Saturday, June 26, 2010

Do You Believe in Angels?

Angels hold a fascination for many people, especially those raised with a belief in them. I was reading an article about a new book, called Angels in My Hair, written by a practicing Catholic on the subject of angels. The article was really interesting, and it got me to thinking. So many, many times in my life I have attributed the safety or other good outcome to the work of angels. What a world we could have if people just set aside doubt and did what their hearts cry out for, and just believe. People want so badly to have faith in something, most claim to adhere to one religion or another, and most major religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam all believe in angels.

When I was very small, my mother taught me the guardian angel prayer so many Catholic parents teach their children. She taught me that I had my very own guardian angel to watch over me.
Angel of God
My Guardian Dear
To whom God's Love
Commits Me Near
Ever this Night
Be at My Side
To Light, To Guard
To Rule and Guide
I really loved this idea, and would even scoot over in my bed to make sure my angel had room to lie down if she got tired. (Of course the angel was a she, who else would God send to a little girl?)  Many, many nights I prayed to my angel when I was scared. I had a big imagination, and that lead me to have what my kids have come to call "bad imaginations" - just scary images in your head before you fall asleep, usually evoked by the evening news. My angel, and the picture I had of her in my head, gave me great comfort.

As an adult, I have felt my angel praying for me in times of trouble. I have felt her arms around me when I needed her most. When my baby son was so sick and in the ER, I know she was praying with me for his safety and well being, and I am sure his angel was with him, too. I have asked my angel to follow my children into scary situations when I could not be with them, surgeries, tests, and other procedures. I love knowing I can call upon the angels of my children and ask them to keep a vigilant watch when I feel my children are going to need it.

I humbly salute you, O you faithful,
heavenly Friends of my children!
I give you heartfelt thanks
for all the love and goodness you show them.
At some future day I shall,
with thanks more worthy than I can now give,
repay your care for them,
and before the whole heavenly court
acknowledge their indebtedness to your guidance and
Continue to watch over them.
Provide for all their needs of body and soul.
Pray, likewise, for me,
for my husband,
and my whole family,
that we may all one day rejoice in your blessed company.


I know there are angles around us. I know it deep in my heart. A year or so ago Elizabeth slept late, and had to be to work very early. As she raced down the winding road to the convent where she was working, she rolled her car. Rolled it, as in crushed the car. She walked away with only a few scratches. When I close my eyes I can still see that crushed car, and feel the sick, hollow feeling in my stomach. Pieces of the car were strewn about the field. It was bad. The other thing that will always stay with me is that she rolled the car, it was crushed, except right where she had been sitting. You can almost see her angel wrapping herself around Elizabeth so she would not be harmed. What an amazing angel indeed, and we are so very grateful!

My angel has been so good to me, guarding and guiding me my whole life. I was happy, and surprised to learn at a class for our Parish School of  Religion, that it was possible to ask your guardian angel what his or her name was. I, something of a skeptic at heart ( really, I am!) was uncertain for some reason, but decided to give it a try. I just sat quietly a few times a day, for a couple of days and just simply asked her what her name was. Her name is Evelyn. Several of my children have also asked their guardian angels names, and I love knowing what they are when I ask for their guidance and protection of  my little ones.

Do you believe in angels? Care to share an angel story? - You'd be surprised, most people have one or two!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Father of My Children

I know the blogosphere is going to be filled with odes to dads this weekend. I am so glad that all these families have amazing husbands and fathers. My own family is thusly blessed.

I often complain about how my boys, even from a newborn babe, tend to prefer their dad. We sleep with the baby's bed pulled right up close to ours, so that we can sleep peacefully - without having to worry about where the baby is, but keeping the baby close. When the baby wakes up to nurse, I reach over and pick him up, but already that little head will be twisting and turning to try and spot Dad. They learn fast just where he'll be, and they do whatever they can to get a glimpse of him! Probably makes him feel like a rock star. I get a little jealous, but then  - it seems that these littles are already understanding what their dad is all about.

This dad that we have here is all about keeping us safe, and happy and protected. He makes sure we all have what we need. From a glass of water next to the nursing mama, or a car repair, he's our man. Shoveled walks and cleaned off cars, so our girls can safely drive away without snow blocking their view (because he knows they won't take the time do it it themselves), shopping for bats and mitts for a first T-Ball practice, to attending early morning soccer games, to dance recitals, to many nights tending a sick child or a fussy baby. Might as well throw in cooking a bazillion pizzas, millions of meatballs and spaghetti, and about a ton of meatloaf. He's changed approximately 37,000 diapers (no exaggeration), give or take, and taught three boys so far how to be 'straight shooters' in more than one sense of the word. He's watched more Pixar films than the Pixar people (Toy Story is his fav), and read more Sandra Boynton books than Sandra herself.  I love that our kids never, ever have to wonder if their dad is  going to be there - for the big events, and the little ones. Not only will he be there, he'll be there ahead of time, to make sure he gets a good seat! He'll be there early to pick them up, so they don't have to worry, and he'll make sure they have enough money, snacks, and drinks before they leave.

