Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Good and Happy Child

It's tough being the mother of a 13-year-old girl. Molly who is absolutely lovely and very thin regularly spends time picking herself apart and thinking she's fat. She'll come in and complain about the size of her thighs or the curls in her hair. I try to reassure her, but I feel like my words fall on deaf ears. She compares herself to her size 1 and 3 friends and thinks that at size 5, she's too big. If it's not her weight that she's worried about, it's being labeled as a prep. This is such a tough age for girls. They compare themselves to each other and always come up lacking somehow. Molly's curls are the envy of other girls, while she wants nothing more than stick straight hair. I don't know how to reassure her when she thinks that nothing I say bears any weight because I'm her mother and always think she's beautiful. I mentioned it last week, but I can't help but tout it again. She's writing a blog, and I'm impressed with how smart it is. While she may lack in punctuation and capitalization (I'm a mom, I can't help but notice), I enjoy reading about her take on current songs and how they relate to her life and friends.

I witnessed the power of prayer today. We've all been praying for Mia and her arthritis. I even put in a request for prayers on Lisa Samson's blog. Today was Mia's first check up since her diagnosis. The doctor said he's never seen a recovery like hers, and he believes that she's already gone into remission. We'll keep her on the medicine another three months, and she's still thriving the way she has been, he'll take her off of it and see how she does. She went from being unable to ever straighten her right leg to running with ease and completely straightening it without pain. Praise God!

A Good Happy Child by Justin Evans is a literary thriller about George Davies and his forgotten past. George should be happy, he loves his wife and newborn son, but instead he's visiting a psychologist because he is unable to touch the baby. He watches his son with fear that grows into panic attacks and causes tension in his marriage. George starts journalling his childhood encounter with a psychologist, and as the story unfurls on the pages, his life quickly spirals downward. After Little George's father dies, he starts seeing visions of a doppleganger and hearing voices whispering the secret of his father's death. The past and the present collide in George's son. Evans has a way with words that draws the reader into strong empathy with George. He describes he and his wife after an argument as bumper cars with road rage. The empathy only grows as young George faces nightmare after catastrophe. You can't help but ache for this child trying to cope with grief and loss. Three friends of his father's encourage George to believe that the visions he's seeing are demons. The friends come across as "true believers" with every frightening connotation associated with that term. I ricocheted between believing George's account of the action and not trusting him at all. Evans manages to make this dizzying tale work right up to the final powerful image. Don't read this book alone or late at night; once you start, you can't put it down!

I'm struggling with my nightly devotional time. I'm in the middle of Exodus in the midst of the details for the construction of the Tabernacle, and I know that soon after comes Leviticus with the many, many rules. Between this and sludging through My Utmost for His Highest, I'm finding very little joy in my reading. How do I make it through all of the rules and detailed construction and find meaning in it for my life?