Monday, October 31, 2005

Standing on Tall Shoulders

"That best portion of a good man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." William Wordsworth

All Saints Day comes once a year to remind us of the tall shoulders upon which we stand.

The day seems long-forgotten, what with jack-o-lanterns in every window, skeletons hanging on nearby trees, and witches and monsters hiding in the shadows. Costumes have been hand-sewn or purchased, and super-sized bags of candy have been dispensed into baskets, ready for the doorbell ringing trick-or-treaters to devour.

Halloween, per se, has never been my favorite holiday. I’m just not a huge fan of spooky, dark, morose things of any kind. I don’t read horror books. Don’t see scary movies. Hate any hint of evil. Even seeing monsters and make-believe Frankensteins gives me the heevie-jeevies. Halloween—-as we know it anyway—-is a uniquely American, post-1930’s phenomenon. The pre-Christian Celtics used the day to celebrate the official end of summer; early Christians to remember the recently departed, faithful servants or saints (hence, All Saints Day). Its earlier folklore even used the practice of knocking on doors to collect monies for relief of poverty or for overseas missions, presumably to reinforce the saintlike behavior of those who had come before them.

I suppose it’s one thing to celebrate folk rituals. Folklore must go on, after all. And celebrating folklore—-I admit-—is downright fun. It activates the creative juices. And I guess one could argue that designing a kid’s costume-—or those for an entire family-—is one of the most creative endeavors of the season. But its huge secular influence-—witches and black cats, Frankensteins and monsters, ghosts and goblins, gruesome masks and fake blood-—is enough to make me want to stay home by myself and watch reruns of Mayberry RFD.

And did I mention the mischief-—or downright vandalism-—that goes on during Halloween night? Smashing pumpkins, a lovely little ritual that my own husband confessed to our kids over dinner to having taken part in (and for which he felt guilt at the time), seems mild in light of some of the stuff my teen son has witnessed (firsthand, unfortunately). Soaping windows and “t-p-ing” a house might seem like good ole-fashioned fun, but yuck: have you ever tried to clean up after being soaped or t-p-ed?

I’m going to try—-as best I can (I still have kids little enough to once again enjoy or endure the trick-or-treat ritual, depending on how I think about it)-—to celebrate the holiday by spending some time thinking about some of the wonderful folks whose lives crossed mine but who are no longer among us. On whose tall shoulders I stand. Denise was a saint who faithfully prayed for Nick each and every Sunday, even though she was dealing with an aggressive cancer herself, which ultimately took her life a few months ago. Chantal, though ten years old at the time of her death last month, taught me many lessons about life, even though she lived only a fraction of the time that I have. I’ll spend some time not only jotting down the names of recently departed saints; I’ll meditate on the lessons they taught by their everyday lives. Simple. Uncomplicated lessons. Lessons of hospitality. Or faithfulness.

And I’ll look around at those saints who still cross my daily path. Real, live modern-day saints. Like the kind older lady who helps me fill my prescriptions at my local pharmacy; she hugs me every time I go in for a refill for one of Nick’s drugs. And Nora, who works part-time there, yet remembers to send me emails of encouragement, as she faces battles and fears of her own. And Wellington, who fills up my gas tank-—as well as my emotional tank-—every time I pull into the station. He never fails to ask about Nick, and promises to keep him in daily prayer. Elmer, the restaurant owner; Ron, my pet food supplier; and Matt, my photo copy guy. Unlikely saints moving and living in my circle. Just doing regular, un-glamorous jobs. Yet bringing saintlike movements and wisdom into my everyday, workaday world.

So scoop out the pumpkins seeds and carve jack-o-lanterns. Bob for apples and bang on doors demanding candy. Keep up the secular if it brings you and your little ones some joy. But don’t forget the spiritual aspect of the day, too. All of us stand on tall shoulders. We wouldn’t be the people we are, where we are, if spiritual giants hadn’t come before us. I hope you take some time out today-—whether it’s while you’re walking your kids down the dark streets in search of chocolate and a trick or two, or whether it’s during a long, contemplative cup of hot tea—-to gratefully remember both the saints who came before us and those who live among us. Aspiring to be a little more saintlike is a good thing. What can you—-and I—-do towards that end?



