Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shopping Anyone?

Raise your hand if you enjoy shopping?

Now, Keep your hand up if you want to go shopping?

Still up?

Alright, leave your hand in the air if you want to go shopping with a four year old and a ten month old?

Why did you put your hand down?

Exactly. This past weekend, my wife and I came up with the brilliant idea to bundle up our family, on a below zero day, and make our way to the local shopping mall. My wife had a list of things we needed, and some that we just wanted. It wasn't a huge list. The usual diapers, formula and milk, and then the non-essentials of clothing, shoes and some giftcards that were burning a hole in her purse.

Great idea!! Let's pack up the crew and head out. The mall is supposed to be a one-stop shop. Bing, Bang and out. Right?

Not on this day. Our four year old had plans of his own and our 10 month old didn't want anything to do with any of the plans that were made. Besides the frigid temperatures, every store we entered was much too small for our giant sized double stroller. Leaving me to fend for myself and battle every obstacle, no matter how big or small. To add to the frustration of maneuvering this beast were the two little arms that randomly grabbed anything and everything that came within reach.

Then there was a four year old that decided shopping just wasn't on his master agenda for the day. However, riding in every coin operated car, rocketship or boat was very appealing. His plan left us kicking and screaming every 50 feet or so as coin operated machines are strategically placed in most shopping malls. I am sure there is a great reason for having soo many of these machines so close together but I fail to see it at this point in time.

After 2 hours of trying to pry little hands off of clothing racks, racecars and every other obstacle the towel was thrown in. We were extremely unsuccessful at any type of shopping, only garnering about 1/4 of what we had intended. We were, however, successful at carrying a screaming 4 year old through a crowd of people, and getting home in time for all of us to crash and take 2 hour naps.

I start to think that our lives are starting to slow down and that things will get easier and easier for us as we grow as a family. This does not seem to be the case. When one obstacle gets surpassed, there tends to be another one just waiting to be met. This great idea to go shopping quickly turned into a reminder that our plans just don't always work out and to just roll with punches.
Maybe it was a not so subtle way to let us know that we all needed to just stop and relax. I am typically not a napper, so a two hour snooze is very unusual. Or maybe it was a sign to tell us to slow down and not try to accomplish so much in one day. Just enjoy our family and the time we have together. Or maybe, just maybe, it was just as simple as this... Kids don't like shopping!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Letter to Anna and Lydia, Remember to Play

Last night we were informed that our friend Paul had passed away and was in heaven. It didn't come as a surprise to us as he had been battling cancer.

As we got ready for bed it was on all of our minds and deep in our hearts as we thought of all of the loved ones that he left behind. Two of them came to mind more than others. Paul was an awesome grandpa to his grandkids, and we have been privelaged to get to know two of them very well. Our 4 year old, Isaiah, has become good friends with Lydia and is especially fond of Anna. They are all roughly the same age so they all play together when Isaiah gets the chance to visit his Aunt Sissy.

While we were tucking Isaiah into bed lastnight we decided to mention the passing of Paul. We said that Anna and Lydia's grandpa was in heaven and with Grandpa Larry now. We said our prayers. My wife prayed for the family of Paul and the two little girls, and I followed with some of the same. Then it was Isaiah's turn. He wasn't exactly sure how to start it off or what really to say, so he copied some of our lines initially and then got the hang of it. The following is a transcript of what he said. It is not exact as I cannot remember it word for word but it is as close as I can come.

Isaiah- "Please let Anna and Lydia get a good nights sleep and their mommy and daddy too. Make sure they are safe and that they are not sad now. Make sure that they look at "the star" in the sky where their grandpa is. (Isaiah has a special star that he watches. It is Grandpa Larry. If you want to see it look to the west and it is the brightest one up there) When they wake up they can play with lots of trains so that they will happy, I like trains, except that they probably don't have trains because they are girls, so they have lots of girl toys that they will play with to be happy. Maybe I can play trains with them when I see them so they are happy. Let them sleep good tonight and have a good day tomorrow. Amen"

So to the family of Paul. Please know that we are thinking of you, all of you. This is a happy and a sad time. Let all emotions flow. And in the words of a 4 year old boy, remember to play. I am sure Paul would want you too.

