This is the Easter story that Alex shared with us on Saturday on the drive out to Jalama Beach. “On Friday, Cheezus lost his skin…then they (the bad guys) put him in a cave, and on Easter Sunday he got his skin back and came out of the cave.” Mind you, Cheezus is the only one that this happens. This colorful version of our Savior’s resurrection was directly relayed to him by Mrs. Miller, the director at his preschool (aka Mrs. Cheezus, according to Alex) during chapel at his big-boy preschool at the Presbyterian Church. According to the gospel of Alex, none of us ordinary folks get our skin back. We just die and go straight to heaven. There it is, Easter in a nutshell. And to think there has been so much confusion and bloodshed over this seemingly simple and straightforward holiday. Of course, we celebrated with great reverence and piety the way most Americans do…with chocolate and the search for the eggs left by the Easter Bunny in our front yard.
I have been struggling with my own demons lately. You know you all have them, too. They are those horrible little trolls that live in the recesses of our subconscious that say mean things to us. They spout the same stuff that the bully in our third grade class did. They tell us we are faltering, skating on thin ice, not achieving our potential, and perpetuating the fraud of impersonating a good and whole human. So I am fighting them right now, which in not an easy task when I am also simultaneously trying to build three healthy, relatively balanced little egos under my direct and often interminable (according to Alex) supervision.
Don’t get me wrong… with regard to the development of my children, I am aware that all the Legos are pretty much already on the table. I have very little control over the choice of blocks that each of these boys has been given. However, having said that…there is an art to the way those blocks can be assembled. I watch them as they try out the different configurations. I try to slyly suggest a certain balance to the wings and the wheels so that their very original little vehicles (hovercraft, rocket, boat, motorcycle-parachute-jetpack…whatever they happen to choose) doesn’t crash and burn before it even has a chance to lift off. I have become a master at the whisper of a suggestion that actually makes them believe it was their idea to begin with. By the way, this works on husbands as well, but only infrequently.
I want them to love themselves, but not be arrogant little buggers. I want them to repect and be loving to others, but not at the expense of their own dignity. I want them to pick up the Dorito bag on the beach, not because someone is watching or even out of guilt, but because it is a good thing to do. Better to do, than not. I want them to love the feel of pleasure, sheer and abandoned, but not become so addicted to it that they shirk their responsibilities or fail to own the consequences of their actions. These things may seem simple, but they are often hard to teach especially in light of the fact that I am still trying to master them myself.
I am standing at the kitchen counter with my Mac plugged into the wall by the sliding glass door because there is nowhere else that I can be without wee Sam trying to mess with the cord. He has already gotten his first shiner. He climbed on top of a four-legged stool and flipped it like he was turning a calf in a roping contest. The result was a four inch red scrape on his belly and a tiny cut at the corner of his right eye. I thought I had him figured out. He was such an easy going baby. He is still a happy kid, but he has the fearlessness of Alex and the ‘heart-on-his-sleeve’ of Zach. I fear he will be the most challenging of all. Constantly in the emergency room and getting his heart broken around every corner. He is standing with palms pressed against the glass of the door. Desperate to be outside, he is wanting so much to feel the grass crunch under his feet.
But since it is raining, and that is simply not an option right now, he knows it is still pretty cool to be dancing around on the carpet to Sting with nothing but a diaper and a grin. Making his mama belly-laugh is just an added bonus.
Later Chris comes home with the big boys from their swim class. Alex is mastering the underwater bubble blow and Zach is swimming like a dolphin. They thought that Sting was a bit too mellow to dance to…they wanted something a little more “rockin” as Zach put it. So we chose Fat Boy Slim…Weapon of Choice (the instrumental one, of course, so that Alex doesn’t go into preschool with some “gansta” talk for share day. Then I danced like a lunatic with all three of my little charges as the sun set. Another day lived, survived, relished, enjoyed, stumbled through….my verb changes depending on the time of day and the number of Tylenols I have consumed. Out of the corner of my eye I see those little trollish demons of mine skulking away. They are no match for the therapeutic powers of a bit of Fat Boy Slim and dancing with my babies.
Love to you all,