Conversations with Froglegs, Dancing Eyes and Curly Top

Superman has the habit of helping calm down the midgets at bedtime. He waits til the storms are over and then goes down to their “home” and spends time with each child, talking and praying for their needs.

Papa is a very special man, and I am blessed to be able to say HE IS MINE. Today we celebrate 33 years of belonging officially to each other. I think I got the better side of the blessing, and believe me when I say HE has been the one who has loved me through it all…and that ALL has been a lot over the years.

Back to the present…

Curly Top OWNS Papa. Not that we all don’t, but she has a very special position in the family…and we ALL know it.

IMG_3170

When Papa went downstairs, Curly Top was contorted upside down, feet up the wall…wiggling around and Papa sat down. Now this child is named Curly Top for a reason, and she loves to suck her thumb and twirl a curl into a knot. To her mama’s great frustration! So as Papa sat down, she took her thumb out and said to Papa:

Here Papa, my hair is tangled.”

“Do you want me to untangle it?”(as she pulled it around for Papa to reach. It took all of his skill from untangling fish nets to have success, and by that point she was almost asleep.

As soon as he finished the tangle, she sleepily pulled out another knot and said, “Here Papa, another one…”

So Papa untangled the second knot, and by the time he finished, that precious little girl was asleep.

Papa kissed her good night and moved on to the next bed…

Meeting the Ocean

Meeting the Ocean

It was Papa’s turn to talk with Froglegs…whose heart’s desire is to have a real dad. {I just cannot believe a man (questionable that he qualifies as a man based on his behavior) would abandon these bundles of love and joy.}

Papa, I really wish I had a dad. But I don’t have one. But you’re kind of like my dad. And Nana is kinda like…my UNCLE!

Okay…is being an uncle a GOOD thing if you are a Nana??? My head is cocked to the side and I am wearing a very puzzled expression, even now as I think about it.

But the conversations continued as Papa moved on to the next bed…occupied by Dancing Eyes…

Those eyes...

Those eyes…

“Papa, I watched this movie all about Noah today! There was this big, big, big, big, BIG whale! God made the whale eat Jonah (ok…probably the movie was about Jonah and not Noah). Then Jesus told the whale to spit out Noah. (yep…definitely mixing the names up a bit).

Oh, you mean Jonah?

Man, I always get those two mixed up.

But the conversation with Dancing Eyes continued onto several other topics…the boy was full of the need to share his many thoughts…at bedtime. Before Papa prayed with this delightful boy, he asked what things made him thankful?

What’s that song? Oh yeah…(and he started singing … perfectly in tune)

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is STRONG.

Yes, Jesus loves ME! Yes, Jesus loves ME! Yes, Jesus loves ME! The Bible tells me so!!!

At which point, he jumped up and pointed to the map of the world hanging on the wall…

I know where WE live (pointing to the exact spot on the map, in the near darkness).

Papa, where do Jessica and Eric live (our neighbors who live two doors away)?

I would imagine that he will learn about maps as he gets older, but Papa got a sweet chuckle out of that conversation.

Little Dancing Eyes has a habit of needing to have total seclusion in the bathroom. Door locked, stripped to the skin head to toe…not quite sure why, but what we hear through the door is amazing…he composes original music with lyrics.

It is like listening to what is in his heart put to music…how much he loves his mommy, his friends and family, but more importantly, how much JESUS loves all of them. He sings his little heart out…all behind the locked bathroom door. (I really need to capture some of these songs before he quits…). His mommy used to “compose” songs exactly like this…that was how she put us all to sleep at night…night owl that she was and still is!

We have learned a lot about parenting as we have grand-parented our four grandchildren. Little Mini Mohawk lives so far away that we don’t get as many opportunities to physically share in his life like we do with the ones who live downstairs…but all of them are the beneficiaries of what we have learned and how we have grown through the years.

We are so blessed!

Dancing Eyes, Froglegs with Mini Mohawk, Curly Top

Dancing Eyes, Froglegs with Mini Mohawk, Curly Top

My FIRST DIY

There are a lot of DIYers out there nowadays. Apparently, the new IN thing is to do it yourself and then brag about it and write a “tute” and “pin” it on Pinterest.

I am not quite that immersed in the whole post and brag stuff on Pinterest, but I DO wholeheartedly live my life in the DIY realm. And I love, love, love Pinterest. (My husband is not quite as much of a fan…it just means more work…)

Let’s face it…I have more time and junk than money, and I am married to someone who views our roles in this way: I am the composer and he is the performer; I am the architect and he is the contractor; I am the designer and he follows my plans. And believe me, we make some pretty remarkable music together…when he follows the music and is in the right key. Or as long as this designer fully communicates the plan and has thought through all the ins and outs…

It wasn’t always this way. My need to save junk from the dumpster created a lot of opportunities for Superman to show exactly what he was/is made of…and I think he now actually loves all the positive reinforcement that gets showered on him for all of his hard work.

At least, I think he likes it…except for when I say, “I have a great idea…” and he is already in the middle of another of my great ideas. Sigh…my brain runs way too fast for my own good…

But once upon a time, he didn’t know about DIYs and didn’t really know how to build or fix much of anything. I probably didn’t either, but I thought I did…

I met my husband in September of 1978…I was a freshman in college and he was a big man on campus senior…there were a lot of things that we shared in terms of common interests, but not everything.

