That Lice Lesson (It’s Not What You Think)

February 25, 2014

Sometimes I think that God gave me children so that I can understand a little better what His days are like dealing with me. Brent, our six-year-old, came in our bathroom the other day with a grouchy look on his face and a grouchy demeanor.  He definitely wanted Brian and me to notice that He Was Not Happy, and then, I’m pretty sure, he wanted us to figure out that We Needed to Do Something About It. He’s really almost never fussy, and so when he is, it’s a bit disarming.  It’s also sometimes a little hilarious.  My brow wrinkles, and I...

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SPLASHERS: Adoption works

February 13, 2014

Adoption is noble and fabulous and wonderful.  It is the answer to many dreams and the beginning of a lifetime of memories.  It matches parents with love to give with children who need that love as much as they need breath.  It is a remarkable thing, and the most well-known ancient example of it is found in story of Moses in the book of Exodus. For all that adoption is, though, and for as long as it's been around, it is not for the faint of heart.  In domestic adoptions, birthmothers sometimes pick a couple and then change their mind.  In...

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February 12, 2014

She smiled at me when she brushed past me at the swim school where our kids have started lessons.  Something was vaguely familiar about her, but I couldn’t place it, thinking maybe she just reminded me of someone. “Madeline, right?” she asked, a little hesitatingly. I guess there was a reason she seemed familiar.  (Something about her knowing my name was a tip-off.  Call me Columbo.) In a nano-second, I raced through all my brain’s files (as if my brain is actually organized into files – ha!), trying to place this kind-faced woman with the very northeastern accent calling me by name. It was...

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February 11, 2014

He was busted, and he knew it.  He had done wrong, and it was my job as his mama to teach him not to do that again.  But in those moments, he (re)taught me a truth that I hadn’t focused on living out any time lately.  I never thought I’d be so glad for one of our littles to disobey so flagrantly. Blake is closer now to five than to four, and he is truly a delight.  He can turn anything into a game, his laugh is infectious, and his joy, oh his joy.  It’s a marvel to behold.  As that...

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Clean Trash

February 10, 2014

I came home and thought how good it is, for the dogs’ sake, that I don’t believe in harming animals or using our firearms on them.  They are so fortunate that they are so adorable and fun and have such soulful eyes and love and protect us so well.     Buster, the 177-pound bull mastiff / Great Pyrenees mix, and Baxter, the 67-pound shepherd mix, had apparently decided that the trash bag that we had neglected (a) to take all the way out to the trash or (b) put in a Fort Knox-inspired chamber to keep away from them was actually their...

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Heaven Sent

February 7, 2014

He made Robison kiddo #4. I cut the cord when he was born. It’s been a beautiful, amazing ride.  And it all started with the big sister he’ll never know on this side of Heaven. In April 2008, we were Robisons, Party of Five.  Brian, me, Amelia (4½ then), Mariana (almost two), and Brent (almost one).  We loved our little family, a happy little crew.  But the party was about to change in a way beyond our worst imaginings.  Sweet Amelia had let us know in her own unmistakable way that her body was failing her (in spite of her remarkable spirit) and...

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That Call

February 6, 2014

The phone rang, and so began one of the greatest adventures of our lives. It was the middle of the afternoon on May 1, 2006.  Caller ID showed a number I didn’t know from an area code I didn’t know, but something told me to answer that call and not just let it go to voicemail. Boy, am I glad I did. The voice on the other end of the line belonged to a woman who introduced herself as a birthmother counselor with Adoption Network Law Center.  My heart raced, my ears focused on her every breath, and for a moment the world...

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What Does Love Look Like?

February 5, 2014

If I were to ask you, ‘What does love look like?’ what images would come to mind? A mother’s patient eyes that let her love shine through even when inside she feels absolutely spent. A father teaching a child how to ride a bike, build a fire, swing a bat. A grandfather sitting a child on his lap and telling stories about his own childhood, pausing at all the best parts to pique the curiosity behind those wide child eyes. A grandmother’s hands bandaging up a skinned knee. A parent putting away all distractions to listen with focus to a teen whose body is fine...

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That Four-Letter Word

February 4, 2014

It’s the most powerful word in the English language because it is the greatest concept ever known.  This word – because of what it represents – has inspired more music, more art, more acts of selflessness, more heroism, and more mercy than any other word in history.  It causes proposals and births and deaths and triumphs of the human spirit in the face of adversity.  It brings smiles and happy tears and swelling hearts and laughter and eyes that find the good. Tall order for a word with only four letters.  And yet it stands strong, sure of its footing, because...

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FRIDAY LIGHT: Knowledge Is Power; Ignorance Is Bliss (from August 2011)

February 20, 2014

It is said that knowledge is power. But lately, it’s come to my mind that while that may be true, so is this:  ignorance is bliss. Really.  There are just some things that I wish I didn’t know, some things that, if I didn’t know them, might actually expand my mind by giving me back the brain cells that have died off since I learned them. Here’s a short starter list of just five. 1.  I wish I didn’t know my zodiac sign. I mean, come on:  astrology?!  Really?! Constellations were perfect for the seafarers of old – and even for those who aren’t...

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