Friday, October 29, 2010


Watching my two little men this week has reminded me of what Henry Miller said:

‘The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware; joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.’

C. S. Lewis called it ‘quiddity’: ‘familiar objects you see every day are actually great treasures. There is a wonder to the “thingness” of things...’

Like the fact that Scotty smiles so sweetly, and makes intriguing gurgling noises into my cheeks when we snuggle. He is insanely beautiful to me.

And Cam continues to come up with fantastic statements… His Nanna took him to her Boys’ High music room the other day, where a boy was practising his French horn. ‘That’s my vuvuzela!’ shouted Cam. Then they came across a poor soul going through his piece on the violin. ‘There’s a chain saw!’ shrieked Cam excitedly... He also announced loudly, for all to hear, in church on Sunday: 'I have snot in my nose!' When Murray gets home from work the two of them always play hide and seek – or ‘hiding and sneaking’, as Cam calls it :) (Parents of VI kids: this is excellent visual therapy, by the way, as it forces Cam to use his eyes, though he needs tip-offs from me to find his Dad!)

I took the boys to Struben Dam yesterday afternoon, and was quite overjoyed to discover again the tranquillity of the place, right on our bustling suburban doorstep. I took along Cam’s favourite tea-time treat – those tiny frosted doughnuts from Woolies. He is quite transported when he’s chewing on one of those – he totally gets the ‘quiddity’ of a doughnut, and not a crumb goes to waste. :)
'O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers - the moon and the stars that you set in place - what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?' - Psalm 8:1-4

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photos of...

Cousins, playing drums, Nanna, Amani’s visit, etc...

(Like his big bro, Scott smiled for the first time at exactly a month old! He’s not very good at it yet, so I haven’t captured footage yet...! :)

'When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about…' - James M. Barrie

Happy Cammy!

I just wanted to share that Cam’s behaviour and attitude have vastly improved over the past week or so. Whew...! Praise for answered prayer! He is smiling, jumping, hugging, giggling – his happy little self again, peaceful soul intact. There are far fewer tantrums and whining episodes - though these have not yet been totally eradicated :).

'We all mould one another's dreams. We all hold each other's fragile hopes in our hands.'
- Anonymous

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Letter to Cameron

My Cammy

I’m writing this letter to you even though you won’t be able to understand it all just yet. It’s for me more than it is for you – I’ll feel better knowing that I’ve shared with you exactly what’s on my heart.

I know that the past three or four weeks have been difficult for you. You have been fascinated by your brother, and you really love him, for which I am so very grateful! But it’s obvious that his arrival has rocked your little world. You have been throwing irrational tantrums and whining about things that normally wouldn’t upset you at all. Some days you are quite sullen and distant – not the irrepressibly happy, engaging little soul we know – and then other days you are clingy, you call for me constantly, and you only want to ‘hug and love’ me.

It has been heartbreaking for me to watch you struggle, and I’ve felt really desperate and helpless a lot of the time. (And alone – no one else seems to be going through this!) I’ve consulted the experts (like James Dobson, and Granny and Nanna) and I know that it’s normal for an older sibling to act up when a new little one arrives and is loved into the family, and I also know that at two and a half you are in the prime of your toddler-ish, tantrum-throwing, terrible-twos! But I also know that your journey over the past two and a half years hasn’t been all that ‘normal’, and because of that I do think you’ve had extra gallons of love ladled out onto you. That’s perhaps why having this new tiny body in the house, demanding Mom’s time and attention, is somewhat more of an adjustment for you.

I just want you to know, without ever doubting, that your place in my heart hasn’t shifted. (With Scott’s arrival, my heart-space has now simply increased, in a miraculous, loaves-and-fish kind of way.) Like I tell you every single day, you are Mommy’s brave shining star, and I love you with my whole heart. I am hugging, touching, loving, reassuring you, as much as possible, everyday. I’m trying to find time alone with you, everyday, and I’m trying to make sure we still get to do our favourite things together. I’m trying to be gentle, but firm and consistent: the rules are the rules, because I know that it’s the boundaries that give you security.

I’m praying for you, everyday, and trusting that God will strengthen your heart, affirm you with his love and peace, and heal any hurts. Jesus came to bring us abundant life, and I’m praying that the joy and fun of having a brother will soon be abounding in your life!

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom. We’ve had lots of fun this week, too, on jungle gyms and in the pool and just playing in the lounge. And you exuberantly announced the other day, ‘I love living in the Jacaranda City!’ We went to Plantland yesterday, where you were once stung by a bee. You didn’t want to go in, until we’d prayed to Jesus, asking him to protect us from bees. Your mountain-moving faith is too cute, and so humbling and inspiring. Your imagination and the way you express things, quite poetically, continues to amuse and amaze me. Today I needed five minutes to get something done and I asked you to tell Scott a story. You started off with, ‘You know, Scott...’ and proceeded to retell one of the stories we’d read earlier. Tonight at the Van Reenens I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, watching you, Meagan and Craig ecstatically, noisily, laughingly ‘drive down to Nature’s Valley for a holiday’ on their big green bean bag! You make up fascinating words – like ‘zomb’ and ‘wub’ and ‘goom’ – and you actually use them in sentences (like, ‘The balloon is zombing up to the roof and then sinking down into the sky...’ – which doesn’t make sense, but makes me think of Chomsky’s iconic sentence, ‘Colourless green ideas sleep furiously...’).