A Nick Note

Nick and I will be heading to the doctor’s office Monday morning to get a check on his “counts.” Hopefully, they’ll be high enough to start the maintenance phase of his protocol. If so, he’ll get a spinal tap, a bone marrow aspiration, and a handful of chemo drugs. That’ll be the worst of it for the month; most of his treatment will be oral meds, with a weekly finger-stick thrown in for good measure. He’s feeling much stronger and is really looking forward to getting this next—-and final-—phase of the three-pronged protocol underway. As always, we covet your prayers for his complete and total healing.

A Quick Note

The official launch of the ROCKET MOM SOCIETY will take place in Ridgefield, CT on Thursday, November 17th. If you live in the area and would like an invitation to become a charter member, please send an email to: Or call me! 203.438.7164. Details are almost complete and will follow next week. This is going to be TMF!!! *

A Fun Note

One of the biggest kicks I get from being a writer and speaker is talking to groups of young moms. I’ll have that distinct pleasure on Thursday evening, November 10 . Are you a member of a group looking for some good parenting advice? Great discussion? Fun and fellowship? Need a keynote? Hosting a birthday party and want to do some fun “mommy games”? Ever come to my “What Color is Your Purse” seminar? TMF. Give me a call. I’d love to come and meet your club or group, too. 203.438.7164.

Another new little venture: local cable TV. I’m in the process of starting a community access ROCKET MOM TV show. Details to follow.

Ahhh. Life is settling back into a more normal routine. I am so grateful….

Monday, October 24, 2005

Finish Lines

"Nothing will sustain you more potently than the power to
recognize in your humdrum routine, as perhaps it may be thought,
the true poetry of life." Sir William Osler

Finish lines. We’ve all crossed them. Going through nine months of pregnancy to cross the finish line into labor. Enduring long, painful labor to cross the finish line into delivering a newborn babe. Pulling our hair out during the “terrible two’s” to cross the finish line of the third candle in the birthday cake. Discovering that the three’s have a life of their own, to cross the finish line into the four’s. Gliding through the golden ages of five, six and seven to cross the finish line of early childhood, only to turn around and realize that you’re smack in the middle of adolescence. Crossing the finish line with a new driver in the house. Followed by the finish line of high school graduation. Then College. Your wedding day.

Life is full of them.

When Nick was initially diagnosed with leukemia, I remember thinking: “If only we can get through the torturous three-year protocol. Then we’ll be fine. We’ll have crossed the finish line.” And then the words of my minister, who came to visit during that first Yale Hospital stay, lingered: “Don’t forget that life happens in the middle.” With both eyes firmly fixed on the finish line, it was easy to see that I might be missing out on everything else that was happening meanwhile. In the middle.

Funny. It seems that we measure life not only by how many finish lines we cross, but by how quickly—-or fully-—we cross them. The crossing of a finish line into the next corporate promotion is measured by level bumps, salary increases and stock options. Measured in fullness. The finish line of early education might be measured in swiftness of reading, of comprehension and vocabulary. Measured in speed.

I’m as guilty as the next person in quantifying and validating my existence by easily measured finish lines: everything from my placement on Amazon’s sales lists to the number of attendees at a seminar to how many articles I’m able to write in a month; they all add--or subtract from-—my “success.”

And I see it all around me in motherhood: moms comparing progress in their children to those of their peers, teachers juxtaposing child against child with grades and easily quantifiable data. IQ tests and achievement tests ranking one child higher than another. College acceptance letters to your first choice going to someone other than your own kid.

