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  • The Little Boy Who Sleeps In the Crib

    January 6, 2008

    Guest Post by Antique Daddy

    As I was going through my files from my old computer, I came across an email from which the following was excerpted.  It was written by Antique Daddy when Sean was about a year old back in 2004.  His words serve as a much needed reminder that both time and life are fleeting, delicate, miraculous and inexplicably intertwined. And that these things belong not to me, but to the one who created them.

    * * *

    Late every night, long after Sean has gone to sleep, I make my way through the darkness and quiet of the house to his room to check on him. Through the faint glow of the nightlight, I look down on his sleeping face. I touch his little fingers. I put my hand on his little head. I look and listen to see that he is breathing. I think about the life that is in him and the life that he will lead.

    I put my hand on his tiny chest as it rises and falls and I say a prayer of thanksgiving for the miracle that God has performed. I thank God for taking what the doctors had said was impossible and making it possible. I thank Him for answering the prayers I offered in the dark of night, when I would awaken and feel the emptiness of knowing I would never have a child.

    Those prayers were not just that He perform the miracle of allowing a child to be conceived, but that He would form that child whole and safe in the womb, that he would write His name on his forehead, that he would form in him, the heart of a servant, that He would only do all this on the provision that this child would be dedicated to His kingdom.

    I raise my hands in praise and I thank Him from the depths of my being and vow that I will praise Him and thank Him all the days of my life for this little boy who sleeps in this crib.

    Photo Temporarily Unavailable

    Sleeping Miracle -  Jan. 2005

     

    Cobbler

    December 10, 2007


    I read recently that the top five things couples argue over is money, sex, work, children and housework, in that order. It’s not true. Sometimes we change up the order and argue about housework first.

    At the house of Antique, our arguments tend to center around cobbler.

    The other day at a local BBQ joint there was this stupid conversation:

    AD: This is good apple cobbler.

    AM: It is good, but it’s not apple, it’s peach.

    AD: No it’s not, it’s apple.

    AM: Peach.

    AD: No, apple.

    AD: I think I would know if I were eating peach cobbler

    AM: I would think so too, but this IS peach cobbler and you seem to be unaware of that fact.

    AD: Well maybe you have peach, but I have apple.

    AM: I wonder how they got that one scoop of apple cobbler in the middle of a pan of peach cobbler.

    AD: It could happen.

    AM: Of course it could.

    Pre-Marital Couseling – Now Available At Home Depot!

    November 6, 2007

    I’ve got company today, so I am running this so-called perfect post from last December.  Only two more days of shamesless (shameful?) self-promotion and begging for votes. If you haven’t voted yet, you can do so here.  And you can do so again in 24 hours!

    * * * * *

    A Perfect Post - December

    If there is one thing that defines my relationship with Antique Daddy it is this: gutter covers.

    Before we were even married, we embarked upon a home improvement project together and in the process, we discovered everything we needed to know about surviving and sustaining a marriage partnership: Never do home improvement projects together.

    Forget premarital counseling. Before couples are allowed to marry, they should be required by law to complete a home improvement project together. If both parties emerge with all their limbs in tact, then that’s a good indication that they can tolerate being married, having kids and having their gall bladder removed without anesthesia.

    I met Antique Daddy in the fall of 1996 and as it happens in the fall, the leaves had fallen off my trees and my neighbor’s tree and all the trees in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, and into the gutters on my house. Being a childless person at the time, I had more time than sense and things like scrubbing the grout around the toilet and removing leaves from the gutters were on my To Do list. Now my To Do list includes things like brush teeth, bathe, sleep. I am all about goals these days.

    And so.

    One day when Antique Boyfriend was over at my house, I mentioned that removing the leaves from my gutters was on my To Do list and that I thought I would buy some gutter covers so that I wouldn’t have to clean my gutters every year. His eyes lit up as visions of power tools danced in his head. So off we went, hand-in-hand to Home Depot in search of true love and gutter covers.

    When we got to the gutter covers department, as luck would have it, I saw — gutter covers! And I was elated. And like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:36 who said, “Here is some water! Why not be baptized now!?” I said, “Here are some gutter covers! Why not buy them now!?” And I put them in my cart and skipped happily toward the checkout lanes. There’s nothing a girl loves more than a cart full of gutter covers!

    Cue sound of a needle dragging across a record – Skreeeech!

    Antique Boyfriend is not like the spontaneous Ethiopian eunuch, who by the way, was probably a lot more fun to take shopping. Antique Boyfriend needs to study, analyze (notice the root word “anal” in analyze? I don’t think that is a coincidence), read the fine print, go to three stores to comparison shop, take measurements, read up on how gutter covers are made, talk with gutter cover experts, make a spreadsheet and then return to the original store and stand in the gutter covers aisle with arms folded while scratching his chin for three additional hours or until I try to remove my gall bladder with a gutter cover.

    Therefore.

