Friday, May 29, 2009

Slumber My Darling

Dear Easton,

After being with your mommy and daddy last week I have thought a lot about how enormously unfair life can seem, and about why you mortal sojourn was so unexpectedly brief. I have thought about your perfect, tiny fingers, and your little white page boy cap. So often I associate a page boy cap on a young boy carrying bundles of newspapers, announcing the news of the day. You too have been called to deliver a message, one of far greater significance than the daily headlines.

When your mom tucked your tiny body in to wake another day, my heart nearly broke in two. Your mommy is a remarkable lady. I am sure Heavenly Father knew that, and so he sent her to you. I am sure he knew she would understand your mortal mission would be brief, and that you would be called back to Him to serve a greater purpose. I want you to know there is so much good you achieved in your short time here on earth.

I have seen the edges of your daddy's heart soften. He has unflinchingly served your mom and big brother with valor. He has been their rock. I witnessed a deeper strength and bond between your mom and dad. I watched as your Grandma Yardley embraced your mom as she stood next to you, longing to hold you in her arms. "It's what we do for our children," she told me; I then understood the sacred reverence of the role of a mother. It inspired me, and renewed within me the kind of mother I want to be.

Your Daddy's family has stood by him and your mom in ways that have undoubtedly strengthened their relationships with one another. Your Uncle Cameron reminded everyone of what it means to be family, and I was humbled by his kindness and understanding. Your Uncle Nathan was in Philadelphia for a meeting and flew home to Arizona, where I picked him up from the airport, and we drove all night to be with your daddy and mommy. The night we were there was the first time all of Grandma and Grandpa Kroeger's kids had all been together for a meal in over three years. The kids played, I got to meet your cousin Hayden, and all of the grown ups sat around talking and planning a trip to be together. You have united them in a way that I have not seen in the 11 years I have known them, and it was a privilege to be a witness to it.

Easton, you accomplished some amazing things in your short life. Things of eternal significance. I am so thankful for you, for the people you have helped us to be, for the things I better understand. I hope I can honor the things you have taught me, and live a life worthy of one day standing beside you, and all of your family, and enjoy the blessing of exaltation.

Until Then,

Your Aunt Kristi

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stayin' Alive

I feel like an amnesia patient who has recently awakened from a coma and is really ticked off that she cannot account for the last nine months of her life. I am not sure where the time went. Although, soccer, dance, gymnastics, volunteer work, tutoring, and digging down deep to apply my creative side have undoubtedly spun the hands of time faster than I would have liked.

Hollywood and Curly Sue finished their school year last Thursday. There was a slight moment of panic when I looked at Curly's report card and it didn't say she was promoted to first grade, but her grades indicated that there shouldn't be any shockers come August. She has come along way since her trepidatious first assessment before kindergarten last August. She doesn't cry every day when she comes home from seven and a half hours of school anymore. She is above benchmark in all of her reading assessments, which is no small feat after my minor (we'll use that term liberally) freak out on the teacher when I discovered Curly was actually going backwards in December. She likes school and the friends she has made. She loves to tell me about Shannon's favorite color, and that Alexa only likes jelly on her peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with no crust. She is happy. What more could I ask for?

Hollywood didn't finish too shabby either. He wants to join National Honor Society next year. He had a thrid grade recorder concert a few weeks ago and rocked it. We have never really had to worry about him adjusting to new environments. After all, this is the kid that as a toddler, would walk up to random kids in the grocery store and ask if they wanted to play (which incidentally would explain his teacher's comments that he has a difficult time working independently and staying on task). His class had to vote on awards that each of the students received at the end of the year. He received Most Dependable, and Biggest Helper. I told him those were admirable qualities in any human and he should be proud that people recognized them in him. Five minutes later he thumped Curly on the head with his water bottle.

Flag football is nearly over and piano lessons start next Wednesday. Curly's moving up a level in gymnastics next week. The wee one is talking in full sentences. She makes what she wants known. She is learning to swim at the water park when we go. She thinks the walls are her blank canvas. The hands of time are not showing any signs of slowing any time soon. I guess I should just hold on for the ride.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Outside Looking In

Insanity and inspiration are neighbors. In my own head, they are almost twins. At least that's what the self depreciating tortured artist in me says. Every week when I go to rehearsals for PMAZ, I am convinced the director is going to hear me sing and boot my butt to the curb, telling me he made a terrible mistake in auditioning me. On occation, blog writing is a water boarding experience for me. Drafts that are not quite perfect sit in the box for days before they are sent. When I finally post them, my mother calls to dutifully notify me of any errors. (Happy Mother's Day mom!)

With Etsy shops of friends popping up, and some pretty talented photographers flourishing in their businesses, I have become consumed with discovering a marketable talent in myself. I have frantically flipped over plenty of bushels and dug out many holes in the backyard looking for my talents. But, in a brief moment of inspiration not long ago, the annoying elfin creature, who sits on my proverbial shoulder and is named Sam, whispered the magic thought of grandeur to me.

"Teach classes at the Community Center," he chided.

Those six words eventually evolved into e-mailing the director of the Community Center to discuss the possibilities of teaching Literature Seminars and Writing Workshops, as well as tutoring. I really didn't believe I had a fart's chance in a hurricane of landing the job, but I was insane enough to think it was an inspired thought.

After showing a three member panel some of my own writings, a mock workshop, and explaining my philosophies of education and tutoring, I am getting my own page in the catalogue of available courses. My throat verps at the thought of it. They are going to figure out I am a fraud, the catalogue is going to have a giant red "CANCELLED" stamp across my classes. Sam is definitely going to have to come to classes with me.