Friday, October 30, 2009

Twilight Zone

Seven years ago today, I was in a car accident. The reason that comes to mind is that Z called me this morning to tell me he'd been in one today. I remember the date because it was the day that Z was allowed to break the news to the school, where he was working at the time, that he was accepting another position in the school district. Instead of making that announcement, he had to come take care of his wife--I really screwed that up for him, didn't I?

That day seven years ago brings to mind a number of interesting facts.

I was rear-ended as I stood still by a guy in a black car who was going 35 or more miles per hour. His air bag deployed. He had passed out and was just coming to when I got out of my car. I'm sure he about croaked when he saw my seven-months-pregnant body.

As soon as I got out, a man approached me. He told me that he was an under-cover narcotics officer (flashed his badge) and said he'd help get things under control. He got the tow truck there and started directing traffic. My van was a mess in the back. I had a difficult time getting it farther onto the shoulder of the road. Our former bishop drove by, pulled over up the road a ways and came over to help me and make sure all was well.

So, does anyone else see the distinct tender mercies in this?

The other thing that was amazing to me was that I was completely unharmed. At impact, I felt that I had been lightly tapped in the back although I heard the screeching tires. As I recall, when the accident occured, the other driver was attempting to light a cigarette. He didn't even know I was there until it was way too late. I know my car felt the impact much more than I did. The dent in the back proved that along with the large bucket of Costco laundry detergent that had overturned and rolled to the other side of the car.

Here's what makes this a Twilight Zone moment....

That evening, we went to a car rental agency to rent a van. As we walked around to the front door, we were greeted by a van-full of kids calling us by name and inquiring as to why we were there. We knew them from church. They were also there to rent a van.

Ends up that their mom, also named Julie, also seven months pregnant with her fifth child, which was also a boy, and also driving a Mazda MPV minivan (which, as I recall, was the same champagne color as ours) was hit by a black vehicle. She was just on her way home from taking her kids to the dentist; I was just going to the dentist, and thankfully, had no children in my van. We had both spent a portion of the day at the hospital having our unborn babies monitored. Both MPVs were totalled as a result of the accidents.

Amazing, huh?

So, today's accident was in the Suburban that we purchased to replace that MPV. Everyone's okay. It was a really dumb circumstance and just too bad it happened at all.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

T is Three

This is my favorite picture right now. My little boy's getting so big so fast. This was taken after returning from the pumpkin patch on his 3rd birthday. The motorcycle (which is sadly no longer pronounced "modycle") was one of his birthday presents.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Goods with the Bads

I'm giving myself ten minutes to blog today. Unfortunately, this is a topic that I could probably write about for much longer than that.

I put on my favorite pair of jeans this morning. They actually (almost) fit me again after having L. Yay! It is a jeans and comfy sweatshirt day. I'm trying very hard, in every way I know, to see myself through a very hard time. I honestly wish I didn't have this to go through, and I know I could just back out and avoid it altogether, but I won't do that. The consequences of that are much too far reaching and painful to even consider, so I know I have to get myself through it.

About three weeks ago, something happened in my life that shocked my socks off. For any of your concerned, no, I'm not pregnant. Someone very dear to me made a very selfish decision that affects me directly. Because it is this person's bad move, I can't really do anything about it. I can only watch this person suffer and try to respond appropriately with love, support and forgiveness. I'm not doing very well with this. My impulse is to condemn and berate; I want to punish. But, I know this isn't my place.

I mentioned, on facebook, that I was struggling. This issue has been so HUGE on my mind for the past weeks, that at this point it's consuming all of my thoughts. I had nothing else I could write as my status. It was so encouraging to feel the love of so many friends as they responded. Some of the responses seemed to assume I was struggling with my kids. Thankfully, no, the kids are not the cause of my struggle--any more than any other day. So many wrote asking how they could help. Believe me, I would gladly give this away, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone. There really is no way to help. A rough part of my character has been rubbed and needs to be removed, so I am the only one who can deal with it, and God is the only one who can help me. It's so nice to know that I'm not alone in this.

There have been a number of tender mercies through all this. Yesterday, our bishop spoke in sacrament meeting. This is kind of a rare occasion. He based his talk on the story from Genesis 18, in which Sodom and Gomorrah are going to be destroyed and Abraham asks God if He will spare the cities if there are fifty righteous people found there; when there are no longer any righteous there, God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah. The bishop encouraged us to be among the righteous that saves those around us. As he spoke, I realized that God is aware of me and my plight. I could see that this was Heavenly Father's way of telling me to do what is right no matter what. I have to stay on course for the sake of others.

You don't know how badly I'm struggling with being Christ-like in this situation. I know I need to be and that I must be forgiving because I know that I too need to be forgiven, but the inward struggle is terrible. I'm not all that that I can condemn someone else. I'm not worthy of casting stones. But, my trust has been shattered toward this person. So, I'm wondering, is my lack of trust also a sign of lack of forgiveness? Is it just making the whole forgiveness process more difficult?

Another of the tender mercies I received was last night as I read the scriptures. I came across Alma 31 verse 31. It was exactly the prayer I needed. I am grateful that I'm not the other person in this situation, but the words of Alma here until the end of the chapter help me know that I shouldn't give up on this person, but that I MUST lean on the Lord to guide me through what lies ahead.