Nick crossed a finish line this week by completing prong #2 of a three-pronged protocol in his treatment for leukemia. He crossed the finish line of prong #1 (a 28-day treatment to get him into remission) only to begin a brutal one-year intensification phase of the chemo program. He crossed that finish line-—prong #2--on Friday. But it is rather short-lived: he’ll begin prong #3 next week and chart a year-and-a-half course until he crosses the next finish line. At that point, he’ll still have a couple of years to go until he crosses that “magical” finish line of the “five-year mark” before he is declared officially “cured.”

If we stay completely focused on the strength, speed or fullness with which we cross finish lines, we miss out on most of the good stuff. We miss out on what happens in the middle: life. I need to constantly remind myself that while Nick is running towards the finish line of complete and total healing, that his three siblings are fully engaged in living. That his dad still works a job and mom still tidies up the house, feeds the dog, washes the dirty laundry, and deals with groceries and dinner. That community service gets attention; gifts get wrapped; letters get written and times tables get memorized. That life happens while we’re waiting to cross finish lines.

I hope you spend some time this week thinking about your own finish lines. Be it getting through the next few months and crossing the finish line of Christmas, or watching your senior fill our college applications to cross the finish line into acceptance; life holds one for you in one form or another. Just don’t get so caught up in the “line” that you forget the daily interactions, the easily dispensable conversations or the quickly dismissed moments that happen in between. Don’t forget that the best of life happens between the finish lines.



A Nick Note

As mentioned, Nick crossed the finish line of prong #2 and will
soon begin the third prong of a three-pronged treatment for
leukemia. He'll get a blood transfusion today, and, because his
counts are so low, get a one-week break before beginning the
maintenance part of the protocol. Finish line #2 crossed, he is
getting his sights set on Wake Forest University, where he will
begin as a college freshman in January. He'll look at the next
two months as much-needed time to regain both strength and


A Fun Note

The Rocket Mom Society will officially launch in Ridgefield,
Connecticut on November 17th! Sensing that the time is ripe to
begin a potentially international sisterhood society, we will
launch at a private party in my own hometown. If you live in or
near Ridgefield and would like to receive an invitation to join
as a "charter member," please email me ASAP:
Guidelines and details forthcoming! Full court press planned,
including the upcoming interview on the TV program, "Moms Gone
Mad," on Tuesday, the 25th.

Too young and vibrant for the Red Hat Society but yearning for
all of that fellowship and fun? Forgetaboutit. Join the Rocket
Mom Society by emailing or calling me today!!!
or 203 438-7164.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Brook's Song

Today’s Quote: “The brook would lose its song if the rocks were taken away.” Elizabeth Kellogg

Avi Salzman, in Sunday’s New York Times, describes Autumn in New England arriving “like a prom queen, draped in boastful reds, yellows and rusty browns, perfumed with wood smoke.”

I had the privilege this weekend of chaperoning 40-something musicians in the Ridgefield Symphony Youth Orchestra to a large retreat center in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Not exactly New England. But close enough.

The fall foliage was splendid, and daily walks through nature trails and around the on-site lake were nothing short of spectacular. What with the bite of the crisp fall air filling my lungs, an on-again off-again drizzle wetting my cheeks, and the occasional aroma of a leftover nighttime camp fire arousing my own childhood camp memories, it would be hard to miss nature’s extravagant call.

I didn’t notice the plaque on the wall of our quintessentially-campy cabin until this morning, when I went back to clean up after the twenty gals sharing my quarters. With sleeping bags and luggage safely tucked into another cabin for pick-up, I was sent up to perform one last bunk-check. Lifting up skimpy mattresses to look for lost clothing, pulling back shower curtains to check for forgotten toiletries, collecting garbage to lighten the housekeeper’s load, and turning down both lights and thermostats, I happened to glance up at the back wall as I was tying the final plastic garbage liner. The plaque commemorated the completion of the lodge which bears Ms. Kellogg’s name. It was shortly after reading her selected quote: “the brook would lose its song if the rocks were taken away” that I began my morning walk around the lake. For the first time all weekend, I noticed the brooks. It was one babbling brook after another, each singing its own song. And even though each day had brought a nature hike or two-—walking right past these brooks each and every time-—I had not heard their songs before.

