Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reluctant Celebrity

Incognito family at the State Fair
Last Fall we went to Texas. At the airport, I saw a lady standing about ten feet from us in the security line. She caught my attention because she seemed a little out of place. Dressed in black from head to toe, she was also wearing her sunglasses inside. Who does that? I thought.

I glanced at her and went back to tending to Elijah, who was jumping up and down. He would have run through the airport if I let go of his hand. The little girl in line ahead of us, pulling her rolling backpack just like her mommy's, was staring at Elijah as I tried to manage our boy and my bag.

Just then my mom leaned over and said, "Hey, that's Diane Sawyer." I glanced back at the woman in black and realized that it was indeed the news anchor.

As I grabbed my shoes to place them back on my feet, the TSA agents were chatting with each other.

"Oh, she tries to be all inconspicuous, but we know who she is," one said.

"Diane Sawyer, right?" I said with a sly smile, even though they weren't talking to me.

"See!" one of the TSA agents responded. "She noticed her. Oh, some celebrities come through and want everyone to notice them, but she tries to be subtle. We still know who she is, though."

"I wouldn't want to be a celebrity," I told them as we gathered our things from the security checkpoint and we all pondered the lives of the famous.

Back home after our trip, Andy, Elijah and I went to the grocery store to replenish our refrigerator after being gone for two weeks.

As we perused some things and Elijah jumped up and down while holding my hand, I could sense an older gentleman standing nearby staring at our son. Just when I was about to say something (because he was kind of freaking me out) the man said, "I have a grandson with problems." His voice and face were full of melancholy. I honestly didn't know what to say. Obviously, Elijah must have reminded him of his grandson and brought up sad feelings, but I wasn't so fond of how he handled approaching us - by staring and standing super close (and generally creeping me out). I think I said, "Oh," smiled at him and we all went on our way. He didn't offer up any more conversation and neither did we.

Sometimes I think I know how it feels to be famous; it feels like there are eyes on us wherever we go. Often they are happy eyes, as I hold our son's hand and he bounces down the sidewalk like Tigger with a huge smile on his face. Most people smile back. That's when I don't mind that people notice us.

When we're met with blank stares or pity or just general disgust, I kind of hate standing out from the crowd (oh, I notice). I understand wanting to be inconspicuous, to just blend in with everyone else, to be able to go to a grocery store (or an airport) and to be able to melt into the background.

I think our little family gets, at least to a tiny degree, what it's like to be famous. Sometimes it'd be nice to throw on some black clothes and some sunglasses and go incognito. I get it, Diane Sawyer. Sometimes, you just don't want all of those eyes on you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

They Fit

His chubby little body fits so perfectly on mine, his head tucked under my chin, his arms splayed around me. Snuggling. His head pops up and falls back down again, furiously, as he tries to get comfortable on my shoulder. He rubs his face back and forth, back and forth on my shirt. His breathing is fast and then slow and he squeaks in his sleep. I rub my face on his fuzzy brown hair and wonder why my hair can't be that soft, my skin as perfect. We just fit, my Oliver and me.
Elijah tackles me in the living room. We're enjoying being able to rough house again now that I'm no longer pregnant and not recovering from surgery. His body is stiff and large and I pick him up and roll with him on the floor. I cover him in kisses and he giggles and tries to get away. And then, he throws his body on mine, his arms dangling at his sides, and I exaggeratedly fall to the ground. "You got me," I say and we roll and laugh as his legs extend long and straight. We just fit, my Elijah and me.
Our boys. Our worries for them, holding them, parenting them - it's all been so different.  And, yet, it's been so much the same. We love them both so, so much. They fit in our arms and our family so perfectly.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Our firstborn is five years old today.
 Half a decade; it seems like a long time.
Time goes by so fast and our boy is growing up.
When I reflect on the past five years, I see how far Elijah has come. I see how far we've all come as a family.
Birthdays for Elijah will probably always be bittersweet for me. The day of his birth was also the day of his injury. It was the day that our son's life was forever altered. My memories of that day are painful to say the least.
Perhaps knowing what a birth is supposed to feel like now doesn't make it easier. So, so much was stolen from Elijah (and us).
But, Elijah's birthday is just one day in a span of days. And while there is definitely sadness about that day, it's also one of the best days ever. It's the day we got Elijah (I was going to say it was the day we met Elijah, but I didn't get to meet my son on his day of birth. I thought as the years past, I wouldn't think of these things as much, but the bitterness is still there. I am not yet able to just remember the good things (perhaps when Eli is ten)).
It's not about me, though. Today is about Elijah. It's about the fact that he's here with us, alive and thriving. It's about today, not about five years ago. He's pretty awesome and we know it. Truly, that is all that really matters.
Happy Birthday to our sweet five-year old! You have brought us so much joy, Elijah. You made us parents and have taken us on a wild ride. We are so, so blessed to call you our son - you with your love of music (especially the Beatles!), your climbing antics, your love of appliances, your affection for your little brother (you especially love it when he cries), your love of eating (even if it is hard for you), and your amazing smile. You, our little boy, are one incredible little dude. We never forget what a miracle you are and how God has enriched us and blessed us by giving us you. You amaze us every single day and we love you more than words can say.  

*Pictures are from Elijah's birthday party this past Sunday*
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