I know that riding through the storm will only make me stronger and more fit to deal with other things in the future (I started to write "worse," but I hope that I don't have to go through anything worse). I'm wishing that time would pass quickly so this will all be behind us.

Late last week, I drove by one of those loving, reassuring messages on a church message board. It read, "Tough times don't last; tough people do." I am determined to be tough.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Children Think...

Now, I know what you're doing. You're wiping your brow and exhaling "Whew!" at that title. Relieved to know that they do what might not come across as obvious with most children--especially those of the teenaged variety.

My purpose here is not so much to relieve your concerns about their cognitive abilities as it is to share a little of what they think--things that I'm learning about myself as I try to look through their eyes.

My children think:

*That I can take pain away with a kiss.
*That I can create a song on a whim about any subject.
Just ask them about the "Macaroni and Cheese" song--a true Hess family classic.
*That I can teach a toddler to stop using diapers with a bag of M&Ms.
*That I can stop any baby from crying just by holding him/her.
*That I can spend very little and come home with bags and bags of groceries.
*That I am a straight A student--HAHA don't I wish!
*That I "rule the universe."
Very funny story behind this one....

We'd had a tough time with bedtime for quite a while with T. I was very tired of it and knew something had to be done to end it once and for all. A was sick at the time (they share a room), and had to have some sleep, so I knew I had to move T somewhere else. I moved him to the laundry room on a crib mattress. I was nervous to do this because I knew T's history with climbing and getting bottles of things and spilling them all over the floor. If he was to be in the laundry room, the light had to be off and the door shut, so he wouldn't be able to see bottles to spill. I hated doing this, so it lasted about two minutes, and I sent him back to his room to see if he could be quiet. He went right back to his monkey business, so I had to think of another place.

I explained to him that the only place for him was the backyard. This was early September, and the weather was still warm and beautiful. As I took him out there, G carried the mattress for me. I got to thinking just how beautiful the stars were and wondered if I might sleep out there that night too--honestly just a passing thought, but I did think it. As we went out, G looked at me quite concerned saying, "Mom, you're not really going to do this, are you?" I was surprised that G didn't know me better than that; actually, I guess he must; that's why he asked.

I quietly whispered to G, "Give him five minutes, and he'll be begging to come back in to sleep."

We laid out the mattress on the deck and covered it with his blankets and pillow. It looked quite comfy. As we did this, we started with the warnings of the wildlife that might come around--racoons, spiders and slugs. He could be as loud as he wanted out there to scare them away. I then told him that we'd be right inside if he needed us but this was the only option he had if A was going to get the sleep he needed.

T didn't even get all the way up the steps to the mattress before he came running to me. He threw his arms around my waist and cried, "Please Mom, I don't want to sleep out here. The racoons'll get me!"

I sat down with him and hugged him. I said, "T, I would love to have you go inside to sleep; I don't want you to sleep outside, but it's the only place you can make the noise you want to, and A really needs his sleep tonight."

He said, "I'll be quiet."

"Are you sure? Can you do it? If you can't, what'll have to happen?"

"I'll have to sleep with the racoons."

"Yes, and neither of us want that to happen, huh?"


"So, can you do it?"


"Okay, let's go try it."

T joyfully grabbed his pillow, headed into the house, and up the stairs. As we climbed the stairs behind him, G leaned over to me and whispered, "When I grow up, I want to be like my mom 'cuz she rules the universe."

We heard no further sounds from T that night.

*That I can get any stain out of any item of clothing.
*That I sing like an angel.

The only reason I list these things is because none of them are true, but they are to seven people in my house. Nothing is, but the believing makes it so; isn't there a quote like this? It seems that I spend a lot of time brow-beating myself for the things I can't do. I guess I need to look at life through my kids' eyes a bit more often to see what I can.

I read a blog this afternoon entitled Cranberry Corner (I'm sorry, but I don't know why I can't link to it). At the very end of one of her posts, she wrote "Mothers are so powerful." As I read that, I started thinking about all the things my kids think I can do. I rarely think of myself as a powerful being. That's why I thought of this list. It's a short one, but now that I see that they think I can do so many things. I'm going to start searching for my motherly powers. This should only empower me more....I hope.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I'm sitting here on the couch with a sweet, recently fed, sleeping three-month-old on my lap. I'm typing with one hand--my left; something I'm becoming really good at. This baby makes me so happy--nearly giddy sometimes--her instantaneous smiles, her what have recently become almost continual, precious babblings that I wish I could understand. What a blessing! I feel so unworthy of her.

I'm waiting for my little, talkative boy to get back from having a birthday lunch with his grandmother--a trip to McDonald's, which will mean a new toy. She gave him the choice of where to eat, as she does with each child on his/her turn. I knew what his choice would be. I'm sure she was cringing inside. I wait for him to come bouncing in the door with that toy (a real treasure, I'm sure) and a new book in hand.

A trip to Barnes and Noble always follows lunch on the annual birthday outing. So, what'll it be, I wonder, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island? A book on how to make spaceships? A paperdoll dress-up book with a million and one pieces? Or maybe something illustrating how to play soccer. Oh, the anticipation. It's killing me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How's T Doing With the Baby?

Everyone asks that question. Here's an illustration for you....

I'm sitting feeding the baby. T comes over. She looks up at him adoringly with her big ol' blue eyes. He says, "Hi Lala. You so cute. I love you," and kisses her on the head.

Can't get much better than that, can it?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...