Tag Archives: thankfulness

Baptist Lizards and Farting Sinks

BasiliskBC, my foster son, moved to his new home nine days ago. Those nine days have been filled with a disorienting swirl of mixed emotions. This morning I’m enjoying a welcome pause in the swirl as I remember two of my favorite, funny moments with that delightful boy.

BC loved to search our backyard for lizards, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and butterflies. A book about lizards became a mainstay at bedtime for several weeks. One day, as I weeded a flower bed, BC called out from the porch, “I see one of those big black lizards!!!”

“A skink?” I asked.

“A skink! He stinks!” There was a short pause. “Is he a reptile?”

“Yes, he’s a reptile.”

“Is he…a Baptist?” BC had attended a Southern Baptist church with me for about five months at this point, and he also attended a Baptist preschool. I couldn’t really tell from whence this reptile theology question came, so I hid my smile and said, “No, Baptists are people.”

There was a longer pause.

“Is he a basilisk?”

Oh, one of those lizards that walks on water! No, skinks are not basilisks.” BC went right on enjoying his lizard hunt, and I went back to weeding the flower bed, thinking all kinds of funny thoughts about the implications of lizards being Baptists…or Baptists being lizards.

Around the same time, the water filter at my kitchen sink was due for its annual tune-up. One of the side effects of this maintenance is that the gasses used to make the filter work seem to be affected by the rest of the plumbing in the house. For a few months, a pretty loud, high-pitched flatulent sound bursts forth from the sink from time to time. BC thought it was great when I answered his questioning look the first time he heard it by saying, “It’s the gasses in that filter in the sink. It’s like the sink is farting. Who ever heard of a farting sink?!”

A short time later, a similar sound burst forth from BC as he worked on a craft at the kitchen table. I said, “I don’t think that was the sink.” Having been absorbed in his work, BC apparently hadn’t noticed what his own body was doing. He did, however, file away the comment. That night, getting out of the bath, the same thing happened, but I didn’t hear it. He looked me in the eye, smiled, and said, “I don’t think that was the sink!”

I can still see the twinkle in his eye as he said it, and hear our laughter together over a new shared joke. I miss BC’s sense of wonder and sense of humor; both brought joyful and free laughter to our home. How I miss that delightful boy!


Filed under Foster parenting

34 Years!

As I write this, my mom is arriving at her last day of work as a school media specialist.  For a little over 34 years, she has helped children learn to love reading, teachers to be creative in using all the media available to them to teach, and whole schools to be richer parts of their communities.

One of my earliest memories is from when I was three years old.  It was my mom’s first year as a media specialist.  After she came home from school one day, we sat on the floor with a shoe box she had covered in paper and with a hole cut out of the top.  Inside the box were small objects whose names all started with the same letter.  The game was that I would reach into the box, pick up an object, and try to figure out what it was just by touch.  It was a fun way to learn letters, sounds, and words.  The thing about the memory is, I distinctly remember knowing that I was learning and thinking the three-year-old equivalent of, “This is SO cool!”  I think that moment set the stage for every bit of school, reading, learning, and teaching I ever experienced.  I didn’t understand until my first year of teaching what a sacrifice of time and energy it was for my mom to sit with me on the floor after a full school day, delighting in me and in helping me learn.  When I did understand that, it made the memory all the more precious.

My mom has been doing that same thing, in all kinds of ways, over and over and over again, for thousands of people, for more than three decades.  She took two of my brothers to school with her each day for years, pouring her life into theirs as well.  Along the way, and I think without very many words to the effect, we learned that choosing work one enjoys, which makes a difference, makes all the difference.  It sure has for my mom.

So, today, congratulations and thank you to Theresa Hewitt…Mommy…Memaw…Grandma.  Small words, deeply felt, for a very important life so far.  God bless every single second of your retirement!  Amen.


Filed under Family

My Brother’s Wedding Ring

My brother and sister-in-law got married just less than a year-and-a-half ago.  It was a perfect day.  We were at the beach, the weather was spectacular, my sister-in-law looked beautiful in her wedding gown, and my brother was exceedingly handsome in his dress blues.  Maybe best of all, our families and friends rejoiced that a long-awaited day had come.  There was no drama, everyone had a fantastic time, and each of the ring-bearers had four legs.

What could better?  It was, surely, a perfect day.

I cried pretty much through the whole ceremony.  Perfect days don’t come along very often, and I was rejoicing right along with everyone else.  And among all the perfect moments, there was one that took my breath away.  After they had exchanged rings, Travis and Jessica walked a few steps to a table prepared for a sand ceremony.  Jessica took a vase of orange sand, and Travis took one with blue sand, and they poured them together into one vase, symbolizing the way their lives were now inseparable.  It was a lovely part of the ceremony, and the pastor talked about Travis traveling to the sands of Iraq and Jessica staying here, until they would meet on the sands of Okinawa after his deployment. 

Right in the middle of that, I focused in on my brother’s hand and saw his wedding ring for the first time.  Wow.  I wasn’t prepared for the jolt of that.  My brother was a husband.  The one I helped dress up as the Incredible Hulk and Luke Skywalker for Halloween, the one who burned his hand on the oven door, the one who raced his friend Ethan to each continent, the one who became my grown-up friend when we were roommates – my brother – was a husband!  It was strange and wonderful and all caught up in seeing his ring.

When we were growing up, our dad, our grandfathers, and one of our uncles never wore a wedding band.  They worked with machines that might use a ring to rip their fingers off, so it was best not to wear one.  I guess because of that, I didn’t pay much attention to wedding rings.  In the difficult years after our parents’ divorce, I didn’t want to pay much attention to wedding rings.  Somehow all of that is caught up, and healed, in seeing my brother’s wedding ring, too.  It was no small thing to get married.  It is no small thing to build a marriage that blends the best of their families and gently sets aside the other parts.  I’m so thankful he’s chosen to wear his ring.

At Christmas time, someone posted a picture of my brother on Facebook.  There was the ring again!  Every time I see it I remember that moment on the beach, during the wedding.  I remember how much I love my sister-in-law.  I remember how very proud I am of the man my brother is and of the commitments he’s made.  At least on the inside, I smile and shake my head at the wonder of this life.  All of that from a tiny piece of gold!  I hope I never get over it.


Filed under Family