2 Years Married

Yesterday was Son’s and Daughter-in-Love’s 2nd Wedding Anniversary.

And…I missed it.

I knew they were married in June.  I knew they were married a week after we celebrated our own anniversary.  I  knew they were married three days after my dad was buried.

I knew all of this – KNEW it.

But, I still missed it.

I MISSED it.

The most joyous day of my son’s life (apart from the birth of their daughter) and I let it slip up on me. And, had I not seen his post on Facebook, directed to his wife, in which he shared love for her and his joy in being married to her, it would have slipped past me.

And, I would have missed it completely.

I made no comment on his post. But, I did “LIKE” it. (That’s what you do on Facebook when you see something you like or agree with – you click the “LIKE” button.)

And, I do LIKE it. A lot!

I could not have chosen a better wife for him…better best friend…spouse…mother for his child/children…companion…perfect yin to his yang….

She brings out the best in him and drives him to be better.  She lights his life and beats his heart.  She keeps him straight and gives him a reason to come home.  She stirs his soul and fires his passion. She supports, encourages, corrects, provides boundaries, creates family, loves….

She loves him.

Oh, how she loves him.

And, he loves her.

And, therein likes their greatest strength, for as those of us who have lived more years together than apart know – love conquers all.

Happy (belated) Anniversary!

Dr. Seuss Wisdom

While talking with a friend, the topic of blogging and the need to be true to who you are came up.

It was mentioned that putting ourselves out there, through blogging or posting comments and thoughts on Facebook, can be quite scary because of the comments others make…some can even be quite hurtful.

The desire to be real – to remove the masks that we wear and let our true selves show – is overwhelming at times.

Everyone I know wants to be liked and appreciated for who they are, not for who others think they are.

It’s hard to be vulnerable when we’re afraid of being hurt or rejected just for being ourselves and for sharing where we are in life and what we think about it.

Here’s a bit of Dr. Seuss wisdom for all my blogger/Facebook friends out there.

A person’s a person, no matter how small.

Little, small minded people can make big comments.  Give them the grace to be themselves and remember…a person’s a person no matter how small.

We all deserve respect and want to be taken seriously.  And, while we do need to respect everyone (a person’s a person) we don’t have to take everyone seriously or their comments to heart.

You know who you are.  And, God does, too. Forget what others think and say. Lean into and live fully into who you were created to be.

And, when comments come (and they will) just remember…a person’s a person, no matter how small.

😉

9 Hours Alone

Daughter in Love returned to work, Monday, after maternity leave.  Son took this week off to stay home with their 6 week old baby.

Monday morning, Son posted on his Facebook page: “I will not drop the baby. I will not drop the baby. I will not drop the baby.”

Nine hours later, Son posted again: “I did not drop the baby.”

Nuff said.

He survived his first 9 hours alone with Sophia.  And, she survived as well.

Mid afternoon, I sent Son a text in which I asked if Sophia was behaving.

He replied: Yep. Good baby.

My reply?  “Good Daddy.”

He is.

I’m proud of him!

Drowning Before Your Eyes

Last night, while scrolling through my Facebook page, I came across a shared link from Slate.com: Rescuing drowning children: How to know when someone is in trouble – Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning.

The shared link backtracked to Mario Vittone’s 2010 post Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning.  I checked Mario’s About page and selected one descriptive line from among the 20 or so available.

Mario is a leading expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea.

Yeah…he’s qualified to write a piece on drowning.

Clicking on Facebook links is not something I practice on a regular basis, but the title interested me.

You see, I have a new granddaughter.  Her Mommy and Daddy have a pool in their backyard and that means Sophia will play in it.

And, that means there is a possibility that Sophia could drown. (I know – kids can drown in the bathtub, in a bucket of water, at the beach….)

I’ve seen and experienced how quickly children can get into trouble while in the water.  It only takes a few seconds.  And, it can happen before your eyes…as you watch…without you realizing what’s happening.

Mario’s piece on drowning begins with the story of a captain who sees a little girl who is drowning. Her parents, in the water also, are only 10 feet away from her but have no idea the girl is moments away from slipping beneath the water. (After reading his About page, I wonder if he is the captain.)

As I read his words, I wondered how her parents could be so close and yet not realize what was happening.  In his next paragraph, Mario shared why her parents didn’t know…didn’t recognize she was drowning.

I’ll admit.  It sent a chill through me.