I confess to taking nature for granted. We live-—my family and I-—in the middle of a large wooded lot, which is surrounded by a fifty acre nature preserve. Wildlife abounds: deer, wild turkey, rabbits, and fox are familiar creatures sharing our everyday space. I try to remember how fortunate I am, being able to view the raw beauty of nature each and every day. To drive down a long and windy driveway with an abundance of trees, wildflowers and yes, babbling brooks. Yet I don’t. And so traveling to yet another beautiful mountaintop retreat-—to co-habit with nature-—was, I admit, a splendid, though not particularly unique experience. I deliberately took in the beauty of the changing leaves (and it was especially beautiful); I deliberately used my free time each day for nature hikes (and they were certainly special); and I deliberately lingered at the evening campfire (sans s’mores) to be especially sure that the smell and the smoke of it would stick to my memory for one full year, until I could recapture the experience once again.

But it was the words on that plaque that most struck me. That especially gave me pause. Wondering what kind of “rocks” had filled Ms. Kellogg’s path. Pondering why they-—among any words or quotes she could have possibly chosen-—had inspired her. Why she chose these words to immortalize the dedication. Questioning if it were, indeed, the “rocks” in her life that fortified her to move forward, that gave her wisdom, or that taught her lessons she would otherwise have never learned, that allowed her to be where she found herself on the day in which a building was dedicated to her.

And so I took my walk around the lake, stopping for the first time to listen to the song of the brooks. To forget about having a cardio-workout or making good time. To just stop when I got to a brook and listen to its song. I noticed for the first time the abundance of rocks lining each brook’s formation. And realized that-—rock-free-—each would simply be a mere silent stream of water.

Perhaps I would not have noticed the plaque in any other year. “Rocks” would not have had the significance that they have for me today. No. Reading the plaque was serendipitous to be sure. It helped me realize that people who have something significant to offer to the world have walked a rock-studded path. That silent streams of water might be beautiful in and of themselves, but that they cannot offer a beautiful song. That the brook’s song is sweeter. Because of the rocks.

The serenity of my morning nature walks provided me with much-needed perspective. They helped to balance me. With no sound other than the wind rushing through the rapidly-changing fall leaves, the light rain hitting the ground, or the melodious song of the brooks: I came to the quiet resignation that rocks are a good thing. And that man—-throughout time-—has acknowledged the same. It was the whole into-every-life-a-little-rain-must-fall-no-one-ever-promised you-a-rose-garden thing. But out in nature-—in the middle of the Catskills-—I accepted it with peace. Not taking away from the glorious music which 40-something young musicians were producing inside a campy retreat center, it was the song of the brook that rang more majestic than ever.

I hope that this fall brings you time to retreat into solitude, too. That be it into nature or into a friend’s home; into travel to a faraway place or into the down-filled cushions of your living room sofa: that you are able to make time for solitude. For wisdom and soul-searching and decision-making and finding life’s meaning come not in the busyness and rush of everyday life, but in the moments captured in silence and solitude. In hearing the song of the brook.

A Nick Note

Nick has three more chemo sessions scheduled for this week and
will then complete his year of intensification in his treatment
for leukemia. Hopefully, his counts will be high enough after
the end of the week to start on the maintenance session of the
protocol; a more likely scenario is that he'll need a one to
two-week break before the next phase. His spirits are great and,
despite being neutropenic, he has stayed healthy and fever-free.
Please continue to keep him in your prayers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

During a visit to Chartres, I had to pose in front of these charming, handpainted shutters. The flower shop inside, was delightful.  Posted by Picasa

When a walk down a Paris side street revealed a lime green sofa setting smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk, our entourage just HAD to snap a picture of me and my favorite color obsession.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 10, 2005

