Monday, October 15, 2012

Who is that sleeping in my bed?

As a general rule of thumb, I am a light sleeper when it comes to "strange" noises or anything out of the norm.  I have to preface the things that would typically wake me up because over the years I became used to my husband coming home at all hours of the night.  Somehow as time passed and I became more and more used to him coming home after I was sleeping, I no longer woke up to that specific interruption.  I learned a stranger could possibly crawl in bed with me and I wouldn't wake up (which seemed a bit unnerving).  But if that stranger made one wrong step - THAT would command my attention. 

One of my favorite Cottleville memories is when we first moved into our new home.  Each night we would go through the nightly bedtime ritual of tucking in and singing "You Are My Sunshine" -  Justin in his cute little Dalmatian pajamas and Jaime in her pink silky nightgown.  They would drift into dreamland so beautifully and peacefully (sleeping babies are so innocent and beautiful!!).  I would go on my night in my normal fashion and before I would head off to bed myself, I would check on my kids to make sure they are sleeping soundly.  And they always were.

But to my surprise, most mornings I would wake up with someone sleeping in my bed!  Confused yet content I would find myself intertwined with my blond haired little intruder.  How I loved that feeling - he was warm and cuddly.  I can even remember some mornings waking up sweating because we were almost too warm but not wanting to move because I loved the feeling of him being there snuggled up to me.  Having your child find comfort in you - man I love that feeling! 

With my sleeping habits what they were, I was quite surprised NOT to wake up when Justin was getting out of his bed though.  As much as I enjoyed waking up to find such a sweet little thing crawled up in bed with me, I was just as concerned.  Was he sleep-walking and I was this awful mother that wasn't waking up to protect him?  After all, his dad used to sleep walk.  My mind would play out several scenarios and true to form, none of them had a good ending.  Oftentimes, I ended up feeling like a bad mom.  UNTIL...

Justin finally made his "move in the night" at the wrong time.  I was lying on my side with my back to the middle of the bed when it "felt" like someone was staring at me.  Without moving, my eyes popped open to witness my 5 year old son oh so carefully lifting one leg in the slowest of slow motions onto my bed.  He was so careful to not make a sound or move the bed and watching the concentration on his face - it still makes me chuckle today!  My sweet little guy was not sleep-walking after all.  He was purposefully and carefully crawling into our bed incognito.  And it was precious.

If we could go back in time and select moments to relive, this would be one I would pick.  (The cuddling part and the catching him - both were great).

Friday, October 12, 2012

when dreams FAde

Dream -  a vision voluntarily indulged in while awake.  Whether spoken or living merely in the depths of your mind, I wonder if you realize your dreams are alive and are a part of your very being.  Everyone has a dream - some are more outlandish, the kind you know will only live in your mind.  And then there are those you expect and wait for with much anticipation. 

As a society, we encourage and promote each other to have dreams.  It is one of the first things we teach or want to teach our children.  At least I know that is what I wanted for my children.  I pushed for them to dream - and dream big!  Why not?  The world was their blank canvas and they could create whatever world they wanted.

But what happens when a thief comes to your home in the middle of the night and steals your dreams? 

Let me tell you, this CAN happen.  And you don't have a choice what dreams you are robbed of - you just wake up and they are gone.  But dreams aren't like jewels - the biggest most outlandish dreams are not the ones you cherish the most and they are also not the dreams the dream thief goes after.  And sometimes, the dream thief takes so many you can't begin to inventory the damage.  We inventory so many things in our life but nobody told us we just MAY have to inventory our dreams!

Fred is the name of my dream robber.  One night he came into our home and took not only the dreams that belonged to me but the dreams of my husband and more importantly the dreams of my son.  Having dreams stolen from under your nose is one thing but when the dreams of your child are taken, that packs a powerful punch.

So now what?  Do I dare to create new dreams?  Just thinking about it makes my stomach churn.  Fred scares me!  He lurks everywhere and he doesn't deserve any more of our dreams.  He stalks us everyday but his violation in our life is not something that can be contained with a restraining order.  He is free to roam and pick off our dreams whenever he chooses and as often as he wants. 

As much as I hate Fred, I have found something he is unable to take from me.  It is something I do not even have to hide from him or anyone for that matter.  My love for God is my most precious "possession".  Without Him, I would not have my husband, my son, or my daughter.  How can my love for Him not continue to shine?  I have mourned the loss of the dreams that have gone missing and I turn my focus on what I do have - my faith along with my husband and two beautiful children.  There are so many things in life I don't know but what if...what IF that night in 2011 a different thief was sent to my home?  What if that thief was a thief of life name Death and God interceded and allowed Fred entry to my home instead? 

Thank you Lord for the gift of another day.  It is all because of YOU my life has any meaning.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Love at first site...

Growing up, I always felt like "love at first sight" was something that only happened in fairy tales.  I was like every little girl dreaming of the day I would meet some young man and the moment our eyes met it would be obvious I had found the man of my dreams.

Well, finding the love of my life sure didn't happen like that romantic scenario!  In fact, I had even made comment I would never go out with Jeff because he was too "wild" for me.  I am so thankful today for his persistence because I was just too young to be cognisant of what was really before me and growing in me and that was a love for the husband God picked for me. 

Just because our love didn't happen like it does in fairy tales doesn't make our love any less real and true.  I know I am with the man God designed me for.  I may not like him all the time, but I love him every single day, every single hour, every single second.  He can drive me crazy but he is the man that can wrap his arms around me and make me believe all will be fine because we are going to get through whatever it is together. 

It was then that I learned that true love doesn't always look like "love at first sight".  Maybe this kind of love really DOES only happen in fairy tales and romance novels.  And there I was left...wondering where in the world this romantic idea came from.  How does one make this up if "love at first sight" isn't real?  Is it really just lust in disguise? 

On January 4, 1992, I married the man of my dreams.  Not the man that lured me with a "love at first sight" scenario but a true (and lasting) love that is standing the test of time of over 20 years later. 

Time kept going on and I had long forgot about the idea that had filled my thoughts as a girl.  I was happy and that is all I knew and cared about.  Little did I know that "love at first sight" was real and was waiting for me!

I remember the day like it was yesterday ~ December 17, 1994.  We were approaching our 3 year anniversary and I was in the hospital.  My husband was beside me when the doctor placed a 6 pound 9 ounce beautiful baby boy on my chest.  My heart raced as I felt this little boy move and my brain was struggling to conceive what exactly was going on ... I was a MOTHER and the child I was holding was my son...MY SON!!.  Oh, how my heart was singing.  As I bowed my head to look at him my eyes caught his for the very first time and there it was...LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.  It WAS real!!  And it was amazing.  In a split second, my heart felt like it grew ten times over and it was as if time stood still, if only for that moment - just enough for me to truly grasp that I just experience the very thing I dreamed of as a girl.  As my brain raced to comprehend this new feeling I remember specifically thinking - "I would die for you my sweet Justin".  He was perfect.  Simply perfect.

Almost 18 years later...I would still die for him, still love him with every fiber of my being, and still see him as perfect.  Simply perfect.