It’s important information – I don’t want you to miss it because you don’t have time to click to his link.  Here it is:

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:[Source for what follows: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006 (page 14)]

  1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

A drowning person cannot tell us they are in trouble.

Believe me – I know.  My own dad pulled me up and out of the water when I was young.  And, I grabbed my own son by the only thing sticking above the water’s surface…the hair of his head…and pulled him out.

Mario goes on to say that people who are able to yell for help and are thrashing around are experiencing aquatic distress. And, unlike true drowning victims, those experiencing aquatic distress can still assist in their own rescue by grabbing lifelines, throw rings, etc. (This is what we see most often depicted on TV and in movies.) But, we need to understand that aquatic distress doesn’t last long.  And, we need to know that this is not always present before the instinctive drowning response kicks in.

Mario offers other signs of drowning to look for when children, teens and adults are in the water:

  • Head bobbing low in the water, with mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes – no attempt to remove it
  • Not using legs – Vertical in the water
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.

So, what’s important to remember?  If everything looks OK, don’t be too sure. They may be drowning and not look like it. To make sure, ask them “Are you okay?” If they can answer, they probably are. If they can’t, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them.

Never leave children alone in the water.

Parents/Caregivers – Children + water = NOISE. When they get quiet you need to find out why.

Facebook Posts…Seriously?

Several days ago, Daughter was on her Facebook page and commented to me that one of her cousins was going to Miami for 21 months.  We both were like…WHAT??

Immediately my mind asked:

  • Who does she know in Miami?
  • 21 months??
  • Has she even finished high school???
  • Does her Momma know about this????
  • Does she have a job there?????

It wasn’t long before I had pulled up my own Facebook page and scanned it for this post.  What I found was that another of my nieces had posted that SHE was going to New York for several weeks.

NEW YORK???  She has two babies! How can she be gone from them that long and what is she going to New York for??

Hold on Self, I said.  Something’s up.  We’re being spoofed.

A quick google of “Facebook I am going to” led me to a post describing a Facebook Breast Cancer awareness game.

“Ladies, it is that time of year again! It is time to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.Remember the status about our bra color or where we put our purse?? It made more people aware of the problem as it went viral on FB and made the news. Don`t tell any MEN what the status means! Copy, paste and resend this message to all your girl friends, let`s see if we can make it work like before, keep them guessing, let`s see if we make the news! The idea is to use your birthdate, month and day only, no year! Write: “I am going to live in (see corresponding city for your BD month below) for (day of your BD) months and a happy face.  Ex. if your BD was on February 14th, then I am going to live in London for 14 months!! :0)  January – Mexico  February – London  March – Miami  April – Dominican   Republic  May – France  June – St. Petersburg  July – Austria  August – Germany  September – New York  October – Amsterdam  November – Las Vegas  December – Columbia Optional: use “days” instead of “months” if your birth date is higher than a normal trip might be, such as for “27 days” whereas months might seem obviously untrue

Thinking it would be fun to spoof Daughter, who was as of yet unaware, I commented on my Facebook status that I was going to Miami for 23 days and that Daughter was going to Germany for 3 weeks. And, I placed a big 🙂 after it.

Funny.

At least I thought so.

Daughter posted a funny quip in reply and a friend on the West Coast did as well. Hubby, upon reading my comment, asked, “Are you really going??” In reply to all, I posted a link to the letter above and considered it a brief moment of light-hearted Facebook fun.

Like I said…funny.

I had no idea how funny it was until I received an email from a dear and trusted friend – a woman who was my pastor’s wife throughout my childhood – inquiring about our trips and if there was anything she could do for Mom in my absence.

The joke was on me.

I drafted a quick note of explanation and an apology for spoofing her.  And, I deleted the post.

If SHE thought I was going to Miami for 23 days…what did my boss think??

Facebook has been a source of fun and light-hearted banter between friends/family and me.  I never took it seriously.

Well, okay…there have been a few times when I took a comment at face value and learned later it was just a random post crafted to generate comments – the act of a bored mind.

But, this has reminded me that many of my friends go to Facebook to be updated and apprised of my life events. That humbles me.  And, it shames me as well.  Friends who care to “Friend” me on Facebook and who take the time to read whatever comment I make deserve more than empty words…deserve more than to be misled and upset by any lame thing I post.

To those of you who are on Facebook – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which means you may see some “weird” posts from friends leading up to and following October.  If you see one from me that says “I’m going to Miami for 23 days,” “red,” “leopard skin,” or that I eat marbles…ignore it.