Snipping Dangling Threads

“Being organized…frees you up to prepare you for both the dizzying frustrations and distractions, as well as the surprising opportunities and celebrations, that come our way.” Carolina Fernandez (from ROCKET MOM! 7 Strategies To Blast You Into Brilliance)

Towards the end of the summer, I took my thirteen-year-old daughter and her friend on an unexpected shopping excursion. Having gotten kicked out of Six Flags Water Park by thunder and a cloudburst, the girls voted on—and won—a quick trip to the mall on the way home. Dragging me (and younger brother and brother’s friend) to a favorite clothing shop, we were met by two denim skirts possessing magnetic powers, as they almost immediately found their way onto these girls’ torsos. Proving adorable on, we got two. The fact that my daughter’s skirt has a row of dangling threads (seems to be the new style) doesn’t diminish my liking to it. But I find myself with a nearly insatiable desire to get out my scissors every time my daughter prances by wearing it. I want to snip those loose threads. Trim it up. Have it hang from her dangling-thread free.

The story of my life.

My personality yearns for a dangling-thread-free life. For loose ends to be snipped. Garbage taken out and clean laundry folded. Thank-you notes written and emails replied to. Calendars synced up and ducks perfectly lined up in rows.

Don’t get me wrong. Oil painter that I am, I have a fairly high tolerance for chaos. Half-finished canvases have lined my family room floor—in my makeshift studio—for months. A pint-sized violin rests most days on the back of my living room sofa, rather than safely tucked inside its case. And Victor’s new oboe finds itself almost always on the edge of his bed, which remains, many mornings, only half-made. What with four kids in four different schools, a traveling husband and a needy lapdog, my life can be summed up by my girlfriend’s license plate: “BEDLAM.” Add to that our ongoing chemo protocol with upwards of nine-hour days away from home some days, and I’m ready to throw up my hands in desperate resignation.

I long for simplicity. For having loose threads snipped such that I can meet my responsibilities—with discipline—as well as celebratory opportunities—with creativity—that come my way.

Fall is officially upon us. Leaves are falling (onto my freshly-swept deck); bulbs are begging for planting (in my just-weeded garden); and clothes are waiting to be rotated (in my recently-edited closets). Thankyouverymuch.

There’s always something.

So how do we rocket moms get our acts together in order to lead more creative, gratifying lives? While oodles of strategies are found in my book, ROCKET MOM!, here are my 4 Quick Tips for fall:

Sniff: Walk around your house and sniff our patterns of inefficiency. Last Tuesday, in a bout of fall fever and its resultant flurry of housekeeping, I realized that no one in my family—including myself—was benefiting from my art “studio” plunked squarely in the middle of the family room floor. Nearly-constant-begging-for-a-barn-studio-for-my-birthday notwithstanding, I realized that, in the meantime, I needed to create a more organized workspace for my favorite hobby. So I carried all of my extraneous canvases to the basement and hid all extraneous supplies in a nearby cabinet. I left two easels standing, each one holding a half-finished painting, and kept the rest of the area bare. Once done, I started walking around the whole house, doing the “sniff” test. Piles of clutter were perused; useless stuff was tossed. I kept sniffing until I was satisfied that things were (almost) as they should be. I venture to say that you border on the bizarre if you are capable of maintaining a perfectly perfect house while simultaneously raising kids and your spouse. But keep sniffing and keep trying.

Snip: Whatever threads are dangling, snip ‘em. Be they painful letters to write or junk mail to sort, toy closets to re-organize or car seats to vacuum….resolve to use this changing of the seasons to snip anything that’s been dangling over you. The resulting liberation is nothing short of dizzying! I confess that the piles of papers on my desk and the dozens of emails in my inbox are the two dangling threads in desperate need of snipping this week. Claim yours, too.

Sort: Clear out anything that reads “summer.” Now that the weather’s finally changing, sort out t’s, shorts and sandals; get ready for sweaters, jeans and boots. Sort through your kids’ clothing and donate or rotate. Give away items that no longer work; shuffle things around so that fall clothing is more readily accessible. Ditto for closets. Be scrupulous. Regular sifting and sorting prevents painful dredging a few years down the road. Trust me.

