Saturday, March 30, 2013

easter eggs

i love mini eggs. they're one of my favourite signs of spring.  once that pretty blue bag shows up on the grocery store shelves, i know the snow will soon begin to lessen and temperatures will rise.

and until then, the last ugly weeks of winter will be sweetened.  mmm.  mini eggs.

one of my friends asked something like this last year.

"what's up with easter eggs?  what does chocolate have to do with the death of Jesus anyway?"

good question.  why do we celebrate easter - that bloody, awful weekend - by sending kids out into the yard, eager and hopeful to find ... eggs?

i remember being a little kid, playing outside in the sodden ugly brown of canadian springtime.  wet grass sucking at my rubber boots.  the sky overcast.  hands, free from a winter of wet mittens, red and chappy.  nose running.  cats stalking low under bare shrubs.  friends playing nearby, in that alone-together way kids have. 

when i suddenly found myself standing quite still. 

there, at my feet, half-hidden in the rotten twigs and sopping squelch of melting snow, a robin's egg - blue as the sky on the last day of school, and more delicate than my grandmother's crochet quilt.

one half a perfect cup, the other half in chips and shards. 

i thrilled with the excitement of it.
a bird was here.
new to life, and not eaten or crushed or frozen to death.
here - flying around somewhere, maybe chirping or swallowing worms - a brand new bird, just like that.  alive.

the sheer magic of it.  life.

and that - of course - is the great story of easter, the thrilling unreasonable truth of it.  early one morning, women went walking, carrying spices to wrap Jesus' dead body.  expecting to argue with guards to open the tomb, expecting the dank ugly underground to be heavy with inevitability, expecting their hearts to sink even lower.

but they did not find death.
they did not find death.
they found no guards, no seal -

they found the empty tomb.
an eggshell, burst wide gorgeous open and Jesus is alive
hope like a trembling new robin beating in their breasts, sky bluer than that sweet blue, delight richer than a creme-egg ...


and that is the good news that easter eggs carry. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

this is it!

potty training, we are tackling you.
without fear, without diapers.
armed with a dozen pair of underpants
two mattress pads
and a whole lot of hope.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

three happinesses

yesterday bloomed with three happinesses - maybe the sweetest little joys i've known in a very long time.

i was making supper, and sam brought his chair over to see what i was doing.  when he climbed up beside me, he put his arms up, so i picked him up to show him the tomato sauce i was scooping onto the peppers.  he put his hands on my face and smiled big into my eyes, so i took him to the table to sit and talk for a minute.  he played with my hair - pulling it in front of my eyes, then finding me again - and laughed so happy and glad.  he was so gentle and content to sit still - a rare and delicious thing for sam!

supper was cooking away in the oven, and i was feeding vava.  sam climbed up on my knee, pointed with delight at the kitchen, and said "hot!"  yes - the stove is hot, because mama is making supper.  a big, satisfied grin spread across his face.  "papa!" he laughed.  yes, dear boy.  supper means papa, and papa means all sorts of awesomeness. 

the evening was bursting with sun and blue-sky, so we went for a walk.  patrick pushed the stroller along the not-so-cooperative snowy sidewalks, and i carried vava snuggled in her snowsuit and sling.  on the way home, she fell asleep against me, her cheek on my shoulder, one hand on my chest and the other snuggled up between us.  the precious weight of her, all trusting and asleep, was too dear to bear.

and now i'm sitting here writing this, and vava is laughing with a growly giggle and i can't stop thinking about something one of my friends wrote yesterday -
this life is good, and i don't want to waste a minute.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

love puts on its boots

a friend came with me and we went for a walk in our neighbourhood tonight.

walked past you and and said hello.

twice, with eyes wide open and hearts praying heavy.

we see you, sister.  we care for you.  trite?  maybe.  but true.

i wonder about the people who live right there, an armspan away from the trampled-snow sidewalk.  do they close their eyes?  look away as they walk past you into their warm homes?  do they write to their city councilperson and complain about 'nuisance prostitution'? (yes - an actual phrase from an article i read, here in the city.  augh.)

