My parents will come into town tomorrow evening from Virginia to be here for my son's high school graduation. We will first have a pleasant Memorial Day with members of my husband's family. We'll visit some graves from grandparents and great-grandparents, and even some great-greats that came over these beautiful Rocky Mountains one-hundred and sixty years ago to settle this state. We will stay up playing board games and laughing. It will be just what the doctor ordered.
And then Thursday evening will come and I will witness another milestone for one of my children. "Milestone" is starting to mean another-sign-that-he-is-growing-up-and-will-soon-be-on-his-own. Such mixed feelings. Proud feelings with a few tablespoons of anticipated loneliness thrown in for good measure. I suppose this is the way it is supposed to be. We get our children on loan and have such a limited amount of time to be an influence.
Please let me have done enough.Please let him remember to be happy. Let him find a good path.
So now boy #2 is about to unfold his paper-thin wings and cut his way out of our chrysalis. And I do my best to choke down flashes of my little man whose soft ruddy cheeks have been replaced with red-whiskered ones.
Dear God, thank you for teaching me about love by sending me little boys to take care of.
These are some of my favorite people, and I knew none of them only three years ago. From these ladies I have learned a lot of things about how to be happy. I have learned about hard work. Team work. The common good. They have introduced me to a part of myself that I am still getting acquainted with. Most days when I walk into the classroom I feel full of purpose and full of wonder. And God has walked with me here and there over these past few years. When I found myself struggling with a certain boy at the beginning of the year I prayed for a change of heart, and I had one. I have been able to find good things to see in my little friend. I see him like He might. I see potential and I see a little crushed spirit. I like to think that I have been able to see some of his goodness because God has let these wonder women see the best in me. It only seems fair.
Tonight my husband hooked his ever-present iphone up to our portable speakers and we listened to the scriptures, as a family, in Spanish. As you can tell from the photo, my youngest struggled finding any real purpose in this exercise, and we had to redirect him a few times before he was able to settle in and enjoy the experience. Geo and I do a decent job understanding Spanish, and between the two of us we can usually piece together what we are hearing (he being fluent in French, and me growing up listening to my Portuguese grandmothers, and also taking two years at BYU). It is a fun challenge for us, and we have even talked about taking a Spanish class in preparation for any church service we may be asked to be part of in the getting-closer-by-the-minute retirement period of our lives.
It is good for our character to be humbled every now and then. To listen to something we know in our own language being spoken in another. We listen closer. We try a little harder. We may even remember more when it is done. Expanding the mind. Gaining tolerance and appreciation for other peoples. S t r e t c h i n g. Es bueno, y me gusta mucho.
I once read the quote, Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.
I recently commented on a friend's blog about the rainy Sunday a few years back when I drove the kids home from church and then we jumped around in the deep water running down the gutters.
Yes, I was in my dress and high heels, and at first my kids stared in disbelief when I suggested a little fun. But soon it was a family affair (except for the husband who was still at the church), and we found ourselves soaked in water and in spontaneity and loving every wet minute of it.
Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet, and a small few dance and wave at the passing cars.
No school after work today, so I came home to my poor allergy-slammed son and made sure he was okay, before passing out on the couch. Sometimes you need to wake up from an unplanned nap before you really appreciate sleep, and that was me today. When I came to I saw that I had missed a phone call and a text from a friend, so I quickly responded to those and then crawled into the kitchen to make dinner. Like clockwork at 6. Tomatoes, black beans, rice, asparagus, chocolate milk. At 6:55 pm Geo had to run off to be the bishop, which is a sacred time not only because of the nature of the position, but because it is a place where he feels useful and removed from other stresses in his life.
I thought about doing laundry but soon found myself sitting in the living room with boys 3 and 4, laughing at silly ringtones on our phones and letting them teach me teen slang. Then I shooed them off to bed while I got the rest of the dishes into the dishwasher and coached my number 2 son on online job applications for some open BYU Summer jobs.
Now it is quiet and I sit here in this same room again where I slept and later laughed with my boys. I am in my blue and white pin-striped cotton robe clacking away on my laptop and waiting for my bishop. Full day. Good day.
After 22 years I was back at it today. I am a BYU student again, taking classes in the Counseling, Psychology, Special Education department.
me looking for a parking space
It felt raw and comforting (at the same time) sitting in a classroom today, listening to an excited and well-informed professor talk about caring for children and putting their needs at the top of the list. I felt good sitting there in my black upholstered rolling chair, taking notes with my red pen on an old steno pad. Over the shoulders of the young women across the room the big windows framed flowering trees and snow-capped mountains.
Sometimes when we get back into something we had gotten out of practice in we can feel intimidated, and sometimes we can feel alive. Big exhale.
Sunday: got up early to get kids ready and out the door for son's friend's mission farewell, ran home and spent an hour preparing a last minute lesson for RS (was asked the night before to teach), came home from church in pouring rain to a nice dinner my sister had made for my birthday, friends over for games and birthday cake.
Monday: took kids with me to airport to drop off sister, got a little teary, stopped at The Gateway and went to The Apple Store and Barnes and Noble with boys, came home to a flower delivery from BFF, for Family Home Evening we opened up the New Testament and read many of Jesus' parables.
Tuesday: came home from work and cleaned, stubbed my toe very hard, went to Pack Mtg for cub scouts, had book club at my house, skipped basketball.
Wednesday: went to cello, turned around after bringing my son home so I could bring the car to the dealership for warranty work, rode home with my husband and stopped at Wendy's.
Thursday: had husband drive me to pick up my car, stayed in town in order to meet old roommate and other friends for dinner, home at 11 pm.
Friday: came home from work and opened my laptop to read blogs, fell asleep sitting up, closed down computer and crawled to air mattress which was still inflated from weekend visit with sister, slept until 7, got up and made a late dinner for the family, ran out to get frozen custard with good friends, watched a movie with husband and kids, passed out for good around midnight.