Stage: As Ernie took Nick to chemo on Tuesday, I had a “free” day with which to deal with my fall fever. When a girlfriend called that night to check up on me, she was shocked to hear me tell her that I had “staged” my home for fall. Having no idea what I was talking about—she admitted that her home looked the same all year long—I explained that I had put away all summer accessories and had brought out those for the fall. Floral arrangements were re-arranged, annuals were replaced with mums, and summer’s fresh colors were reinvigorated by autumn’s subdued warmth. Mantels and window sills and tabletops were given renewed status for roosters and sunflowers, porcelains and candles. Are you building collections? Use the changing of the seasons as an opportunity to showcase and stage them. Your home needn’t look like it fell out of a Ralph Lauren scrapbook or a page in the Orvis fall catalog. But it can be creatively staged to reflect the new season in which we find ourselves.

In short, use these next couple of weeks to get your act together. Allow the crisp, fresh air to invigorate and inspire you to organize your home so that you can lead the creative, energetic life into which you were called.

Blessings on your week,


A Nick Note
Despite a week of back-to-back chemo and transfusions, one of which produced an allergic reaction so intense that he narrowly missed an ambulance ride, Nick has held up shockingly well. (Mom has held up not quite as shockingly well.) His protocol calls for two more weeks of intense chemo, although we suspect that since one of the chemo drugs is “count dependent”—and he is currently neutropenic (low counts and almost zero immunity)—that his roadmap will be extended by a couple more weeks. He’ll receive chemo and more transfusions this week and next, at least, before beginning the maintenance part of the protocol. As always, we covet your prayers. Periods of neutropenia are especially troublesome, as any sign of weakness or fever will land him—no questions asked—at Yale Hospital. He’s been incredibly fortunate thus far. We pray he responds equally well these next couple of weeks.

His best friends are home from college, due to the Columbus Day holiday. He’s enjoying their company more than words can describe, and yearns for his life to return to some level of normalcy. He’s still on target to begin studies at Wake Forest University in January.

A Quick Note
Three big projects are in the works, and I hope to be able to share some definite details with you in the next few weeks. A book project, a media opportunity and an epiphany that I experienced Friday are all pointing to some exciting new directions for the grass-root efforts of Rocket Moms everywhere. Stay tuned!

Many of you have requested autographed copies of my book, ROCKET MOM! Please send me an email and let me know how you’d like your copies inscribed. FourQ Press accepts all major credit cards! For non-autographed copies, please call our toll-free number where a customer service agent will take your order, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! 888. 476. 2493.

Monday, October 03, 2005

God Lives Under the Bed

“Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.”

Tough week. The memorial service of ten-year-old Chantal, marital troubles of one of my dearest friends, a 5-days-in-a-row week of brutal chemo for Nick, and the shocking news that his doctor’s own 15-year-old daughter has a brain tumor, plunged me into despair which I have not felt in months. My wings are too heavy to soar. Traveling under a storm cloud has certainly curtailed my usual “zip-a-dee-doo-dah” attitude towards life. Unable to dispel wisdom, strategies or even a teensy bit of optimism, I am sending instead a story that found its way into my inbox this week. Sent by a friend (its author is anonymous) and re-circulated again, it resonated so highly that I deemed it worthy of this week’s Newsletter. I pray that you will take a lesson from Kevin…and that it will sink deeply into my own soul so that I can meet you in full force next week. Until then….

God Lives under the Bed

“I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least, that's what I heard him say one night. He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped outside his closed door to listen. "Are you there, God?" he said. "Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed."

I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them. remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?

Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child. He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.

And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside.

"That one's goin' to Chi-car-go!" Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.

He doesn't know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished.

But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others.

His heart is pure. He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere.

And he trusts God. Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an "educated" person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions. It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances--they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.

And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won't be surprised at all!” (Author Anonymous)