i wonder why they haven't stepped out to say hello.  to introduce themselves.  to invite you to dinner. 

or maybe they have.  but you're still out in the cold.  walking your street.

you aren't in front of my house, but you're just around the corner.  and i see you with your skinny jeans and cigarettes night after cold night.

so i'm walking your street - my street - our street too.
because love doesn't just see and go inside to sit in comfort and close the heart's door.

love puts on its boots and goes walking.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


it's been a weird week.  we're all under the weather with an unpleasant cold.  it was sam's birthday yesterday, and i'm terribly afraid we didn't make it special.  (not that he'll remember.  don't tell him.)

tonight i'm helping patrick lay floor in our new laundry/bath room.  we're blowing our noses and coughing and trying to stay up for just one. more. tile.

the weird thing?

it's totally fun.  i love my husband.  even sick, in the basement, laying flooring ... we're having the best time.


Monday, March 4, 2013


dear sam.  darling boy.
today, you are two!
i can't quite believe it.  wasn't it just a few short months ago we met for the first time?  you were so small - and strong, from the first minute, lifting yourself and the doctor's eyebrows all at once.

this is what you're like today ...
you wake up enthusiastic to get out of your crib.  (yes, you're still in the crib.  we tried to switch - but you really weren't a big fan of your toddler bed.  but that's another story.)  first, you want to say hi to baby vava (you call her vava now!  when she was newborn, you called her aggie, then awwa, and now vava - well done, son!) and you smother her with hugs and kisses.  she loves it.
then you ask for papa.  if it's the weekend, you run to him for hugs and a wrestle.  if it's a weekday, i tell you papa is at work, taking care of us - and you clap and say "yay!"  you're so proud of him.  and he's so proud of you.

at least once a day, we talk about how incredible you are.  the things you can do totally astonish us.

i don't think i kicked a ball until i was told to in gym class.
you set up training drills for yourself and practice skills.  i don't even know how you know about these!
yesterday, for example, you put your soccer ball in the middle of the hallway.  you backed up to the end, then ran at the ball and kicked it, trying to keep it beside you until you came to the wall.  then you set it up again and repeated. 
yes.  you're awesome.

you love to talk on the phone, but you don't say much.  you just hold the phone and grin and sometimes try to share your snack or kisses with whoever is on the line.

you can climb up into your highchair all by yourself.  (and oh, the proud smile you give us every time!)  you're just figuring out how to play the harmonica, but you've already mastered the recorder - that one shrill note, anyway.  you like to play the triangle, you dear thing, and of course you love the drums best of all.

more than anything, though, you love cars.  the toys.  the movies.  stickers.  but you freaked out the other day when i put a mater tattoo on your hand (you asked for it - i didn't think you'd like it, but we tried anyway).  and you love crashes.  you watch russian dash-cam crash videos on youtube, and you copy the crashes with your toy cars.

i hope you grow up to be an insanely safe driver.

every night before bed, papa reads to you from the Jesus storybook bible.  you love it.  especially the giant.  you open to the goliath page and laugh a big mean laugh "HA HA HA!"  it's so funny and dear.

you like to blow cheerios across your highchair tray.  strawberries are your favourite food, and you also love grapes and cheese-cars, and sausages dipped in mustard.  and pad thai - last week, you ate four bowls of pad thai for supper!  you refuse milk, accept water, and love juice.

you love helping mama with the dishes.  mostly, you play with the rinse-water, but yesterday you did the cutest thing.  you picked up a clean bottle, filled it from the tap, and ran to papa to give him a drink.  you did this over and over again until the dishes were all done and mama made you stop.

you call yourself 'you', and, if pressed, say that your name is 'sin.' hehe. you're usually quick to say thank you and please, and lately you've even adopted the adorable "weppum!" (you're welcome) into your frequent phrases.

i pray that you will always be as loving and thankful and energetic as you are today.  i pray that God will help us to guide your energy and treasure your love every day.  i pray that your loving birth parents will be glad to see you grow into the dear boy you are becoming.  we all love you, sam.

happy birthday!