Friday, September 30, 2011

broken windows

dear emily,

my father in law has a gorgeous bathroom/dressing room.  his
walls are decorated with gigantic photos of my mother in law
from her movie star days and floor to ceiling mirrors.  no one,
especially grandchildren have been allowed to step onto the
thick, black carpet or into the shrine unless escorted by their

the top of his lovely teak dressing table is graced by favorite
memorabilia like dozens of tiny screwdrivers and caterpillar
tractors.  i used to sneak peaks at the incredible order and beauty
of this special place until a few days ago when one of the giant
mirrors fell from the wall and crashed upon everything.

it reminded me of the 'broken windows' theory coined by james
q.wilson and george kelling.  they believe that crime is attracted
by disorder.  if a neighborhood tolerates panhandling, graffiti,
or broken windows, then worse behavior follows.  one broken
window calls out to another.  on the other hand, if a neighbor-
hood vigilantly watches over its borders and keeps things orderly,
crime goes elsewhere.   (the tipping point, malcom gladwell)

can you believe the broken mirror occurred three weeks after he
broke his hip?  he has been fighting for his health for six weeks
now, but the hip is mending nicely.  we don't want his other limbs
getting any 'broken window' ideas!


ps.  my friend sandra from thistle cove farms, recently reminded
me of a beloved verse:  "see, I have engraved you on the palms
of my hands; your walls are ever before me."  isaiah 49:16

Friday, September 16, 2011

first baby

dear emily,

when our first baby boy was born, my mom gave me some oscar
de la renta lotion.  i remember thinking, "now he will know i'm
his mommy, because i will always smell like this."  i wasn't
allowed to nurse him or hold him.

the NICU nurse told us we must not even touch him, as it could
agitate him and deflate his lungs again.   my heart broke as i stood
beside his pathetic little body, arms and legs splayed out, purple
chest sinking to the mattress, tubes connected in too many places.

i couldn't imagine that his tiny hand holding my baby finger might
upset him; so i disobeyed.   all day long, every day for 12 days, i
stood with my back to the nurses and my finger in his hand.  my
whole life was in that precious hand.

by the 12th day his lungs had strengthened, and  a nurse informed
us that they had been slowly reducing his sedative.  she could tell
he was more alert,  because he grasped her finger for the first
time.  :)

"now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what
we do not see."  hebrews 11:1

that baby boy is the big guy on the right!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

dear emily,

i used to think the best preparation to being a good mother was
a math/science degree or even an elementary education one.  a
nursing degree would have helped tremendously, too!

google image

but now, after watching the mom scene from 'ocean's twelve', i've
changed my mind.

imagine if before having those little urchins, you had been a CIA
agent or a county sheriff?  before asking, "who took a bite out of
your dad's birthday cake?", you would already know the culprit!
you could read all their 'tells' and know how to call the bluffs.

say one of the rugrats decides he doesn't want to pick up his toys
or go to bed, you could say in your robert deniro voice,  "how
would you like me to haul your skinny little self down to the
county jail?"

think how easy it would be to get their finger prints?  they are all
over the place.


ps.  "evil men do not understand justice; but those who seek the
Lord understand it fully."  proverbs 28:5

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a firm foundation

dear emily,

when i was a little girl my grandmother wore something called a
foundation.  this undergarment made all her dresses smooth and
her figure lovely, but her breathing was labored.   my mother's
generation wore girdles, a hideous name but a vast improvement
on the foundation.  she could take deeper breaths.

google image

now the post virginia slims' generation wears spanx.  i can only
hope that a man named them.  any woman to think of such a
demeaning name should be spanked.   there are dozens of more
suitable ones:  slink, slimmer, shape, even the tried and true girdle
is more dignifying.  

when i was in high school, i wore a 'refining' undergarment,
because i was petrified of jiggling.  how much jiggle could a 110
pound girl generate?  now when i accidentally catch a glimpse
of myself walking by a horror movie mirror, i can see my back
side wobble the opposite direction.

i should not be allowed to sing a favorite old hymn, "how firm a