Let’s just say we grew up in two very different worlds…suburban St. Louis vs. middle of nowhere Nome, Alaska. Malls vs. Catalogs. Style vs. Necessity. Trees vs. Tundra. Hot Humidity vs. Frozen Precipitation. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables vs. Canned Everything.

How we hit it off is kind of still a mystery, since he thought clothing should only be blue and brown, and well…I love colors…all of them.

When we met, he looked just a little bit like Napolean Dynamite…

The ORIGINAL Napoleon Dynamite...

The ORIGINAL Napoleon Dynamite…

Tundra Man...note the cool dude shades and the super wide diy leather watch band...stylin' Nome style

Tundra Man…note the cool dude shades and the super wide diy leather watch band…stylin’ Nome style

But after we had been dating for awhile, things changed a little bit…and after almost two years, we successfully added TAN into his color scheme…And when we got married, well…the afro was significantly reduced in size, but not totally gone…

Wedding Day...new shades, new hair, new watch...mustache...yep

Wedding Day…new shades, new hair, new watch…mustache…yep

By the time we got married, he figured out that he really looked a lot better (not that he CARED) in the clothes I picked out, and he really didn’t enjoy buying his own clothes…(chuckling)…the floodgates of color opened…eventually adding in GRAY!

Little by little, colors became no big deal and we started working on patterns … colors were, and are, still a bit of a problem because he doesn’t understand that all blues cannot go together, nor should he EVER concoct his own outfit unless it was previously combined by ME…we still experience the major fail from time to time…

But now, he usually has hair that is sort of tame…although the afro returns fast if the hair gets too long…his glasses are not huge anymore…nor are they shaded…and when he wears a watch, it is a normal watch that is bought at a store…the whole sock issue is still problematic as he really likes his white-over-the calf athletic socks…

But I threw them away…hehehehe…

Before and After…what a handsome job on my first real DIY…

Nathan 3

Nathan 6And he even smiles while he works…
I sure love this guy!

Promises–Cross Your Heart or Cross Your Fingers

Froglegs has learned something new. There are levels, or degrees, of promises.

How do I know this? So glad you asked…

The other day we were having a discussion. I don’t even remember what it was about. All I remember is the end of the conversation.

“I promise, Froglegs,” said this Nana, very sincerely.

“Do you really, REALLY promise???” was his response.

“Absolutely, I promise,” was my reassuring reply.

“Ok. Pinky promise, then,” he demanded. To which, I complied and we pinky-ed our promise.

I had to chuckle at being made to pinky promise with my grandson. I really take my promises seriously anyway, with or without the pinky swear part. But my little buddy knows all too much about broken promises, so if my pinky-pinky promise with him added a measure of security, well…let me double pinky promise with that sweet boy.

That also got me thinking about our young neighbors next door. They just celebrated their first wedding anniversary, and like all marriages, they have already gotten to experience the ups and downs that occur in all relationships. But I am getting way ahead of myself here.

This young couple purchased the house next to ours, but only the young man moved in.  He lived there alone for almost a year. From time to time, his fiancee would come over to work on the house or in the yard, but she never stayed the night.

Finally, their wedding day arrived and for the first time, she was there 24/7. My husband and I were so blessed to see the honor that they held for their coming marriage. And the seriousness in which they have continued to live out the promises they made to one another.

As they settled in to their life as  husband and wife, Superman and I would comment from time to time at the joy they shared together and how easily it overflowed into their interaction with our family of monkey-children.

During the winter, the couple went skiing and the young wife injured her knee. Eventually she had surgery to repair it and the subsequent rehab to get back her range of motion and strength.

This couple had also gotten a German Shepherd puppy named “Stella”–and believe me when I say that this dog required a lot of exercise.  And Stella didn’t care if her owner was saddled with a bum knee.

One afternoon, we were enjoying the weather, sitting on our deck and watching the ducks and the birds doing their flying, floating, quacking…We saw Stella bound down the hill of her back yard, and her “mom” carefully navigating the slope to get down to the flat part of the yard.

Once safely down the hill, she tossed the balls and played fetch for quite awhile. Suddenly, we saw Stella take off for the front. No matter how she was commanded to come back, Stella was not in any hurry to obey. After just a few minutes, we saw the reason why…

“Daddy” was home…she jumped up and down and ran with great excitement. She followed him into the back yard where we observed him, carrying a load of stuff, walking down the hill to his wife’s side.

He kissed her so tenderly as his greeting to her. There was a purity to their embrace that was so moving. I think Superman was almost teary-eyed by this point. But then, the young husband leaned over, scooped up his wife and carried her up the hill so she wouldn’t have to walk back up the steep slope with her bad knee.

We just looked at each other. Their love was not the transient kind. Their promises to love each other for better or worse didn’t have qualifiers attached. Their promises to love each other in sickness and in health were not made with their fingers crossed behind their backs.

No. Their promises were the “cross your heart and hope to die” kind…the grown up version of the pinky promise. The kind of promises real fathers and mothers make to their children. The kind of promises God makes to His children.

That pinky promise meant the world to my Froglegs. And those marriage vows carry that same kind of intention–

I just wish everyone would approach every promise as a life and death kind of promise instead of the “fingers crossed behind their backs” kind of promise. Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone kept their promises???

What a wonderful world that would be…