside...like I said before, all the kids are 5 and under...the littlest ones can get a little cranky if it goes too much past their bedtimes. =)Little Helen wasn't so sure about all the loud banging going on.She loved the sparklers though. On Sunday we met everyone in Fort Wayne at a Tincaps baseball game. Here we are sitting in the cheap lawn seats. It was perfect for the kids to be able to move around. I couldn't tell you much that happened with the game, but it sure was pleasant to sit and take in the family just being together. fun with Grandma & GrandpaJack - wearing an outfit that Caedmon wore when he was a baby.Kaiya & Helen coloring together. Before meeting everyone at the game, we had a picnic for lunch at our church. It was great sitting around outside and getting to know people better and enjoying all the delicious food choices that everyone brought. We sat under a nice shade tree across the parking lot from the playground. After we were finished eating, Kaiya asked if she could go to the playground. Although having a bit of a bad feeling about letting her cross the parking lot alone, I said she could go.
She left and played over at the playground for awhile before coming back to where Kevin and I were chatting with friends under the tree. A little while later, she asked again if she could go to the playground. Still not feeling the greatest about letting her go alone, I told her to wait and I would go with her. I got busy talking and later saw her easing her way in that direction...thinking to myself that I will need to talk with her about disobeying. As I continued to watch her cross the parking lot, she came upon a row of cars in the middle. Several people were beginning to leave and I could see a car coming toward the path they she soon would be crossing. At that moment she decided to start running, not stopping to look both ways. I watched her little yellow shirt and bouncing dark curls jerk around the car to avoid it...I held my breath. My plate went flying to the ground and I ran across the parking lot. The person behind the wheel of the car was a good friend. She got out of her car and held Kaiya in her arms because she was crying and scared. When I got to them, Kaiya was hanging onto her so tight, I couldn't get her to let go. I took her in my arms, went to the bathroom and cried. I cried tears of gratefulness to God for her safety and also tears of guilt for not taking her to the playground myself. There were more tears throughout the next 24 hours as the image of seeing her run into the path of that car would not leave my mind. I had a nightmare that night about it all. Each time I would think about it, my fists would tighten...I cried for what could have happened.
I never dreamed how terrifying being a mother could be before having children.
I read this excerpt from a book the very next day of a mother referring to her son inside her that was soon to be born:
"I am superhuman in my love for him, that if he needed me, I would fly or bend steel or wrinkle time with the force of my love. And in the same moment, I know that all mother's feel that way, and that all mothers also feel the exact inverse, the terrifying awareness that people run red lights, and that we won't be there to stand in front of our son's cars, shielding them from danger with our superhuman selves. I feel powerful and powerless in the same instant, full of rabid, crushing love, and also small and out of control and scared for all the life that my son will have to live without my protection. Parenting for me feels like a love so big I can't manage it, a force so visceral I can't contain it."
"I know that when Henry(her son) is born, I will change his diapers and feed him and keep him clean and warm. Those are the physical things I can do for him. But what I want to do for him takes my breath away. I want to twist and remake the world around his little self, to shine it up and rearrange it and make it great and special for him. I want to walk behind him, keeping an eye on him. I want every day of his life to be happy, and I feel like I could move the sun with the intensity I feel. My love is bigger than the ocean, beyond words and logic."
It was cool how God led me to read this the very next day to comfort me and know that all the tears were just a result of my love for Kaiya...that is how He loves us..only more. He also taught me that He is in control of her life...not me. If things would have turned out differently that day, He would still be there. I was reminded how much my children's lives are such precious gifts. I certainly hugged them a little tighter the next week.
Kaiya told me later, when we talked about what happened that "God made the car stop". He certainly did and I praise Him for sending His angels to protect my little girl!!!!!