Sunday, January 16, 2011

Camping on the Boat

We spent last night at Lopez Lake and all three of us slept in the tiny cuddy cabin on our boat. We are those crazy parents who have never had their child in their bed to sleep so it was a first. Lopez has a spot at the back end of the lake that is only accessible by boat or hike. We were picturing a dock and a flat area with a fire pit and picnic table. Instead it was a dock with a steep hill behind it with a one-person path cutting across the hill upward about 100 yards to a hidden campsite. Arriving as the sun set, we hurried to reach the dock and used our flashlights to explore our way to the site. Ruby was our protector even though she probably gets the most spooked between the four of us.
Because we hadn't really packed for a climb to the site, we hunkered down at the boat dock and got cozy for the night. We were planning to sleep in the boat but Garett and I were envisioning kicking back by the fire while Wyatt fell asleep in the cuddy. No such luck.
It was peaceful in its own way with the frogs croaking and the cormorants squawking back and forth. We made s'mores by the one-burner stove (Why in the world did I give Wyatt so much sugar before bed?) and curled up together at about 7:30.
Poor Garett was stuck in the middle because it was the only spot where his feet could hang out of the cabin. I was surprised that Wyatt slept as much as he did but it was still overall a rough night. Watching the stars fade away and the sun come up made it more worthwhile and we were home by 9 this morning.
My soul is at rest when I'm on the water. There is no feeling like the breeze in my hair, the sun or moon reflecting on the water and a freedom that bears down to the depths of my being. I'm thankful that Garett is up for all the work required to make it happen. Thanks, God, for a much needed adventure.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I need you to learn

Wyatt has starting shouting a lot more than he used to. Sometimes it's because there is a strong desire for something in particular and other times it's because he wants to make sure I hear him. I think sometimes it's just sheer enthusiasm for the topic of conversation. Yesterday we were driving home and he began shouting, "Mommy, three yellow forklifts!" over and over and over. I acknowledged him the first time and second and third and so on. Finally he stopped and I asked him why he was shouting at me. "I need you to learn," he emphatically told me. It's hard to not draw a comparison to my strong desire to make a point. I may not yell but that same desire exists at times. I'm noticing the pride in my heart more and more these days.

It's been a tough week for my family. We received difficult news from my mom's doctor and, while it's not an official diagnosis, it does not look good. We are all soaking it in differently and I am feeling perpetually sad. I've left a few sobbing messages for friends because I really can't keep it together. When I think of Wyatt and his precious relationship with his "Gwumma" my heart aches. We are asking to experience God's healing presence every moment of every day. Thanks for praying with us.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dependence and Interdependence

I spent another couple of days in San Diego earlier this week meeting with Sheryl for spiritual direction. My head and heart are still spinning as I try to make sense of our time together. I began this journey with the intention of learning how to grieve losses in life but it turns out there are many factors, spiritual and emotional, that inhibit my willingness and ability to grieve. To peel back those layers takes time, energy, honesty and a big dose of courage. I lack those often but Sheryl helps create gracious space where God gives me just what I need to face up to realities in my heart and mind.
Underneath my deep commitment to keeping a smile on my face is a raging river of independence otherwise known as pride. River of independence sounds much more attractive but there is nothing lovely about about a spirit of highness, thinking I know what is and isn't and perhaps even thinking I can do God's job. Whatever you call it, it's the part of me that actually believes that I can do it on my own. "It" changes depending on the day but it's the extreme opposite of dependence and interdependence the two ways God calls me to be in this world in relation to him and others.
I'm thinking about dependence and interdependence in a new way this week. Matthew 26 offers an interesting look at Jesus' dependence on the Father and interdependence with Peter and company. Jesus shared his sorrow with Peter and prayed three times to God also sharing his sorrow and making a request. Jesus' example speaks to me, as I tend to retreat spiritually and relationally when life is difficult. I keep waiting to be on the other side of all this but perhaps that's not the goal.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jesus, Santa and Many, Many Presents

It's interesting to describe Christmas to a two year old. We tried to keep it real and say that we're celebrating Jesus' birthday but it's kind of confusing because Wyatt's not used to getting presents on someone else's birthday. I'm struck by the generosity of our families and I'm pretty sure he will not need a thing for at least a year.

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with my family in Turlock and then spent a week in San Francisco with my folks and brother. It's always difficult for me to leave the city. When parents of young children talk about how crazy it would be to live in the city, I always feel like I'm the only one in the room thinking about how great it would be. When we're in San Francisco, Wyatt soaks in the sights, smells, sounds and tastes. I can see his world expand and that brings joy to my heart.

You know how I like bullet points so here are the highlights:

- Bay Area Discovery Center (This is the coolest spot for toddlers.)
- Pagolac (My favorite Vietnamese restaurant.)
- Long walks
- SF Zoo
- Ferry to Sausalito
- Heath Ceramics (Thankfully, my mom registered for these beautiful ceramic creations for her wedding 35 years ago and (if she doesn't figure out how to sell it on ebay) I may get to use them someday.)
- Watching Somewhere (I loved it and Garett didn't.)
- Wyatt's 3.5 hours naps
- City Church with Josh
- Chinatown and dim sum costing $4.50 for two
- Champagne and homemade pomegranate liqueur
- Seeing good friends and their work in Oakland
- Playing Angry Birds


Wyatt is now in the bossy stage. He shares his opinions on anything and everything and loves to tell us what to do. For example, today he told us to go fast through all stop signs and red lights on our way to the market. Over the holiday, my mom brilliantly reframed this frustrating stage as "leadership in the rough". I'm going to hang on to that and look forward to a less rough state for my boy.