Monday, November 23, 2009

Faith Like a Child

Today E was happily playing by herself in her room. She was playing with checker pieces, stacking and counting and organizing them by their color or the Disney Princess that was on them. She was so quiet and content I became concerned and called out to her. Hearing her voice was not enough reassurance so I hurried up the stairs to SEE her. I was not worried that she was injured or into anything she shouldn't be, but she still I needed to see her. I missed her, even though she had only been away from me for a short time.

As I type this I am having a revelation. (God always uses my kids to get to me!) It makes me realize how often I am not with Him, how often I am quiet from Him and how He might feel about all this. He calls out to me to make sure I am OK. If my answer does not convince Him, He comes to me closer with a touch, a song or through a friend. He misses me and just wants me to be with Him ALL THE TIME!

A few minutes passed and E came downstairs with a game to play. It is one of those fishing games where the base spins and the fish's mouths open and you try to hook them. She and I put new batteries in it and she was off and running. After a few minutes I was able to join her and we noticed the game was spinning slowly. Then it stopped. We shut it off and then back on. Nothing. We shut it off for longer and when she turned it back on it worked. Then I noticed the smell. Anyone with toys that have small motors knows that smell. Like hot plastic or something. Not a good sign.

We finished our game with me gently helping the game spin. When we were done I explained the game was broken so we could not play it anymore. E asked if I could change the batteries. I explained to her that it was not a problem with the batteries but with the motor. "Can you change the motor?" she asked, fully confident my answer would be "Of course!" Did I tell you I did NOT graduate from MIT? Yeah. This is beyond my scope. I was so touched though by her faith in me and her honest confusion that I could not fix this. She was not upset about it, just perplexed. As I type she is still playing with the game, mixing the fish up, arranging and rearranging them in the game, and trying to spin it by hand and fish at the same time. I guess that is my cue to get off the computer and go play with my daughter some more.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I [Heart] Thanksgiving!!!

For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite holidays. As a child it was my parents that hosted all of our family and friends for dinner. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and friends would come over, each bringing a dish to share. Our house would be filled with talking and laughter. The kids would run around and play. If it was snowy we would sled, build snowmen and have snowball fights. Sometimes even the adults would join in! My cousin's Portuguese grandma (Vovo) would bring her fabulous pastries which we would all fight to get to first. My dad would wake up early to start his turkey, which he would slave over all day. Frequently the Sunday before we would have a Pre-Thanksgiving feast to make sure we have enough food for everyone! There was usually about 30 people in our tiny house. I can remember bringing in the old picnic table from outside just so most people could find a seat, and still we had to fight for a spot to sit down. Dad would get frustrated because everyone wanted to gather in the kitchen, but in the end always said that it was one of the best Thanksgivings ever.

Now as a parent it is such a blessing that my family has continued this tradition. My cousin and her husband host now since my parents have moved out of state. We still typically have 20-30 people there and Vovo still brings her amazing pastries.

This consistency is in thanks to my Grandpa on my mom’s side, who always instilled that family comes first. He made his six children promise to keep getting together for the holidays and that promise has since been upheld by my generation. I am so fortunate that I have this foundation on which to build my family. In troubled times I rely on legacies like these. It is one of the many things we give thanks for.

My Aunt Mary (my mom's sister. They look like twins but aren't. Their youngest brothers are though.)

Aunt Maria and her mom (Vovo )

Cousin Sarah and her handsome men, Collin and Adam

Vovo, our oldest living relative, and my cousin Ben's daughter Emily, the youngest and her Great-Granddaughter

Aunt Kathleen and Cousin Sarah (the hostess with the mostest!)