I found a new 'worst part' of being a single parent this morning. I've been sick before, but not like this. Getting up at 6:45am after 4 or 5 hours of sweaty, feverish sleep, with a pounding headache, snot pouring out, cold shakes, and a throat so swollen and painful I can hardly breath is not the best state to be in when I have to get the kids up and dressed, make them breakfast and lunch, and take them to school. I can only thank God that my hair was not on fire. See? It can always be worse…
We had a close call a couple of weeks ago. I was up late sculpting. The kids had been asleep for a couple of hours. My oldest son stumbles out of his room and into the kitchen. He opens the fridge, slides open the crisper drawer, drops his p.j. bottoms and squats, ready to go. I grabbed him just in time to wake him up and put him on the toilet. *whew* Good thing I was up late. That would have been a really horrible surprise in the morning.
My littlest guy is becoming brand savvy. I was dressing him the other morning, and he complained that he didn't want to where the Tigger shirt anymore. Why? "None of the kids like Whinny the Pooh!" He is really honing in on his tastes lately. He is very specific about what accessories he wants on his toys. He was playing with a Gollum action figure, and told me he wants one for his birthday… But not with the fingers in that pose… And not with the loincloth… and not with the head bent down like that. He has made me file off the accessories of many a figure. He doesn't like big, bulky belts, backpacks, or other protuberances. He likes his figures sleek and simple. He is also fastidious about the little clay sculptures he makes. He doesn’t quite have the fine motor control necessary to bring about his vision for the details, so he has me do the eyes and mouths. He shows me just how he wants them by scrunching up his face and pointing. "I want the eyes to be like this." He says, and squints. "But not too big. And not too small." It takes several attempts before he is satisfied with my work.
That reminds me… he made me the cutest valentine ever. It's a heart shaped booklet with fill-in-the-blank lines. So it says, "Daddy, I love you as far as…" then they wrote Shane's answer and he draws a picture to go with it. So it reads, "I love you as far as the stars, as wide as a cloud, and as high as A GIANT SPIDER!" I love it!
I joined a dodge ball league. A bunch of guys in my church started a team. I didn't think I'd be able too, but the girls in my church home group said they would be there to keep an eye on the boys while I play. It's pretty fun, and so far, less damage prone than football was. But I can't believe how much you can hurt your shoulder just by throwing a ball as hard as you can.
I've been keeping a spiritual journal. As I read the Bible, and other related works, I'm writing down things that stand out to me. The proverbs are really speaking to me right now, as I'm trying to figure out the whole wisdom/understanding thing. I'm also reading a book on how to pray effectively for your children. (I got that as a gift from my church. We were chosen as one of the recipients of the "Angel Gifts" that they give out to those that seem to have a need.) Also, a book on boundaries and their biblical underpinnings, and the Purpose Driven Life. That's not to mention the 3 dozen other books I've started, and tapered off. Kind of like my art projects. I really have to do something about this tendency I have to not finish things. It really, really annoys me.
I'm thinking about getting a tattoo for my 30th birthday. I've wanted one since I was a teen, but had the good sense to put it off 'till I was mature enough to make a good choice about it. I knew that my tastes would change throughout life, and I didn't want to have some stupid design that I would regret later. As my aesthetic tastes have matured, I'm very glad that I put it off. I don't have any solid ideas about what it will be just yet. I only know it will be a strong symbol of my faith. Something about the 'living sacrifice' (Romans 12:1) that I want my body to be. A branding, a testament, a reminder of the calling that was so graciously given to me. I think ideally it will be an iconic representation of the spiritual milestone that I'm at during this point of my life. And it should be an element of a larger design to be added as I grow further. So I'm thinking about something on my back/shoulder area that could eventually be incorporated into a crucifix design that would eventually stretch from one shoulder to the other, and down my spine. Either that, or the Looney Toons Tasmanian Devil on my ankle. I can't decide.