I love that the father of my children is so head over heels in love with his kids that he laughs as hard as I do at them, he cries as hard as I do for them, and he prays as hard as I do for and about them. He is showing our sons what it means to be a good, honest man. He is setting the bar very high for the kind of men our daughters should look for when they are ready to marry. They will be lucky to find one half as good, but I think we have taught them never to settle, go for the big love, the one that makes your day every single day. I love that one look from one of our kids can change the expression on his face from tension or fatigue to sheer joy. I love that nearly every picture we have of him, he is holding a child (not necessarily his own!).  I love that he took my girl and made her his own child, and has loved her and cared for her  and raised her up, just like all the rest of the kids. An unbelievable blessing.

Thank you, my Douglas, for being the dad you are - I couldn't ask for anything more. You never stop moving, helping me with everything in the house, then going outside to work on the girls' cars or lawn or whatever goes on in the garage. Thank you for being the guy who stops to help everyone you encounter on the road, or in life. Thanks for being the strong one, the whiskery one, the one who lets the littles steal sips of his Coke before they are really old enough, the one they all look up to and love.  Thanks for setting such a magnificent example for all of our children. I thank God every day for sending you to me! I love you with all of my heart, and I know our kids do, too. Happy Father's Day, my love.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Birthday Birthday

 We've had a lot of birthday going on around here. Our baby, Caleb (Yebbi) turned a year old a couple of weeks ago. I've been so busy, I never got to write him a proper post, so I have to make up for it.

Yeb, you are pure love. You are real trouble, and you love to put everything in your mouth. You are a pro at climbing EVERYTHING, and have been really lucky that you have big brothers who jump to your rescue constantly. You have dimples that flash a bazillion times a day, and they are so big, I could keep beans in them! You are delicious in every possible way. Happy Very 1st Birthday, my baby boy. I can't believe it's been a year already! Our world is so much happier with you in it.

I know it sounds ridiculous for a mother of so many to say she was surprised to find out she was pregnant, but when we found out about Caleb, we were stunned. I had suffered a miscarriage on a Wednesday, and by Friday, was bleeding so very heavily that we ran to the ER in the middle of the night. They performed an ultra sound and discovered, much to our total shock and amazement, that while his twin had miscarried, our little baby Caleb was 7 weeks along and doing just fine, completely unfazed by all the turmoil going on around him! God must have great plans for this little soul!
When it was time for Caleb to be born, there was again, a lot of turmoil, which I wrote in one of my very first posts - but, he has survived against the odds, and for that we are incredibly grateful. God Bless you, Caleb Blaize!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Benjamin the Birthday Man

My baby Benjamin, who is not actually the baby, turned three today. I still think of him as a baby, and since he only weighs 29 pounds, it's not hard to pretend he is a baby. But, he is talking like crazy, demanding, and often, quite creepy, but head over heels in  love with his dad - and me too, most of the time. I really love him. He is a ridiculously beautiful child, but makes up for it by being one of our crankier kiddos.

Benjamin was sort of a surprise pregnancy. He came after a loss, and we were so glad. I have had ups and downs when it comes to finding out about a new pregnancy, it's hard to feel like wanting to do it all over again, the sleeplessness, especially, really gets to me. but, every time we think we are done, the idea of never having a new baby really haunts me.

I love babies, really, truly enjoy every bit of babyhood. I relish every moment (except the sleeplessness). Even with the lack of sleep, I marvel, every time, over tiny toes, little babbles, and those first smiles. I know all parents feel a great deal of joy at their child's development, but I think my heart takes it a step or two further.
                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it's nothing short of ecstasy, every time I watch one of our babies yawn, or catch a whiff of sweet baby breath. I love the faces they make, and the small mews and grunts of a nursing babe.

I enjoy the heck out of toddlerhood, too, and we are deep in it now, with a 1 year old and a three year old. these people are pure, unadulterated bliss. Yebbi is a happy, delightful little guy. He is in love with his whole family, and grins a huge, drooley grin at any attention from an older sibling. I dare you to find anything better than a big, wet, drooley baby kiss. The love just pours out of them, and fills your heart right up. Those flashing, smiling eyes that tell you they have a really good, really bad idea, and you have to brace yourself for what ever they come up with. How can I live happily without that? Can I ever really look back on all of this and say - yeah, I am so over all that joy and bliss n'stuff. Totally not into it anymore. Can I honestly say I can happily live without it? Why would anyone ever choose to live without it?