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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Memories

On Monday morning we got a call from some of our very favorite people asking us to come have some fun, so we jumped on that opportunity.  We headed to Memphis to see the Redbirds play.  It was a beautiful day and we got seats in the outfield, spread out some quilts, and let the kiddos frolic. 

The Redbirds have a nice little playground too, so of course we spent some time visiting it.  Selah’s favorite part was digging in the dirt.  Korban was super excited to see some baseball and made us say “Go Redbirds,” about a million times.  The Redbirds lost, but I barely noticed.

Afterwards we ran by the Pink Palace to put those memberships to good use.  We only had an hour left before closing time but we made the most of it.  The kids ran from exhibit to exhibit pointing things out to each other and the adults enjoyed watching them.  Of course we visited the dinosaur.  His name is Stan, by the way. 

I wanted to explain why the friends whom we shared the day with are some of my most favorite people—they are the kind of people you can really be comfortable around.  It’s just so refreshing to be able to be with friends that you don’t have to worry around.  They are so understanding of our family situation and wonderfully sweet to us.  It cracks me up because we have been quite a few different places with these friends and while Korban will pull away from us and not hold our hands, he will happily hold hands with them, all the while smirking over his shoulder at me and Brad as if to say “See?  They’re just so much cooler than you.”

They have two boys and they are awesome.  Selah is madly in love.  She once climbed all the way over a booth in a restaurant in order to cover Jakub’s face in kisses.  She was barely two at the time.  She recently told me that she is going to grow up and marry Korban.  I say, “Oh honey, I’m glad you love Korban, but you can’t marry your brother!” She thought on that for a minute and said “That’s okay.  I will marry Jack and Jakub.”  I then had to explain to her that while she can’t marry her own brother, she also can’t marry a set of brothers.  “You have to just pick one husband,” I told her.  After mulling that one over for a while she said “I pick Jakub!” And then when she thought I wasn’t listening she quickly added “And Jack!” under her breath.  “You don’t have to decide tonight,” I told her.

But they are truly awesome kids and I would be blessed to have either one (but not both of them) for a son-in-law.  Forty years from now…But seriously, I’m a social worker you know, and I took a lot of classes that made me really think about things.  Like the whole nature vs. nurture debate.  Basically it asks are we a product of our genetics or our environment.  Obviously they both play a role, but it’s hard to know which is the biggest sometimes.  I’m always favored the environment side myself.  But now that I’m a parent, I look at my kids and other people’s kids and I think about this some more.  Really cool people like our friends naturally seem to have really cool kids.  So I’m wondering if they get an extra helping of endearing qualities such as moral strength, compassion, acceptance, etc. in their very DNA or if they just learn it by seeing their parents model it over and over and over?  I mean, there are a lot of people that I like a lot, and have great kiddos, but I’m specifically talking about the ones that go the extra mile to love on the people that are “different,” like our sweet Korban.  Parents that embrace people that are different from them tend to have children who embrace children who are different from them.  And that really means a lot to me.  I even noticed early on that Korban’s special education teachers had children that always reached out to us and to the other special needs students.   I’m guessing they had just grown up exposed to children with disabilities and watching their parents love on these kids, and that their hearts were drawn to it as well.  Just something to think about.  Selah also has been around many different special needs children—she lives with one!  And I pray that she always has an open, compassionate heart and isn’t afraid to reach out to people.  One of my mommy friends that has a little girl with Down Syndrome told me that she was in a store once with her sweet little one, and her daughter went up to hug another child about her age.  The child pushed her away and said “You look different.” It broke my friend’s heart and rightfully so.  I pray that we are not guilty of this.  I try to impress upon my children that like the little songs says “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” No matter what color someone’s skin is, or if they ride in a wheelchair or walk with leg braces; whether they talk or not, if they flap their hands or do different things, Jesus loves them and we should too. 

I really don’t know how I got off on all of that—I was really just trying to say Jason and Dez, we love you guys and you are great parents.  We truly appreciate you guys including us in your family and loving us despite our weirdness.  And I’m clearly not talking about just Korban.  ;)

And now that I’ve rambled, here are some fun pictures!

Here's a group shot, minus Brad, who took the picture.
Korban in the play area, having an important discussion with his daddy.
Of course, Selah's favorite part of the day involved DIRT!
Our four kiddos checking out the baseball action.

Selah with one of her future husbands...also known as Jack.

Here's Jack's favorite part.  He calls it the "polar kitty."

My kids getting ready to greet Stan the T-Rex.  Notice Selah still doesn't fully trust him.  I see a little of fight or flight in this picture.

After the Pink Palace...

Tired after a full day

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