Sunday, March 1, 2009

Another Tug on My Heartstrings

For weeks, I have been longing to go to the Twin Cities for the day. We used to go at least once a month, just for fun, visiting a combination of two or three our favorite stops, like Trader Joe's, Costco, Lego Land, Groth Music, the Science Museum, the Children's Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Krispy Kreme, before they shut down every donut shop within 300 miles of Mitchie.

Monday morning's visit won't be just for the fun of it, however. My Uncle Skip, my dad's little brother, is staying in the hospital after suffering a massive heart attack this past Friday night. Our families have not been close for many years, but he has always had a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember. When I was little, he teamed up with Santa at Christmas times to make the holidays extra real for me. One of my most cherished hardcovers, Where the Sidewalk Ends, bears an autograph even more valuable to me than if Shel Silverstein had signed the book himself: Merry Christmas Missy, 1983. Love, Santa and Uncle Skip. My dad and Uncle Skip were business partners at the gas station for many years, following in the footsteps of their father. Because our families rarely see each other, I feel the need to give him a hug, tell him I love him, and remind him to hold fast to that strong, tenacious Fluegge spirit. Whenever we do cross paths at family functions, I look forward to his sparkling eyes and strong, familiar embrace.

I believe he is going to be okay. I don't believe in anything unless I feel *really* feel it in my heart. But I appreciate your prayers for God to heal his heart and I know his family would, too.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Kids Say the Funniest Things

Spirited Conversation among Missy, Max, and a very tired, cranky, argumentative, but still sweet Mitchell at the dinner table:

Mommy: Max, you've seen him like this before. Be extra patient. Mitch is so tired he can't even think straight.

Mitchie: Yes I can! Two plus two is four. Ten plus ten is twenty. Forty plus forty is eighty. See?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Holding On

I wonder what happened to the winter months when I opened my baking cupboard almost every day to create something wholesome or sweet for my loved ones to eat: homemade braided bread, oatmeal cookies, kahlua cakes, whole wheat coffee cake. I wonder what happened to the Monday mornings when I woke up with a smile and thought, This could be the week when I get my house clean. I wonder what happened to the summer afternoons when I took naps with my sons, cuddled together in the humid warmth of the sun and their little bodies. I wonder what happened to the nights when the babies woke up for the fourth time, and I sleepwalked to the living room with their tiny bodies in my arms, their little lips wrapped around my breast for mother's milk and mother's love. I wonder what happened to the years when my boys wore baby-sized clothes and I dressed them in the pumpkin Halloween sleeper, the velvet midnight blue overalls, the white sweater baptism outfits. I wonder what happened to the day when I cried tears of joy as the orderly pushed me to the going-home exit of the hospital, with a real, breathing, beautiful baby boy in my arms.

I want to go door-to-door in my neighborhood, asking each mom if she feels like she is floating, treading water, or holding on to driftwood as the current of daily life pulls her under.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Questions I Can't Answer

Mitchie: Do people grow in Heaven?

Mommy: (picking him up, giving him a hug) I don't know, Honey. I wonder if Gabriel grows up or stays just like a baby. (long pause as I think about the other babies and search for the right words) What do you think?

Mitchell: No. Because I don't want people to make fun of me for wearing diapers in Heaven.

And he's off to play again, with a fresh diaper on his five year-old bottom.

These kind of conversations melt me and freak me out at the same time, and not because I am worried about Mitchell wearing diapers forever. That is the least of my worries.