Saturday, August 17, 2013

Of home and heart renovations

Dear Cam and Scott

It’s been almost two months since I last archived your unfolding days because life has been full and frenetic and kind of like scrambling to stay on a treadmill that’s going too fast.

We’re moving in a week. The other night we’d finished bedtime stories and we were waiting for Dad to get home and I put on a CD and we danced wild in the lounge as we have at so many bedtimes and now amidst boxes packed and labelled (sort of) and you both begged me to spin you ‘til we were dizzy. How I’ll miss this lovely home.

Cam, you had squint surgery on your left eye on the 29th July. Your anxiety over the operation resulted in some off-the-charts whining and tantrum-throwing. But closer to crunch time you showed courage and calm way beyond your years and we were so very proud of you. Your eye is healing beautifully and already we’re seeing a difference and I think you might be, too. Time will tell if and how much this will improve your vision. The other day I asked you how your eye was feeling. You beamed and said, ‘Very good! It’s just a bit achy and scratchy and itchy and stinging but it’s fine!’ Oh, that Jesus would guard your irrepressible optimism as you navigate this crazy life. You are still fascinated by metals (‘Can you cut through copper with an angle grinder?’) and fabrics (‘Mom is this nylon or polyester?’) and army rescue helicopters and offshore lifeboats and box cars and you help me carry groceries in from the car and you get the tomato sauce and mustard out the fridge at suppertime. (Thanks, my brave shining star.) Yesterday at breakfast I could see you weren’t yourself. I asked, ‘Is something making you anxious?’ You replied, ‘Yes. I’m feeling anxious about moving to the new house because I think the lounge won’t look the same.’ Your remarkable ability to articulate your emotions helps us so much to parent you.

Scott, you are potty-trained! Woo hoo! (Insert: our ceremonial celebratory hand ritual: high 5 – low 5 – baby 5 – fist pump – claw!) For sure, life is not without its lavatorial accidents. But the other night we forgot your nappy at bedtime and you slept all night in undies, dry as a desert. And it’s freakin’ fantastic for me to leave the house with only a handbag. You had your first (successful) swimming lesson this week (after an abortive attempt in January). You were so super excited that you put on your costume an hour and a half early. After five minutes in the pool with Coach Bradley you yelled, ‘I swimming like a fish!’ I love the way you say ‘Incredible!’ and the way you hurtle down the passage with absolute purpose. I just adore your snuggles and the way you stroke my cheeks and tell me you love me with ‘even my whole heart!’ and your emphatic declarations of, ‘I – am Mommy’s – LAMB!’ On the way home from school yesterday, Cam reached through the headrest to feel my hair. He said, ‘Your hair looks so silky. It looks like satin.’ You said, ‘No Cammy. She’s not silky. She’s beautiful.’

My boys, you’re growing so fast. And Dad and I have been aware lately that we wouldn’t be doing you any favours by making you out to be holier than you are. So we’re not shying away from showing you your selfish hearts when one of you smacks the other on the head with a plastic axe or when the I-had-it-first battles rage. We never want you to be deluded into thinking that you don’t desperately need the redemption of Christ.

Our new house is being renovated (thanks to Uncle Kean and Aunty Kim – who are selling it to us – big yay!) and if ever I thought that perhaps I should have pursued a career in the construction industry this experience has shown me that that would most certainly have been an epic fail. I strongly – strongly – dislike hardware stores and, if I’m honest, the people who work in them. I suspect this has more to do with me than it has to do with them because aisles and aisles of small metal objects from which I have to select something that will prevent sewerage from coming through a basin drain makes me go into a cold sweat and quite often I end up crying.

An unexpected pleasure has been the catharsis of painting things clean and wheeling away barrow loads of building rubble and miscellaneous garden junk ranging from curious to dangerous. And spending time with Grampa who has done all sorts of snag-listing and fixing and hammering and polite suggesting and life-saving.

The house isn’t quite finished yet, which seriously messes with the straight lines in my head. I’d really like it to be flawless the day we move in so that I never have to go into another hardware store. Ever again. And because I don’t want unfinished projects. I want perfection. But God has been reminding me gently that all four of us are unfinished projects and so actually, why shouldn’t our home reflect that? He’s been whispering about journeys and gratitude and it-is-what-it-is and privilege and first-world problems and letting go.

Still, I do want this move to be wonderful for you both, because chances are (and this is no prediction or guarantee – just a projection of strong probability) the next time you move will be to varsity or your own flat or a home with your bride. Dad and I have always prayed that our home would be safe and simple. Warm and welcoming. Clean and neat (mostly). Beautiful, and always open to you, your friends and any that God chooses to bring. A refuge where you will be free to rest and wrestle as God calls out the men you are to be. A place of peace where Christ is King. We fervently and expectantly pray those things for this next home, too.  

Here are some pics of the last couple of months. (Some of them are sideways and upside down - will try and fix. I blame my new S4. So random. They're all the right way around on my laptop...?)

Love you so, so much, my bears.



 Prezzies from Portland

 Our not-yet new kitchen
 Cam and Annabelle
 Botanical gardens with the van Reenens, Simpsons, Earls and Eberleins
 Box construction

 Waiting for your op
 Going into theatre
 Visits from Teacher Karen

 Lachlan and Analia's SA wedding


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