Thursday, January 10, 2008


13 days into my New Years Illness – flu turned to bronchitis, turned to pneumonia. Seriously, I have had so much hot tea that I’m starting to speak with an English accent. This is not how I expected the Great ’08 Starting Line to look.

I have had warm thoughts of my childhood lately, when my sweet Mother would hand me a bell when I was ill and then come running at the little ring-a-ding-ding with anything I needed.

The Sick Bell.

How come we don’t get sick bells as grown ups? We need juice? We get up and get juice. We need to throw up? We hold our hand over our mouths and run as fast as we can. We don’t make it? We scrub until the floor is clean. And this is why we love our Mothers more the older we get -- because they’re not there to do all the things we used to take for granted.

I’m spoiled, I know it and admit it. But everyone should have a Sick Bell handed to them on the days they feel bad.

Despite not feeling well, the year is off to a, let’s say, Brave start. Chris and I have started our certification courses to become Foster Parents. An exciting, humbling, nervous-ing venture that no doubt will bless our socks off, if we are just brave enough to let it.

ChellBell thinks Fostering is a fantastic idea. In addition to getting a little sister (or several), she’s encouraged that Foster families can’t spank, though she’s learning that sometimes it’s worse to have things taken away. She does have to give up her trampoline – there’s no work-around for that. But no fear, she has lists and lists of things that can replace it, including a swimming pool, a tree house – which would involve getting a tree, and a roller skating rink.

I think it will be an amazing year for the three of us to learn what it means to literally open our lives to someone. To say to someone we’ve never met, “Come on in. It’s okay to bring your sadness and anger and confusion, because you’ve been hurt.” But over time, help them replace the hard and hurtful baggage that they carry, even as children, with the ability to hope and forgive and smile and anticipate good things.

Everyone needs to be loved by a Mom. Sick Bell kind of love. And if I can give that to another child – even just for a while – well, maybe she’ll be able to give Sick Bell kind of love to her kids one day. Because someone did it for her.

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