Wednesday, December 23, 2009

El Indio, el Sol y el Viento (I Love You)

I say 'I love you' a lot.  But only when I feel it.  When I do feel it, I feel it hard.  I love without reserve. I can't help it.

When I was growing up we didn't verbalize 'I love you'.  It felt awkward and far too humbling.  I had to convince myself it was Ok to say those three simple words.  Took some getting use to.  It was scary at first.

I've said it a lot lately.  My sister's kids are staying at my place this week.  I've missed them.  I can't stop hugging and kissing them and telling them I love them.

"I love you, Grant. I'm so glad you're back.  What are you thinking?  Here's your hot chocolate, honey."

"You are so GORGE, Toby!  Your make up looks great! You look like a big kid.  I love you, missy."

My house is a zoo.  8 little monkeys and ME.  I seriously love it!

I went to bed last night at 3am.  The kids were asleep so I cleaned like a madman. 

I woke up at noon today (yay for no school!).  I heard the kids wreaking havoc at 7am but I put a pillow over my head and let them go nuts.  When I finally emerged from slumber with bleary eyes I found disaster.  DISASTER!  They had fed themselves.  There were syrup and gooey Eggo waffles absolutely everywhere.  There was paint on every visible surface along with craft supplies.  The children looked like street urchins and were running races down the hall in pajamas with chocolate on their laughing faces.

Did I start cleaning immediatly?  Did I put my foot down?  Nope. I was happy to see them happy.  I didn't want to see the mess.  I wanted to play. I put on a baseball hat and said, "Let's walk to the park guys!".

And we did.

I was the Pied Piper as I walked down the street with 8 rowdy children in tow. I was the rowdiest of all.

Serena said, "Mom, you're soooo crazy!"

Grant said, "I like it.  You make me laugh."  I love to make Grant laugh.  He's a tough crowd sometimes. :)

Often I'm told I let my kids (and my sister's kids) 'step all over' me.  I'm told to be more firm and forceful to inspire good behavior.  Whatever.  That's not how I operate.

My Abuelito (grandfather) used to tell a story he lived by. 

Sun and Wind saw a young indian boy traveling on foot.  He carried with him a colorful blanket which he wrapped around his shoulders.

"I have the power to take the blanket from that boy!" said the Wind. "I am strong and powerful! I am stronger than you."

The Sun smiled, "I believe I can cause the boy to surrender his beautiful blanket."

The gauntlet had been thrown.

Wind blew fiercely and ferociously.  Wind blew with all her might. She whipped about the boy. Sand blinded him.  He could barely continue walking so strong was the force of the bitter Wind.

In response to the sting of Wind and chill the boy held onto his blanket with all his strength.  The harder Wind blew the harder he held on.  He used the blanket as a shield against Wind. He wrapped his head and body in the colorful blanket.  His knuckles were white and his hands numb as he continued grasping tightly. She spun around him with no mercy.  Still he did not let go.

Wind became exhausted and frustrated.  "Well!  Good luck with that!  If I cannot force the boy to release the blanket you certainly have no chance."

She screamed in frustration and swooped down one last time in the hopes of taking the colorful possession into the sky with her.  The boy held fast.

Sun smiled again.  He said nothing.  Instead he waited for Wind to die down.  When all was calm Sun sent down his golden rays with a kiss.  He warmed the boy.

Within moments the boy slowly relaxed his grip.  His body was soothed. He sighed deeply. He stood erect and walked for another few moments.  Sun continued to dispense warmth upon the boy.  The boy turned his face to Sun.  He smiled slightly and removed the blanket from about his shoulders.

My Abuelito believed in soft Love.  He understood Love cannot be forced.  He understood the gentle warmth of Sun is far more powerful than the sting of bitter Wind.  My Abuelito's Love always felt like sunlight.  Gentle.  Warm.  Selfless.

I try to love like he did.  I understand that Love cannot be forced.  Love responds to warmth.

When McCartney (named after THE Paul McCartney) says, "Crystal!  I HATE this ham sandwich!  Can I have pb&j instead?"  I smile.  I give him what he wants.  A pb&j made with Love.

As I fullfil Mack's special request I watch my 8 beautiful babies eat and laugh and fight and throw food.

"Mom! Tyson put his carrots in my drink!"

I sigh.  I love you.