into winter?

How is it that we went from this....

to this so soon? Wow.

Today, it was unseasonably mild, perfect for a walk and scoot in the rain. The smell of the soil and melted snow teased my kids into shedding their coats halfway through our jaunt. Crazy Niagara weather!

Janneke was positively grinning the entire time outside, but Rachel seemed puzzled. She wore a serious look for most of the walk though I know she did enjoy escaping the confines of the home.

Happy New Year, by the way. We rang in the year quietly here due to a mild flu bug. Thankfully, by this afternoon, we were all feeling well again.

It seems that January 1 brings out new resolutions in many of us, and we guess at what the year ahead will bring. I find I feel more resolved to change or do different things when September starts. For some reason, that seems more definitive to me as a new beginning. And, to be perfectly honest, with the blur of our routine here, sometimes the significance of the day is lost. I am thankful for Emily and Sophia who have been keeping track of when the new year began in different time zones. : )

This week has been normal for our family, for which I am thankful. Having Ralph's help as well as the nursing hours has created pockets of time for us to do normal things. I've been pouring through a book these last few days: The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown. A fascinating and refreshingly honest account of Brown's attempt to understand his disabled son. Some of his stories and thoughts are so eerily similar to our circumstance - it's encouraging and yet makes me cry too.

Something he wrote made me think of what I've been tossing in my mind. I had a similar conversation with my dad not long ago, and here's the thought:

Some people say their disabled children are angels, sent from heaven for whatever reason. I don't think of Rachel and Janneke as angels. I see them as real kids. The kind of kids that highlight real humanness and, as their mom, my own inadequacies . Their disabilities are obvious - I prefer to hide mine.

And Christ's birth also reminds us of our imperfections. He dis-abled himself to become a baby lying in a stinky feed box (as written by Rev. M. Stephenson).

I guess, looking ahead into 2011, I hope I can use whatever moments and circumstances that come to illustrate His power and ability, not mine. I say this not in a delusional way, for I know that there are difficult moments when I am angry with God. Yet, I know that in those weak and dis-abling moments, He teaches us things we would not learn otherwise.

Happy New Year to all - here comes 2011.