Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dear Madison; National M&M Day

Dear Madio;

From conception you've been making impromptu, surprise parties.

I used to rock your older sister and think, "I'm not having my next baby until Morgan is in K-4, so that I can then devote and enjoy the same depth and quality of time with each baby."

Before Morgan's first birthday you were all, "Ba-BAM!" In an explosion of surprise you said, "Ready, or not, here I come!"

I had no clue! 

Due to a fibroid tumor in the way of natural childbirth, I was watched carefully throughout my pregnancy with you. They also scheduled your cesarean delivery two weeks earlier than the due date to avoid the threats the tumor presented. Between myself, the magical midwives, the highly trained doctors and nurses, we obviously had your surprises under control. 

We turned out to be no match for your stealth. A full eight weeks before you were scheduled (TWO WEEKS EARLY) you were all, "Ba-BAM!"

I had no clue!

I had to pop a pill and lay in bed for two whole months to tie you down. They said you needed more development time. (See? You never have been patient about development!) I didn't even need to check the time to know when it was time to take that anti-contraction pill. Within ten minutes of being past time, you would start shaking the rafters with contractions, "I'm Madison, and I'm raring to go!"

I had no clue! 

When you were born via cesarean delivery, the FIRST thing you heard outside the womb was a joke. My doctor was telling the joke about a man being caught by a bear in the woods unawares. He told the joke up until, "The man fell to his knees and..."
But he forgot the punchline! 
Through the anesthesia I groggily asked, "Are you kidding me?! You don't know the punchline?!"
Everybody laughed. 
I finished it for him, "The man dropped to his knees, closed his eyes and prayed, 'Oh, Lord, let this be a Christian bear!" And when he opened his eyes the bear was on his knees, praying, "Oh, Lord, for this food we are about to receive, may we be truly grateful."
The room erupted in laughter.
There you were. 
I fell back to sleep.
So, yeah...
Your need for humor should come as no surprise. You were born under the banner of laughter.
(Honestly, I don't remember every detail of this timeline. I was, after all, highly drugged.)

I had no clue.

You CONSTANTLY made noise. Even in your sleep you would hum. In your infant swing while staring out into space, you would hum. While playing alone with your toys, you would hum. It turned out you had a LOT to say, but we didn't know you were deaf in your right ear, and hard of hearing in your left ear. You weren't able to hear how to pronounce words. That humming; you were speaking as best you knew how. 

I had no clue. 

We started all kinds of hearing tests. First homemade ones. Then the professionals started checking you out. We didn't have much money, so a lot of students practiced and learned on you. Then we started speech therapy. It turns out you couldn't hear high frequency sounds, like "s," "t," or "d."

I had no clue. 

We met some really nice people because you couldn't hear. People who were intrigued by you and began testing more than your hearing, they wanted to test your intelligence. You scored off the charts.

I had no clue.

When you were six or seven years old you thought that when you grew up, you would grow out of deafness and into hearing. That's how everything else was working; people grew out of crawling into walking. People grew out of baby clothes into grown-up clothes. So it stood to reason that you would grow out of deafness into hearing like the grown-ups.

I had no clue.

That day you curled up into my lap and mourned. You sobbed. We both cried. I told you then, and would tell you each time you would cry about your inability to be "normal" that you didn't need the full capacity of those senses, God had use of your bodily-vessel for service in unique ways.

What I DID have a clue about was that since I didn't plan on your arrival, since I had done all I knew to do to NOT have a baby. It was so clear to me that you were mandated by God to live in this world for such a time as this. You know I don't blame everything on God. But you really, really surprised me. 
I had no clue.
You are God's "fault."

You're 6'5" now. You ALWAYS make a grand entrance. You are a walking, living surprise party. Anyone who knows you, knows one thing; Never expect the ordinary.

You surprise everyone with your appearance, just like you did me. Every person of every age of every ethnicity feels like you are their best friend. People going about their day, carrying chips on their shoulders, or hauling burdens in their heart.
And then, there you are!
Smiling and humming, "Hi!"

Your smile conveys the idea to them that they're not alone.
Your presence states, "I'm big enough to help you carry your burdens." 
Your deafness says to them, "Being imperfect is totally OK!" 
Your constant "humming," words we understand now, makes even the outcast to feel, "This person is interested in me."

We all have our place in this world, and yours is to be Christ's hands and feet, conveying to all humanity, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made."

