Sunday, October 26, 2008

This blog is being neglected... I can actually work on writing my book.

There. I typed it out loud. I am committed. I am writing a novel.

I must be insane.

More posts this week, I promise.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The wasp

I have a terrible, reason-numbing fear of stinging insects. I never liked bees and wasps very much, but my fear became a phobia when my brother, father and I were swarmed by a nest of black wasps at Mary Ann Falls in the Cape Breton Highlands when I was 13.

When wasps surround our backyard barbecue or the church picnic, I have one reaction: scoop up the kids and run.

I've been fighting my flight instincts this summer, trying to be a better role model for the kids, because Victoria is full of wasps. It's as if a cloud of yellow and black terror appears whenever I step outside in the late summer and early fall. I don't want the kids to inherit this irrational fear, so I've been trying to push myself. I try to flinch when I usually run, and swat when I usually flinch.

The children and I were at a birthday party today. Afterwards, while I was loading them into the minivan, a wasp flew in the open window.

I encouraged it to fly back out the window. It kept inside the van. I tried shooing it out. It would fly out the window, then right back in. I tried swatting at it. It headed back towards the kids, then straight at me.

It landed on the windshield. I snatched up a napkin from the car console, and stared down my adversary.

"Mom, are you going to kill it?" Big. I. asked.

"Yes," I said, steeling myself. "I love you guys enough to kill a wasp."

I slammed the napkin down over the wasp. Ha! Got it!

The black and yellow nemesis walked out from underneath it and down towards my hand. Arrggghhh.

I moved the napkin, trapped the bug under it, and brought my other hand over it with a slam.

Squish. Adversary defeated.

I might be a world-class chicken, but my kids make me brave enough to face some fears, wasps included.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

On unseen friends

This Thursday was the Feast of the Guardian Angels in Catholic Christendom. I try to remember this feast day ever year; some years I plan an entire dinner and crafts for the kids. We used to do this with our friends G and G, and their children. Some years (like this week's feast) I remember to bring home dessert, and then discuss guardian angels with the kids.

I know many people think of guardian angels as cute, naked babies. I don't. The picture above is is more what comes to mind when I think of them.

Guardian angels are powerful protectors of what's most important: our souls. It bothers me when people focus on how they can save us physically; while I think they can and do try to keep us generally safe, and may have some ability to help us heal, their power is spiritual, not physical. I'm never going to expect the children's guardian angels to scoop them out of the path of a truck, and I've told them point-blank their angels will not protect their bodies if they do something extremely dangerous, such as run into the road. We have free will, after all, and God has created this world so that actions have consequences. Running in front of a truck usually nets you the consequence of injury or death.

I do think guardian angels can influence us, if we're willing to be open to that. And I know they pray for us unceasingly.

My dad and lots of other readers are going to think this is a lot of tosh, and that's fine. But let me tell you, I firmly believe Toddler N. would not have survived my pregnancy if it wasn't for the influence of her guardian angel -- over me. Whenever I seriously considered aborting due to my illness, it was only a prayer to Toddler N.'s guardian angel that could push that thought away.

I also think my grandmother has the toughest guardian angel in the business, and when she finally decides to head up to God's neighbourhood, I almost envy the zygote that's going to get next dibs.

Super A. has a vivid imagination, so discussion of angels always fascinate him. He told me a few months ago his guardian angel is his big sister Hope -- the baby I lost to miscarriage in my first pregnancy eight years ago. No matter how many times we explain angel duties are not given to human souls, he insists. It's so indicative of A. -- wanting a special relationship, a loving and protective one, with this sister he never met. A chance to not be the biggest, but to be a little brother in need of help.

If you're looking for a way to introduce guardian angels to your little ones, I heartily recommend "Angel in the Waters" by Regina Doman.

Dear guardian angel, pray for me. And N.'s guardian angel: once again, thanks so much, my friend.