But, don’t ignore the importance of a monthly BSE and the fact that breast cancer affects us all – men as well as women.

To my friends who are survivors of breast cancer, I salute you and thank you for the inspiration you are!  And, to the men who served as their caregivers, I applaud you.

Dear Sophia

(Written yesterday)

May 24, 2013

Your daddy wrote the following on Facebook this morning about 5:30:  “And here…we…go.”

Early this morning, your mommy went to the hospital because her doctor had told her on Wednesday that at 5 a.m. you would begin your trip that would bring you here.

Of course, your trip here began a long time ago when Mommy and Daddy fell in love and got married. And, then a few months later they said, “Guess what? We are going to have a baby girl in May and her name is Sophia Marie!”

And, you know what?  They were right!

Nine months later here we are, sitting around the hospital anxiously and excitedly awaiting your arrival.

I have to admit, I wonder what you will look like.  Will you have your mom’s dark hair and eyes and tan easily?  Or will you favor your dad and possess his blue-green eyes and fair complexion?

I also wonder what you will be like.  Will you cry a lot like your daddy did and find it hard to sleep sometimes?  Or, will you be one to fall asleep quickly, making funny baby smiles as you dream baby dreams?

What will you like to do? Will you prefer mud pies over apple?  What will be your favorite food? Color? Animal?

Will you like me and find my house a safe refuge and fun-filled place?

Ah, Sophia, my mind cannot yet hold all the thoughts I want to think of you.

How can it?  I don’t yet know you. I don’t yet feel a connection to you…with you.  I’ve not been around you while you have been in your mommy’s tummy.  I’ve seen your picture on Facebook – you were so tiny and cute.  I’ve been with you three times and each time I wanted to place my hands on your mommy’s tummy and feel you move and whisper sweet words to you.  I’ve wanted to read books to you and let you hear my laughter.

I already love you – love you more than I ever thought possible. I cannot imagine the love I will have for you and the joy I will feel when I first see you.

I hope I am able to spend a lot of time with you, Sophia.  I hope you will want to spend time with me.

Would you believe I’ve not yet decided on a name for you to call me? Grandma seems so blah, you know? And, I don’t want to be a blah grandmother.

You have been on the way almost 2 hours now.  In another hour, PaPa and I will leave for the hospital.  We want to be there when your dad comes into the waiting room and announces that you are here!

I love you, Sophia. With all my heart.  And, I pray for your safe arrival and that God blesses you with a good, long and happy life. God has already blessed you with a wonderful, loving Mommy and Daddy who will take good care of you and teach you what you need to know.

I remember the day your daddy was born and how I felt when I first saw him.  I think that will be magnified 100x when I see you.

Safe trip, Sophia!  I will see you soon!

Love always,

Granmudder (or, Granmuddy, Mamala, MeMom, MawZ, Grandma…Granmomma…Na-Me….)

PS – You will be 7 months old when Christmas arrives!  WhooHoo!

—-

(Written today)  Sophia arrived about 2:20 yesterday afternoon. (Mommy and Daddy did well.)

  • weight – 7.11 lbs
  • length – 20 inches
  • hair – yes and it’s strawberry blond
  • eyes – green eyes
  • color – ruddy, deepening when she cries
  • fingers – 10 and long
  • toes – her dad says she has all of them
  • face – round and full, expressive
  • temperament – relaxed, calm, stirs when she has a need, hint of a temper
  • voice – mews like a kitten, wail is timorous and quivering, cry is a precious announcement of her presence
  • complete package – perfect

It was love at first sight for Hubby and me.  Hubby fell hard – smitten even before she was born. She will have him wrapped around her little finger in no time.

I understand now why grandparents go on and on about their grandchildren.  I was amazed to see how quickly my heart opened to Sophia and how strongly my love for her was the instant I saw her.

I would give my life for this baby – without thought, without hesitation, without regret.

Dear God, craft and create in me the grandmother Sophia needs me to be and empower me to be all and do all I should for and with her.  Be with Sophia. Bless her, protect her, provide for her every need…. Bless her parents and grant them wisdom for the days and years ahead. Empower them to love her and teach her – to grow her into a healthy, happy woman capable of engaging life with all she is, living fully in the present and leaning hard toward the future.  Bless her grandparents and aunts and uncle, her cousin and the multitude of friends as they love, care for and assist this young family.