Monday, October 31, 2011

saving up for therapy...

do you remember second grade? did anything traumatic ever happen to you that still haunts you? a memory of children laughing at you, your cheeks BURNING with embarassment?

um, yeah...we BARELY ESCAPED one of THOSE memories this morning.

the big kids were long gone & i was racing around getting the boys ready to head out the door to the bus stop. carson BEGGED to please wear his fedora with his hoodie sweatshirt...whatever. i finally just said yes. he's SUCH a little hipster. and bobby put the finishing touches on hudson's PIRATE COSTUME...a red bandana tied 'round his cute little head.

you see, fourth graders are TOO COOL to dress up for a party at school. but hudson's class is having a party today. and the note said COSTUMES.

and sooooo, out the door they went. til hudson came RUNNING back to tell me that NO ONE ELSE at the bus stop (best friend -- same class -- included) were wearing costumes.

when i told him that i was SO SURE that he was supposed to wear it, and 'how 'bout you just ride the bus and if you get to school and no one else is wearing one, i'll bring you clothes?' i saw tears fill up the corners of his eyes and he said, 'but mom...i don't want to have to sit there and WAIT for you if i'm the only one dressed up.'

and so carson rode the bus with his friends while i made a phone call to the school. hudson's teacher laughed. apparently the note said NO COSTUMES.

oops. lmbo. he changed clothes & we headed out so i could drive him to school. he in his skinny jeans and gap hoodie, me in my monkey jammie pants and mismatched hoodie. and he turns to me and says, 'are you SERIOUSLY going to wear THAT?'

ha ha ha.

and in case you don't remember some of these, i've chronicled why it SUCKS to be the fourth kid...ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR MOM SELLS STUFF ON EBAY. check out hudson modeling some of the costumes i've sold over the years. and if you'd like to contribute to future therapy bills, feel free to send a donation. this POOR, POOR KID. hee hee hee.

i'm pretty sure he's flipping me off in this one. :)

God, i love love LOVE this kid. please PLEASE help him to not hate me when he gets old enough to realize how much i've screwed him up. lol.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


you know how they say birds of a feather flock together?

well, one of my 'birds' has always been a little 'different' from the rest of the flock.

carson...what can i say about carson? he is FULL of surprises. he's also full of himself. lol.

the kid wrestles with injustice...with human rights...with the unfairness of life (perhaps it's middle child syndrome and this is all just normal?). but really, he is MOST LIKELY to rebel in our family but he's ALSO MOST LIKELY to confess & apologize (even BEFORE he gets caught).

i love this kid.

TODAY, he came home from school on a mission. he needed TWENTY sheets of paper and he needed them NOW.

he proceeded to make 'posters' to put on every child's desk in his classroom...

"STOP OREO!!! even if you didn't, please don't."

and then wrote the teacher a note...

"Dear Miss H., Our class has made a game called OREO. Game Rules: You 'rock, paper, scissors' and whoever wins points out who you have to ask out (on a date). Me and Josh are trying to stop this game. We don't like it at all . It could also start a rumor! Sincerely, Carson Lee."

LMBO. He is grossed out by the thought of having to ask someone out. He thinks that this is just WRONG for fourth graders. hee hee hee.

I love that he has decided to rally against this OREO INSANITY. lololol.

On a more serious note, one night we had to drop off packages at the post office. It was raining and I had Austin run the packages up to the mail drop. He came back and asked if we had seen the homeless man, who had found some shelter under the post office awning.

Days later, Carson and I were driving past the post office. He started to ask a LOT of questions about the man: does he have family? does he have a place to stay? how does he get food to eat? why can't he move in with someone? if he's ever there again, can we PLEASE go across the street to the mcdonald's and get him an ice cream sundae?

The conversation had some really DEEP moments...with TOUGH questions. And THEN Carson said that he had an idea...that he was pretty sure it would work, but he wasn't sure I was going to like it.

He elaborated on his plan:

  • Track down aforementioned homeless man

  • Take him door to door and explain to people that he needs a place to live

  • Ask them nicely if they could please make soom room for him in their home

At this point my heart is about to burst. My sweet boy...who cares so profoundly. Until he got to his next point:

  • If homeowner says no, hold them at gunpoint until they agree

Scratch the warm fuzzies. LMBO. He had me up until the very end. While this thought process scares the HECK out of me, a friend reminded me that there were lots of dudes in the bible who would stop at nothing short of justice...some of them got a little lost along the way, but God still calls them men after his own heart. I hope Carson continues to feel passionately...and act on it...whether it's homelessness or the possibility of fourth grade cooties.


