As I cuddled with my husband late one night last week I was feeling particularly emotional. We chatted about this and that and suddenly, through the course of my chatting I had a realization,
“I don’t know who I am anymore,” I said frustratedly
“Oh stop being so dramatic,” came his reply, a smirk behind it.

I was being dramatic. Sometimes it’s fun to say things as though your lines are being read by someone in a book. But dramatic or no, it rang of truth.

Who was I? Who was this new person who had given her business card out to 4 strangers within the last two days? Who was this person who felt glum that she hadn’t had enough human interaction that day?

I suddenly realized that the words I’d always used to describe myself - introverted and shy, didn’t apply anymore. Sometimes I’m still reserved, but if I am it’s because I choose to be. Not because I’m afraid of people or of social situations.I use to prefer books to friends. While I still love books, I’d rather be with friends if the opportunity arises.

I use to sit as silent observer at social functions feeling awkward and unsure of myself. Now I’m unafraid to voice my opinions, start a new conversation or even make a joke.

I use to sit quietly at public play areas or in church waiting for others to introduce themselves to me. Now I’m the one introducing myself and seeking new friendships.

The change must have been gradual but the realization was sudden and stunning. The person I’d always defined myself as, scattered like sand and slipped through my fingers. The grains that still cling are only memories of her.
Valentine’s Day came and went. The boys had school parties the day before and on Saturday Hubby and I went out on a date. I didn’t think any more of it until today when Caleb said to me, ” Mom, you need to make me card wif a heart on it.”

I was tucking him into bed as he said this and I felt a little guilty as I realized that all his classmates had given him valentines but his own mother had not. I went out to the kitchen table and fashioned two little Valentine cards for both of my boys and delivered them to the sleepy heads soon after.

Caleb looked at the card with feigned curiosity, “What’s dis?” he said to himself opening the card.

“Dear Caleb, Happy Valentines Day. I love you! Mama,” he read and then the gushing began.

“Aw, fank you for my valentine’s card mom. You’re a Angel! Did is da best card in da whole world! “You’re da sweetest girl mama. I love you!”

I’m thinking my heart isn’t the only one this boy will melt as he gets older.
 I’m sure many of you have seen the previews for a movie currently playing in theaters called, Coraline. It looked a little Nightmare before Christmas-ish to me and it made me curious. I didn’t realize it was based on a book until I visited the library last week and happened to see the book on the shelf. I picked it up and flipped through the pages. It looked like a very short read so I checked it out thinking that maybe my husband would be interested in reading it aloud with me.

We read the first half Saturday night and finished the second half last night. Now don’t let my telling you that it is a dark and twisted tale scare you off. I highly recommend this book. Yes, it’s creepy and heart pounding but it’s a powerful example of doing the right thing in spite of the evil that’s threatening to crush you. And any author that can get my adrenaline rushing and visuals swirling through my head as I read a passage of story is a talented one indeed.

Now I come to what inspired this post in the first place, there is a part in this book when Coraline is making a decision to either face the evil or not and she recalls a memory. She and her father had gone on a walk one day. They went down a hill to the bottom of a gully where a stream was when Coraline’s father yelled at her to run away, up the hill that instant. Then Coraline continues:

“As I got to the top of the hill I heard somebody thundering up the hill behind me. It was my dad, charging like a rhino…The air was alive with yellow wasps. We must have stepped on a wasps nest in a rotten branch as we walked. And while I was running up the hill, my dad stayed and got stung to give me time to run away…He had thirty-nine stings all over him…He said that he wasn’t scared when he was standing there and the wasps were stinging him and hurting him and he was watching me run away. Because he knew he had to give me enough time to run, or the wasps would have come after both of us…”

As I read this passage I cried, hard. I laughed through my tears as I explained why to Tom. One time on a family camping trip my younger brother and sister went off into the wood to explore a bit. They were still within site, a bright piece of shirt here, the top of my brothers head there. Very soon we heard blood curdling cries. We glanced into the wood and saw hundreds of wasps swarming through the air not far from camp. In an instant my dad had dashed straight into the swarming wasps, hoisted my siblings up and came stampeding out of the woods with them, still batting off the wasps. I don’t remember much after that. All I remember was knowing how much my dad loved us because he went straight into what he knew would be agony to rescue his children.

It’s amazing how one little act like that lets you know so much about a person.