Love to all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


As I am writing today it is with a heavy heart. Two people in my life are both in the same hospice center fighting for their lives. Both of them have fought very courageous battles with cancer and are now nearing the end of their fight.
I cannot say that I know Paul extremely well, but I have been a witness to his handy work. One of his sons is a good friend of mine and I don't think there is a better way to tell what kind of man a person is than by meeting their children. And I can tell you that in my eyes, Paul is a great man. He has done great things for his family and is now getting ready to say, "goodbye".
Then there is Cheryl. I have known her for some time now and her husband actually built our house. (an exact replica of theirs) She is a carpool partner with my mother-in-law, and a very good friend of the family. Her accomplishments in life include being a mother and an extremely proud grandmother. She, also, is preparing to say, "goodbye".
Which brings me to my reason for writing today. The word Goodbye. What does it actually mean? It can mean a host of things to a great number of different people. Today I got an email from my sister that was asking this same question, and giving her thoughts on the topic. A quote that I thought was provoking was this, she wrote "I can't be sad for those who pass on...yes, I will miss them dearly but I am happy for them, for they are celebrating".
How cool is that? We need not be sad for those that are passing on. They are going to a better place where they will celebrate a new life, in a now home with a new family. Yes, as she states, they will be sorely missed, and the voids left will be felt for a long time. However, it is not supposed to be a sad time for us. We are living on borrowed time and eventually it will be our chance to go and experience the celebration.
Is goodbye supposed to be a sad thing or happy thing? I can't really say. I have experienced being able to say goodbye. To be able to sit and ponder the past and have those last days and moments was truly a blessing. It was also extremely hard to see a person that was a mere shell of what they formerly were.
I have also experienced not being able to say goodbye. My father passed away suddenly when I was eight and there was no chance at a goodbye. Or was there? My goodbye came the morning of his passing as he walked out the door. I was eating breakfast and he was off for work. We said goodbye to each other. I didn't get the last few days of his life to relive the past of go over things left unsaid. He was just gone when I returned from school. However, I do have a lasting image of a strong, capable man that could fix anything and love anyone.
So which is a better way to say goodbye? I don't know if there is one. Each has its own benefits. I do know that we all have that chance to say goodbye, you just might not recognize it as the "last" time you will say it. My advice to you, and something I am striving to do myself, is to make ALL of your Goodbyes count. Make sure that the person you are wishing goodbye to knows that you mean it. It doesn't have to be a bad or a sad word. In my sisters words it can simply mean, "see you tomorrow".
I will leave this post with a song that has been in my head for a long time now. It is a song that speaks to me personally about the ones that I have said goodbye to. I hope you enjoy.
GOODBYE- Audio Adrenaline
You'll be fine tomorrow
The sun will rise
again It's never easy to say goodbye
You know I'll always love you
You know I always will

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye My old friend (my old friend)
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye We've reached the end (we've reached the end)

I don't cry for sorrow,
I cry with joy
The memories we've made can't be destroyed
You know I won't forget you
You know I never could
And when I said I loved you
You know I meant for good

Love to all,

Friday, January 16, 2009

Time? What is your "time"?

Almost 5 months ado to the day, 8-15-08 to be exact, I was escorted to a waiting plane at the local airport. I didn't get to take a limo, or even a taxicab. I was loaded into the back of an ambulance with my 4 year old son that was strapped to a bed. The flight wasn't planned so that we could enjoy a family vacation or even go and see some long lost relatives. It was an impromptu journey into the world of the unknown.
What I mean by that is, it brought us to a place that we were not familiar with physically, and a place where time seemed to stand still. You see, my son was entering the beginning stages of a month long battle with HUS, a disease brought on by E. Coli.
The place was Children's Hospital in downtown Minneapolis. A place that I would hope most people never need to visit, but if that need arises the best place in the world to be. It was a place where children came to fight for their health and the people that surrounded them were the best in their profession.
The time was...well, you already know the date but I want to be more specific than that. The time was a time that will, and has, changed the lives of many people. It was a time in our lives, my immediate family, that clocks seemed to move slowly or not at all. The days passed by at an overwhelmingly slow pace. Each day felt like the one before and at times the saying, "each day is better than the next" seemed to be very true.
It was a time in our lives that didn't need to be spent away from home, especially hundreds of miles. This was supposed to be a healing time for my wife, who 8 days prior underwent a bilateral mastectomy to help ease the anxiety and fears of breast cancer. We were supposed to be helping her, allowing her the time to relax and recover from a major surgery.
It was a time when were to be enjoying our last days summer and preparing for a busy year at school. Our four year old would be preparing to enter preschool and playing outside with his friends. Likewise, our five month old was supposed to be spending quality time with us as we would soon get him ready and comfortable with daycare and being away from his home.
Instead of all these well made plans coming to fruition, the clock stopped and uprooted all of our "reality".
You see, five months ago, I sat in a hospital room far from my home and security. I wasn't thinking about getting my classroom ready for school. Or mowing the lawn or even making sure the garage door was closed when I pulled out of the driveway. My wife was not thinking about relaxing, laying in a bed to heal and being catered to so that she could get back to life. Daycare was not even being considered, and preschool was something that would have to wait for another day.
As I sat in that hospital room, watching my oldest son fight for his life, I realized some things. Actually many things, but for now I will share this.
My time is not mine. Clocks, calendars and schedules do not care who I am or what I do. All of these were what I would have defined "time" as five months ago. I do not control the next minute in the day and I do not have a say in where I will be tomorrow or next month. On August 8, I enjoyed a petting zoo with my son and had the best laid plans set out in front of me. Seven days later, I was reminded, NO make that slapped in the face with the reality, not to get comfortable with my time.
My time still consists of clocks, calendars and schedules, because it has to.
However, my "new time" is much different than that. Now, I would define "time" with many different words. I am a husband that devotes my time to growing with my wife and experiencing life with her. I am a father that tries to set a good example and guide two young boys along the path to manhood. I am a teacher who attempts to mold young minds into caring people and lifelong learners. I am a son, brother and friend that strives to be the best that I can be. And finally, but not necessarily last, I am a Christian man that has found out one major thing. I do not control the "time" that is given to me but I trust that the time will allow me a few things.
To be the dad my boys need, the husband my wife desires and the brother, son and friend people in my life want to be around. If I can accomplish all of these things in my "time" here I will be able to spread my faith and love to those that I come in contact with.
So what is "time" to you? Is it a clock, a calendar or a certain schedule you adhere to? Or is it more? What does your "time" mean to you? Do you have to follow it exactly, or does it fly by and take you places that you never even dreamed possible?
I know what my time is!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From the mouths of Babes!