Anyway, I just needed you to know that, even though things might be feeling weird to you, nothing has changed my Cammy love. If anything, I love you more now than ever. Hang in there, my boy. This too shall pass. And, as with all things, God will cause it for your good and his glory.

All my love



(Lots of cool photos to follow shortly!) :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Here’s a poem I wrote in the wee hours of Monday morning...

Overwhelmed at 3:00 am

These are the secret hours of the night
When neighbourhoods are dark and sleepy and safe, mostly.
But here we are
Wide awake
Brewing desperate tea
Because we’re just kids
Raising kids
Who won’t sleep

(You might wonder, where is the celebration of life and God’s glory? Well, the tea was soothing, and we ended up laughing, and eventually both boys did fall asleep. And his mercies are new every morning, and he gives strength to the weary.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

While Scott was sleeping...

...Cam and I did Marie biscuit art...

...and the wheels on the bus went round and round, on Cam’s awesome little TV. He gets the whole picture – no loss of vision because of being too close to the screen, or not having much peripheral vision. The heavens declare the glory of the Lord (first spring rains last night!) – and so does the low-vision technology available to Cam!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Inspirational stuff from Dobson

James Dobson describes, in an inspirational nutshell, just what the Christian family should be all about. What an encouragement! (This is from his Parents’ Answer Book, 2003)

The eternal plan for the family, as I understand it, begins with a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, undergirded by absolute loyalty and fidelity to one another. The husband then devotes himself to the best interests of his wife, providing for her needs and protecting her to the point of death if necessary. The wife honours her husband, devotes herself to him, and respects his leadership in the family. If they are blessed with children, those children are recognized to have inestimable worth and dignity – not for what they produce or accomplish, but for who they are as God’s own handiwork. They are taught while very young to yield to the authority of their parents. Boundaries of behaviour are established in advance and then enforced with reasonable firmness. They learn honesty, integrity, humility, self-control, personal responsibility, sexual purity, concern for others, the work ethic, and the fundamentals of their faith. They are never subjected to humiliation, rejection, sexual exploitation, or abuse of any kind. Instead, they enjoy unconditional love and are raised ‘in the fear and admonition of the Lord.’

Let me leave you with this thought: When you and I have reached the end of our brief journey on this earth, nothing will matter more to us than the quality of our families and the depth of our relationship with God. ‘Meaning’ in this human experience is drawn essentially from these two sources. If that is true, then should we not live by those priorities every day that remains to us?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Photos, and cute comments...

I’ve had a very happy week – just being home; blessed by visitors every day; snoozing whenever I can between feeding Scott and building Lego towers with Cam...

However, having a two and a half year old toddler and a two week old baby under one roof has its challenges! This afternoon, Scott was sleeping on our bed, after his bath. In an attempt to hug his brother, Cam pulled Scott off the bed and onto the floor... Praise God – no apparent concussion or other damages to the wee one... But the parents got a massive fright, and Cam was very upset when he realised what he’d done! Less dramatic was Cam’s attempt yesterday to draw on Scott’s head with a yellow crayon...

Here are some of Cam’s comments and conversations from the past few days:

I always sit next to Cam’s bed at bedtime, until he falls asleep. The other night, Murray was holding Scott in the lounge, while I was sitting with Cam. Scott started crying. Cam opened his eyes and said, ‘That’s Scott crying.’ I said, ‘Yes, he’s in the lounge with Dad.’ To which Cam responded in a tone that suggested that Dad clearly wasn’t coping: ‘I think we should go and get him from Dad.’

A friend of ours gave Cam a set of little cars this week (just for being the big brother). One of the cars is an old-school yellow Volkswagen kombi (the kind that had those really 70’s curtains in the windows). Cam immediately labelled it the ‘taxi bus’. One of his latest stunts is to throw things into the swimming pool. Before I could stop him, I saw him hurtle outside with the car. He came back inside after a few moments and announced cheerfully, ‘I hope that taxi bus can swim!’ (It was already at the bottom of the pool.)

After Cam’s bath last night, he was a bit whiney and seemed uncomfortable.
Me: ‘What’s bothering you, my boy?’
Cam: ‘My pyjama shorts are quite dodgy.’


We would appreciate prayers for wisdom – to know just how to handle Cam’s reactions to our new family dynamic. While he dotes on Scott adoringly, he has stepped up the frequency of his tantrums, and his potty training has regressed. Pray that his little heart would know absolute peace and security, and that he would feel measurelessly loved!

From When Moms Pray Together by Fern Nichol:

‘Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that the children you have entrusted to us are not ours, but yours. It is your right to author their life story. I surrender my little arrows into your hand, for the ‘purpose and grace’ you have planned for them in Christ Jesus before the ages began...’