    In the middle of Home Depot, we had a “discussion” about the proper way to purchase gutter covers and I may have even cried. In the name of Bob Vila, was it too much to ask to buy a girl some gutter covers? I think because he wanted to win favor with me because he hoped to eventually sleep with me, Antique Boyfriend acquiesced and we ended up leaving the store with the original gutter covers upon which I first laid eyes and fell in love.

    We went home and attempted to install said gutter covers together, a simple process which involved a ladder, a box of Band-aids, a bottle of Cabernet and more tears. They did not fit or work worth a flip and then I got aggravated, stomped them into an abstract environmental sculpture and then threw them into the garage along with all the other ghostly remains of home improvement projects past.

    Yet we married anyway, because we learned so much about ourselves and each other in the process. We learned that a home without gutter covers is a happy home. We learned that Antique Daddy should be in charge of purchases requiring anal-yzing – cars and gutter covers and that I should be in charge of purchases requiring impulse – gum, lipstick, shoes.

    And we learned why you never see Bob Vila’s wife on the show.

    The 2007 Weblog Awards

    Antique Daddy: Will Work For Crackers

    October 14, 2007

    Prayer is part of our family tradition.  We say prayers with Sean before bedtime and we offer prayers of thanksgiving before every meal whether we are at home or out at a restaurant.

    When Sean and I pray together, one of the things we always thank God for is daddy who works hard so that we never have to worry about having enough to eat and so that we can have so many nice things, like a roof over our heads.

    The reason for this is twofold. One, aside from the fact that as a Christian family, we are teaching Sean that all blessings flow from God, our Father and Creator, I want Sean to learn to be grateful for all that we have.  I want him to always be aware that not everyone has everything they need — that we are fortunate. Second, I want Sean to understand that all the nice things we enjoy cost money and that money is provided by his father who has to work for it. 

    So then, last week, we were all three in the kitchen eating lunch and I handed Sean the last sleeve of Ritz crackers.

    “We’re almost out of crackers Mom,” he said.  “We need to go to Wal-Mart and get some more.”

    “What if you didn’t have any money for crackers?” Antique Daddy asked him.

    “Well you would give us some,” Sean countered.

    “Well, what if I didn’t work and didn’t have any money to give you, then what?” Antique Daddy pressed.

    “Well, then we’d get someone else to work for us,” Sean reasoned.

    What a career opportunity – you “get” to work for us AND! give us money for crackers.

    Playing With Fire

    July 23, 2007

     fire

    So, lets say you are a fireman.

    Let’s also say that at around 6:45 am, you are roused out of your slumber by the smell of smoke. So you spring out of bed and you start putting out fires. Even before your first cup of coffee.

    At first, the fires are small and you can keep up. You kind of just step on them and smother them with your flip flop. But then, there are more and more little fires and you are river dancing on fires all over the place. And in between the little fires, big fires flare up here and there.

    And so all day long you are putting out fires. You are running from fire to fire, stomping on them and spitting on them and whacking them with whatever you can find. And every time you sit down or try to grab something to eat or even try to run to the restroom, another fire starts and so you just keep putting out fires, all day long.

    And then around 5:30, all the fires are subdued and the smoke has cleared and you are whipped and you realize you haven’t even brushed your teeth today.  So you sit down and wipe the soot from under your eyes. And you try not to cry.

    About that time someone walks in and says, “Wow, you look beat!” And you say, “Yes, your son has been a pill today.” And then that same someone says, “He seems fine to me.”

    Is that an okay time to whack that someone with your charred flip flop? Hypothetically speaking of course. Or should you finish your martini first?

    What I Said

    June 28, 2007

    What I said:  Done with the milk?
    What I meant:  Would you pleeeez not leave the milk out?
    What I wanted to say:  Stop leaving the damn milk out.

    What I said:  I need to go to the store (sigh).
    What I meant:  I have to defrost or chop something for dinner and I don’t feel like it.
    What I wanted to say:  I’m not really hungry. Y’all are on your own for dinner.

    What I said:  Are these papers important?
    What I meant:  These papers have been on my kitchen counter for a week and you need to move them. Now.
    What I wanted to say:  I’m throwing these papers away.

    What I said:  Can I make you a sandwich?
    What I meant:  Do you have to spread the contents of the fridge and pantry across the entire kitchen to make a measly sandwich?
    What I wanted to say:  Get out of my kitchen before I turn on you with a spatula.

    What I said:  Thanks for fixing my computer.
    What I meant:   I love how you take care of me.
    What I wanted to say:  I’m glad I married you even if you leave the milk out. 

    Four Score and Seven Pounds Ago

    April 27, 2007

    When Antique Daddy and I married, we hired a free-lance wedding photographer. Her deal was that she would take all the pictures for a fee and then turn over the negatives. In the intoxicating afterglow of the wedding, I spent a fortune having pictures printed which I subsequently stuck in a box and haven’t looked at since. Wedding fever. It’s responsible for pens made of large white feathers and keeping the ribbon and tulle industry afloat.

