Thursday, June 18, 2009


Facebook has been such a fun way to reconnect with friends from my past. It has sure made the early days of parenthood much easier. I'm not much of a TV person (NFL football and West Wing on DVD excluded), so I was much more likely to surf the net during those long, fussy, clingy hours when Daniel was attached to me like velcro. In the last six months, I have reconnected with so many old friends and love reading status updates each day.

One friend I reconnected is actually a friend of my good friends, the Rossings. I met Boo because he was also in Steph and Ted's wedding. We reconnected a few years later when he sought counsel on his writing. He's a very gifted writer. We reconnected again a few months ago and I've spent some time reading his notes on Facebook. He is still a very gifted writer. And now he is taking on stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

As someone who has endured a life-changing health issue, I'm inspired by his optimism. And as today's task is bracing for Daniel's once-a-week poo explosions (really, you don't want to know much more than that!), I am grateful for the perspective in this little piece:

Goodness gracious, great balls of … fuzz?
by Brian "Boo" Wallace
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

.....The field was wide and open, a pond at one end and a little side road at the other. In the middle, strutting tall and proud across the grass, were three pairs of geese. Occasionally one of the high-held heads bobbed low and struck the ground, and there, down around knee-level (do geese have knees?) were small clouds of dirt-colored fuzz. The geese waddled on, and the fuzz went with them. This was no ordinary fuzz. It was goslings. Baby geese.
.....I couldn’t decide whether they were very cute or just kind of cute. Their heads and chests were still pale yellow, which I think if it had covered them would have made them very cute. But the rest of them was a dull brown, giving them the appearance of big dust balls. What is more, they were on the verge of leaving baby goose stage and moving into little kid goose stage. Still cute, but no longer captivatingly so. We only get to be baby cute for so long, and a good thing too. That kind of power in the hands of an adult would be … Let’s just be glad we don’t have to deal with that.
.....Each pair of geese continued on across the field with a handful of fuzzballs in tow. As mom and dad kept a lookout, the little ones busied themselves with grazing. They didn’t look up, not even when I pulled up beside them and parked the truck. They were oblivious to everything but the speck of ground right in front of them. And why not? With mom and dad on guard, they had nothing to worry about.
.....The flaw in this unobservant plan revealed itself when one little fuzzy, munching away, got separated from his own family and found himself grazing with one of the others. This did not sit well with the parents of the new group. One of them came over with head held low like a lawnmower, bearing down on the unwary wanderer. With a strike like a snake it sent the trespasser butt over beak, and a terrified McNugget went scooting off as fast as it could in the opposite direction. Up on its feet, with wing nubs held ridiculously out from its sides, it raced away, a short and aimless runny fuzzy bowling pin.
.....The poor thing had no idea where it was going. It was just running, Forrest Gump style, away from the huge goose that had snapped at it. By the time the real mom and dad of running goose noticed their little one charging off, he was already halfway across the field. They honked a few times, but he was hearing none of it. He was out of there. So off they went.
.....It reminded me of the shepherd who went after the lost sheep, because the parent geese left the other goslings where they were and they both took off across the field to corral the runaway. It was great, a high speed chase with feathers. And when they caught him, the drama was just beginning. He was still in a panic, not sure what in the world to do. He charged this way and that, heeding nothing but his innate desire to flee. Finally, after quite a bit of honking and blocking, they got him to turn around and start pecking his way in the right direction, and moments later the whole family was together again, the fuzzies eventually bedding down in the grass.
.....Parenting is a big deal.
.....Sitting here on the calendar between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I am in a position of appreciating my parents a little more than usual. When the docs let me know that what I had going on was cancer, my folks could have said “good luck with that.” It’s been a while since I was a little guy. Their legal obligation to me has been over for fifteen years. But what they said was, “come home and let us help you get through this.” Being knocked out by chemo every other week, I can’t express how big a deal it is to have a safe place to be knocked out in. Mom and Dad goose are still looking out, even now, to make sure I’m safe. Deep down, I know they always will be. I also know how rare that is, what a lucky ducky I am.
.....If you are a mom or dad, please take a moment to realize how important you are. If you are at a point with your little fuzzballs where you are weary, angry, frazzled, unappreciated, or just plain done, remember that they need you. Whether they act like it or not, they need you and they need your love for them. If you’ve got all-star chicks and parenting is the most rewarding thing on the planet, then give yourself a pat on the back and take time to thank God for giving you the “good eggs” you’ve got. Either way, your job with those kids is a big important one. I saw it over and over as a youth worker and a teacher. Your love for your kids is one of the biggest things in their entire world, whether it is present or absent. Make a brand new effort today to make sure they are getting it, and hear our silent cheers as you do.

-In honor of Nancy Dale, one tough and beautiful Mom. “Strength and a Peaceful Heart.”

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