(and a little update: on a later trip to the post office, the man was there again. he asked if i had any money. i truly did not. just my debit card. i left & rather than a sundae, i got him a meal and brought it back to him. we had a GREAT conversation about the fact that he is NOT invisible. that if he is EVER feeling alone in this world, he needs to know that there is a nine year old named carson who sees him, who prays for him at night before bed...and that if a NINE year old cares that much, then how much does the God of the universe care about him? his name is william. he is currently out of work. we continue to pray for him. and i continue to pray that my children will be a blessing and be a change in this sometimes troubled world).

Friday, October 7, 2011


one of these nights i'm going to sleep all the way through from start to finish. maybe by the time i'm fifty? maybe not.

my most recent sleep was interrupted at approximately 2:30 a.m. when i realized that carson had invaded my side of the bed.

the following conversation followed --

me: carson, why are you in my bed?

carson: because there was a giant beetle crawling on my leg!

me: what? are you sure?

carson: yes! i had a dream and i could feel it crawling on me and then i opened my eyes and looked down and i SAW IT ON THE FLOOR!

me (please don't judge me...i don't like bugs and i was only half awake): well, i'm sure it's crawled away by now. go on back upstairs.

carson: NOOOOOO. mom. it was HUGE. you HAVE to come get it.

(i should take this moment to tell you that from time to time, we have had some HUUUUUGE beetles in this house...for some reason God chooses to torture me by making me live in places that have giant bugs, hurricanes & hot weather...yippee...check out this pic of a beetle in jordan's room a few weeks ago...aggghhhhh!!!)

okay, so now you know that it's entirely POSSIBLE that there IS a bug up there...and you understand why i might not want to go find, back to the story:

me (at this point realizing he's not going away unless i go upstairs): alright. let's go.

upstairs, hudson is fast asleep in his bed. by the light of a teeny tiny night light i feel my way over to his bed and one by one take the blankets off and shake them out.

me: see? there's nothing there. you're fine. let me put these back on and you can climb back in.

carson: MOMMMMM!!!!! CAN'T YOU SEE IT? LOOOOOOK, IT'S RIGHT THERE!!!!! (as he points to the floor).

(um, no. i can't see it. it's 2:30 a.m. it's pitch black. i don't have my contacts in and i'm barely awake. but instead i went ahead and turned on the light, and there it was...THE AWFUL, TERRIBLE, CRAWLING beetle):

what? you can't see it? oh wait...THAT'S BECAUSE THERE WAS NO BEETLE. it was a ROUND RED LEGO.

i thought that would be the end of it. i tried to tuck carson back into bed. but he was HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT. he was CERTAIN there was a beetle. CERTAIN that it was still there. nothing i said, nothing i did, nothing i prayed could convince him otherwise.

so i made him a bed on the couch downstairs and that WOULD be the end of the story EXCEPT that at this point my brain was wide awake.

as i lay/lie/laid (diane merchant, high school english teacher extraordinaire, wanna weigh in here? LOL)...anyhow, as i stayed there in that horizontal position in my bed (hee hee), carson came in from the couch several more times...he was just so concerned that another 'beetle' was going to find him...eventually he fell back to sleep (lucky him).

meanwhile (in a mildly annoyed state), i began to realize how similar my own behavior tends to be at times.

and then...well, then i felt the annoyance melt to humility. i see that this is ME! i run to God...i cry out to him...and the very thing that i am afraid of ISN'T REAL. IT ISN'T THERE.

maybe at one point in time there WAS a 'beetle' sighting in my life...but this time, THIS time an actual beetle (read fear, insecurity, doubt, self-hatred...the list goes on and on) isn't even THERE.

it just FEELS like it. but that's because i'm not fully awake.

when i OPEN MY EYES...when i OPEN MY the HIS TRUTH, NOT MY PERCEIVED REALITY, i realize that i am FREE. those feelings that haunt me, that paralyzing's time to SHAKE IT OFF...and see that what falls to the ground is just an empty, dead, non-living piece of plastic.

'shake off your dust, rise up, sit enthroned jerusalem. free yourself from the chains on your neck.' isaiah 52:2

'who the son sets free is free indeed.' john 8:36

i've come full circle. i'm back to where i started 20 years ago. back to where so much fear took root. but i believe that God has brought me here to allow me to see that I AM NOT THE SAME. the chains are gone. thank you 'room' has already been fumigated. i don't need to be afraid.

in the light of day the very thing i was so afraid of turns out to be something that actually brings me joy! it's just a piece of a 'puzzle' that completes my whole 'story,' you know?

time to pick up that piece that's been left behind and add it to another...let my imagination run wild...who wants to play legos with me?

if you are in my life, then you are a piece of my puzzle. and i'm grateful for you.

and now, this sleepy chick is going to try and take a nap :)