1. the floors in our home are getting cleaner all the time. no, we have not purchased a new high powered cleaning device (by the way: have you noticed how every new cleaning product that is marketed to us is disposable? where is all our garbage piling up? and how long until we are living in our waste?), but we have something better: a seven-and-a-half-month-old child.
have you lost something in our home? some spare change, perhaps, or your keys? check in caedmon's mouth. misplaced your umbrella? or your snow boots? check cade's undercarriage (by that i mean his belly). you might find just what you're looking for, along with a few pieces of dogfood, several of jack's toys, and usually a kitchen appliance or two. that's right, cade is crawling. our little stationary son is now on the move. and fast! he's hands-and-knees on the prowl, picking up detritus along the way. just set him on the floor and he's off - hands slapping the floor - usually in the general direction of the dog bowls.
so life in the milinovich house has changed. for one thing, cade gets several daily baths in max's water bowl. and he needs them, really, what with all his rubbing his belly all over the floors of our house. and for another thing, we do a great deal more running around retrieving wayward sons, pulling random objects from the far reaches of caedmon's mouth, and refilling max's water bowl, after mopping up its previous contents from the floor. in short, we move alot more now.
2. we had a pretty significant storm move through here this weekend. we had enough ice and snow that church was cancelled. it seemed to be melting pretty good on sunday afternoon until the temperatures toppled and left the terrain covered by a silk-smooth blanket of ice. all the edges of the world are softened right now; there are no corners, just a slippery sheet of icy white danger. there's a pretty easy solution to this: stay off the ice. but this isnt' so easy when you are a dog and the only place your demanding owners let you take care of your business is outside. in the back yard. which is on a bit of a hill. which is not normally a problem until that backyard hill is covered in ice.
all i'm saying is that there are all kinds of movement. but one of the funniest has to be the movement of a dog trying to move his bowels while slowly sliding down a hill. this results in another kind of movement: the movement of my hand up to my face to wipe away the tears coming down my face from laughing so hard.
and now for the third act...
3. this is our son jack in a conductor hat. he sometimes randomly wants to wear it. there is no accounting for taste, especially with children. you can never guess what he's going to want to wear (somedays its the elmo slippers, other days its the sheriff's badge. does he have a future in the villiage people?), but one thing you can count on these days is that he is excited for christmas. when i got home from a meeting last night, jack was in his darkened room. shannon put him down to bed about an hour before. but he wasn't asleep. instead, i heard him squealing, "its christmastime - right - now!"
yes, he's getting excited. he would like it if time could move a little faster and get us to christmas -right - now. but time doesn't seem to move that way. and that can be frustrating for any of us.
the limitations of our own physical movement can be frustrating too. we borrowed some christmas books from the library, and one of them tells the story of an owl who gets to witness the first christmas, who gets to see the shepherds and angels and who gets to swoop down to the manger and touch the baby jesus. when we read this story now, jack gets pretty clear about his wishes: "i want wings. i want to fly like the owl. i want to touch baby jesus, too."
well, to the frustrated flyer in all of us: we're all moving all over the place. sometimes we're slipping. sometimes we're just moving at a crawl. sometimes it feels like we're not moving nearly fast enough. but all we can hope for is to move towards that child, however we can. to just keep moving; just keep moving towards the birth of life, the hope of humanity, the gift of love. i want to move, sure, and moreover, i want to want to move as much as my sons. i want to touch the baby, too, this christmas. i hope that for all of us.