I'm so thankful God knew better than my five-year-plan. Your existence goes beyond my careful plans. Your existence is due to God's ways, thoughts, and plans being higher than mine. Everything about you shows His handiwork. You will leave the palm of my hand someday, but you should cleave with all your being to His hand.

Here's at least one thing I'm not clueless about: He makes everything you touch a beautiful surprise party.


Dear Morgan; National M&M Day

Dear Morgan;

When I was seventeen years old I was in Germany. At breakfast in our lodge everyone would greet each other with, "Guten morgen!" (Aka: Good morning.) I immediately knew I wanted to name my someday-daughter, Morgen. Several years later I saw a movie about a tough-cookie, girl pirate who took the helm when her captain-dad died. She continued his journey to attain his rightful treasure. It turns out lots of people were also pursuing the treasure and she had her work cut out for her. BUT SHE DID IT! The character's name was Morgen. I was even further certain that I wanted to name my girl, "Morgen."

From before you were conceived I wanted to raise a daughter who was beautiful, knew how to behave as a lady, but could navigate stormy seas and attain the treasures-of-goals she sought, even if it cost her beauty and ladylike behavior. And I felt that this was absolutely a base assumption to have for my child; not only have I personally always felt capable of pursuing and doing anything in my heart, but the rest of your family-tree also showed this capacity.

I named you after my mother, Naomi. Naomi is an AMAZING human. I would need more than a blog to tell of the very cool things she has been involved in and accomplished. (Pretty sure I'll be writing that book.) And your father's mom, Lola, has done equally amazing things. (Another book.)

You, little missy, came from the womb and completely bypassed almost every trait and characteristic of myself and your father. Those two indomitable women, your grandmothers, wove such a tight web of DNA, you were caught in it with no choice but to live forever in their spell.

I named you, Naomi Morgan. That name I had decided upon at seventeen years of age was still in my spirit, and it was the name you'd wear for life. I had no clue how prophetic your naming was. I wasn't TRYING to name you via a spirit of prophecy. But it happened.

The name, Naomi, means, "pleasant," or "sweet." It's my mom's name. It's one of my favorite Bible hero's names. It was a good choice. 

For your middle name, of course, Morgan. 

But, if you'll remember, this came from the German word for "morning." 

I spelled it, M-O-R-G-A-N.
This changed EVERYTHING! Your name went from meaning "Pleasant Morning," to meaning, "Pleasant Seashore."

As you know, we don't have much money to banter about at will. It is highly unlikely that we will ever own a piece of real estate on any seashore. Seaside real estate is among the most expensive property on the planet. It's highly coveted land. It offers the best views. It has the most relaxing and peaceful ambiance. People will spend large amounts of cash for even one night of restful restoration at the seashore. 

But, if there's a storm a'brewing...

When you were two, and three years old, this was disconcerting. It was a daunting day for this new mommy, when you were four years old, and I picked you up from your first day of school with an IMMEDIATE parent/teacher emergency meeting. The problem was that you had learned to write your name a long time before, in all caps. This new person you hadn't learned yet to trust had the audacity to try to teach you lower-case letters. After throwing a pencil and some crayons, you clenched your teeth, gripped both hands onto your tiny chair and declared loudly, "I WILL NOT WRITE THAT!"
That was disconcerting. 

But a friend gave me a book, To Train Up A Child, by Mike & Debbie Pearl. That book showed me how to batten down the hatches. 

Had I not gotten that book...
Had I not trusted the biblical methods of training in that book...
Had I been a wimp...
You would never have learned to control and channel your storms.

But you were taught how to maintain control and beauty during the storms.

Your person provides beautiful enjoyment for me, like a lovely seaside. I ask your thoughts on a topic, and you restore sanity by pointing me in a right direction. You blow sadness away as I watch you create a drama presentation. You guide me through storms with your piano playing. I've watched you unravel someone's confusion, like a ship's mast being unfurled, with your gift to teach. You release them to sail further than they could before. You are truly such a beautiful, solid place for me to rest in the beautiful seashore of your person. When there are storms you know the drill to secure all that is of value.

And you have your own ship now. You enjoy leaving the shore and pursuing treasures your Heavenly Father has left in your heart and spirit. You're quite adept in sailing your own vessel. Some days you co-captain with me. Some days you take MY helm and navigate for me. 

I'm so thankful for your faith in God, your strength of will, and the reality of your name; Naomi Morgan. 

Best typo ever.