Here we are, a week removed from some of the nastiest flu bugs to hit our house in a long time. And possibly at the worst possible time. It started with Mikah and slowly worked its way down a line of about 15 people. Thankfully it has missed me up to this point, but it really took its toll on Anne and Isaiah just a few days into their surgery recoveries. Anywho, it really got me thinking about some things and my boys.
Ever since Isaiah has got his "new teeth" he has been on a talking rampage. The best I can figure is that it maybe hurt his little mouth to talk at times before, and now he is not having those same pains. Excellent news. To go along with his chatter we have to remember that he spends most of his days with his little brother, 9 month old Mikah, and a host of adult ladies that journey in and out of our house. So, most conversations that he has are with a babbling infant usually screaming "mamamama" or a grownup.
It is amazing how his language skills develop over time and to hear the things that he picks up on and tries to use at a later date. I will provide you with some examples that I have caught and if you have others, which I am sure you do, please share.
1. While battling the flu, and locked up in our bedroom and watching movies with mom for two days, "Dad, mom and I are homesick today aren't we?" He used this with the idea that he was at home and sick but it came out of his mouth as if he missed home.
2. After a fairly decent bout of throwing up his 7-up for the umpteenth time, "Wow, that was really alot of work." Smiled and then back to his movie.
3. When a huge sneeze came flying out of his little body just the other day, "That's what I've been waiting for"
4. In true Peters fashion of not being able to keep a secret he told Aunt Linda, "We got you a chicken CAR for your birthday." When in reality he had picked out a carD with buffalo wings on it. This all took place the day before her birthday as well.
5. Now just some random words that he likes to throw out periodically, "Hilarious", "Everytime", "Nuffin" and "Berry Sweet."

At times I can't wait for him to grow up and see what he does with his life and where the road will take him and his brother. He has experienced so many things in the past six months that the road ahead has to be amazing. I just can't wait for it. But on the other hand I am having a blast loving him, watching him grow and listening to the little things that come out of his crazy little mouth.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Here I am folks. After almost six months of doing a different type of blogging, www.caringbridge.com/visit/isaiahpeters, I am going to try moving to a different format. This will hopefully be a little less stressful, emotionally consuming and even uneventful. If you know of the year 2008 in my house, you will understand what I mean by the previous sentence. So here goes my first real post on, Peters In a Nutshell.

I am not a professional writer. I write when I feel the urge. There are no books with my name as the author. Only a handful of poems that I have written at various times in my life. In the past my writings have come at significant times in my life. Usually due to something dramatic happening. The loss of a loved one, illness, a memorable date or even just about something that made an impact on my life.
I hope to continue that process here for you to see. Many of poems are locked away somewhere in a box marked, "Colleges". Yes, you read that right, CollegeS. I attending many and the box and its contents is very large. Hopefully someday I will feel the urge to haul that box from its confines and share its little secrets on here. Maybe it will be something that has absolutely no interest to you. However, maybe it will be something that will make you think or just give you a grander picture of who I am.
At this point I have no schedule for posting on here. I hope to find the time to do it often, but can make no promises. I will try to get on as often as I can or as things pop up in my life that I feel are worth sharing. Until I post again though I will sign off the way I have been doing so on my sons caringbridge site.

Love to all