    In the intervening eight years, digital technology has come of age. And so when I ran across the box of wedding pictures along with the negatives, I decided to take the negatives and have them put on a CD. Which proves that the spending on the wedding just never stops.

    At any rate, now I have them on my computer and Antique Daddy and I were looking at them the other day and reliving what a fun day that was and how much we enjoyed our wedding. We also took notice of the damage eight years of marriage can do to a waist line.

    “Look honey,” I said whistfully. “Here I am about seven pounds skinnier.”

    “You were too skinny if you ask me,” he replied without prompting.

    And at that moment, I was never more attracted to him.

    Photo: temporarily unavailable.

    The Partnership of Marriage

    April 21, 2007

    Last night, a long-time friend dropped by the house for a visit. His wife had recently decided to end their marriage of 20-some years. He was hanging in there, but as we chatted with him, heartache just seemed to fill the room clear up to the ceiling.

    Photo Temporarily Unavailable

    And so today, I find myself thinking about the partnership of marriage.

    I think of my own parents who have been married for 52 years — all of their adult lives. I’m sure there have been times on their journey when either could have come up with about 50 ways to kill the other with everyday household appliances. But they persisted for another day leaving small appliances in tact. And sometimes it’s just one more day that can make all the difference. Eventually, all those one more days add up to a lifetime.

    As a product of that union, their marriage has been a reassuring thing to behold. It has been an anchor in my life and the security it provided was perhaps the greatest blessing of my childhood.

    I hope and pray that our marriage might be a reassuring thing for Sean to behold. That it might anchor and bless him in these tender years. And I also pray that earlier in life, rather than later, he might find a Godly woman to love and who would love him in return for a lifetime — a woman who will hang in there to make the journey with him into forever one day at a time.

    Love… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

    1st Corinthians 13:7


    The Date

    March 25, 2007

    Saturday night, Antique Daddy and I went on a date for the first time in a long, long while.

    Since Sean was born three years ago, we have been woefully negligent in making the time and taking the time to be together as a couple. We even got a nice hotel room and made dinner reservations and made a night of it. We looked forward all week to a night out without a diaper bag and having dinner where we didn’t have to request the check at the same time we ordered our food and drinks. We could relax and focus on each other.

    When we got to the restaurant, we sat at the outside bar to enjoy a glass of wine before dinner. The weather was as lovely as could be, the air was summertime sweet and noisy with chatter and laughter. We had not a care in the world.

    We sat knee to knee, not speaking, just smiling at each other like two shy 4th graders. It seemed almost as though the previous ten years had never happened. Then he casually put his hand on my knee. It felt warm on my leg. I sipped my wine and twirled my hair. I felt the familiar but long-forgotten awkwardness that comes with a first date. I leaned into him in such a way that I could smell his aftershave and he could look down my shirt. It was fun to flirt with my husband. He looked long and deep into my eyes before leaning in so that we were cheek to cheek. I could feel his breath on my neck and in my ear. Then he whispered, “I wonder what Sean’s doing.”

    Which was exactly what I was thinking.

    The Credit Card

    January 12, 2007

    Sometime before Christmas, as I was getting into my car, I noticed something stuck between the seat and the console. So I bravely stuck my hand into that deep dark black hole where loose change, French fries and Goldfish go to die. And lo and behold it was a credit card! It was Antique Daddy’s credit card.

    At least once a week, Antique Daddy loses his money/credit cards/keys and I freak out and turn the house upside down looking for them. And while I’m busy freaking out and digging through the trash, he’s busy helping me freak out by watching the news or eating a bowl of cereal. And then later, I usually find the lost item in a coat pocket or some other unlikely place. And so then I lecture him on the benefits of being OCD and how that when you obsessively and compulsively check your wallet for your credit card four or five times before you leave a store or a restaurant you rarely lose those kind of things and clearly, it’s a better way to live. And then I invite him to sign up for a free trial.

    So when I found his credit card along with an earring and a petrified tootsie roll (at least I think it was a tootsie roll), I decided I would teach him a lesson. I would stash his credit card somewhere for a while and let him freak out while I ate a bowl of cereal. So I did. I wrote a clever little note telling him exactly when and where I found his credit card and then I put it in his sock drawer. But then Christmas came and apparently he never wore socks in December and I not only forgot that I found the credit card, I forgot that I had hidden it, let alone where I had hidden it.

    So then.

    Earlier this week when Antique Daddy reported that he couldn’t find his credit card, I once again freaked out and turned the house upside down and dug through the trash looking for it. And I guess you probably know by now that I didn’t find it. Yes indeed, these blonde roots go clear down to the brain where they tangle up and choke the intelligence out of the logic/thinking/recalling lobe.

    As I’m bent over the trash can and digging through it for the third time, Antique Daddy shows me the credit card and my oh-so-clever note that he found in his sock drawer.

    Perhaps it was the coffee grounds under my fingernails or the stench of things therein that, truly, you do not want to know, but somehow the note wasn’t nearly as clever as I remembered. And the spousal object lesson wasn’t nearly as gratifying as I’d imagined either.