I am one of those individuals that keep selective Valentine's candy in production.
Of course I am speaking of conversation hearts.
Happy Friday friends.
Surely you know what I mean- those chalky, almost cement-like candies that really only taste like three different flavors of mint - well - except for the banana ones. There's no real way to explain the banana ones is there?
Anyway, those are the candies I like.
I remember as a little girl, way back, when "UR Cool" and "FAX me" graced the front of them.
I had no earthly idea what a "Fax" was but I was awash with hope of it being something very romantic.
Hey, what "little Deena" didn't know, "little Deena" just didn't know.
Presently my creative son loves them like I do, except the white ones which to me were like nuggets of gold in those cardboard boxes.
So he gives them to yours truly and I'm not at all sad about that.
And now they have come out with "NON conversation hearts."
They sport things like, "nope", "never," and "bye."
And I think these are absolutely hilarious.
In the span of almost 23 years I have had quite the conversations with my crew.
Some hilarious, like the time our little five-year-old tried to understand that her Great-Grandfather was nearing heaven.
We told her that this was most likely the last time she would see him on earth. The next time we would see him, we would see his body but we would know that his spirit was rejoicing in heaven.
This was one of my shiniest moments as a Mom. A+ for me.
That was until she was leaving his home with a hug and said as clear as day," Grandpa, when you're in the box, BE HAPPY!"
Oh yes she did.
And I'm not proud of what happened next but us Mom's know that there's the "fight or flight" response and then there's the "embarrassment" response, when you will do something you would never do in normal life just to get as far away as you can from humiliation.
And so as my dear little chubby-cheeked girl finished her lovely motivational speech, I ushered her to the front door and literally kicked her bottom right through it.
Oh yes I did.
And as she slipped out the door I could hear her sweet Great-Grandfather ask me, "What was that?" And I totally lied.
Well I didn't actually lie,
Okay so I most probably did.
I leaned forward to make eye contact with him and smiling said, "She said she loves you."
And I do believe she did say that before she went into an exposition of Ecclesiastes.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Some conversations just stick with you.
Like the time I was a junior camp with one of mine and she decided to ask me where babies come from.
Now catch this: I KNOW where babies come from.
My problem is that I want to become a professor with a masters in health and biology when I'm asked a question like this.
And being the Best Mom Ever that I am, (Hey I actually have a coffee cup to prove this. And no, I didn't buy it for myself either.. so that should count for somethin' ) I told her to stay in the dorm room while I RAN FURIOUSLY down to the camp kitchen where I knew my friend Cary was working.
Did I pull her into the walk-in freezer with me? Yes I sure did.
I was sweating profusely even in that freezer and somehow choked out my daughter's question.
I was ready for her to help me write out a nice outline of what to say or possibly bring back some frozen veggies to create some measure of a diagram.
This was Cary. Professional home educator and one of the people I want to be when I grow up.
She smiled, shrugged and said, "Tell her that they come from the Lord."
Up the hill I ran, practicing said sentence over and over and thinking this would not be enough information for an inquiring mind.
Come to find out Cary once again saved my bacon. My daughter looked at me, nodded and ran to the next scheduled game.
And I personally feel that everyone needs to have a "Cary" in clutch for these kinds of things.
The conversations have evolved and my kids know that they can ask my husband and I ANYTHING.
Nothing is off-limits.
This is a whole lot easier for me than for this dear man of mine.
I'm already brimming with the delicate information that should stay a bit more hidden and he is ready to change the names and places to protect the innocent if you get what I mean.
Oh that paragraph is so us.
And I love it.
You can say a lot of things have been missed with our kids.
They are not musical geniuses, artists or chemists.
They just may have the messiest rooms known to man.
They're a bit shaky multiplying after the six family, and pronounced Phoenix as "Fee-own-ee" for several years of their life.
But I am delighted that they know how to get to the heart of a matter.
Our weird and wonderful conversations have helped us all figure life out a bit.
I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I stopped the audiobook in the van to chat with one of my teens about what we had just listened to.
I told them that the book was explaining the wrong view of God.
How we can grow learning that he is angry with us, superstitiously leaning on difficulties in our lives as proof of him showing us that he is not pleased.
She followed the words I spoke and then when there was a break in the conversation for her to tell me her heart on the matter, she said this,
"I've never thought that. That God is angry with me. All the preaching and teaching I've heard hasn't taught me that."
I had to sit back and just take that in for a minute.
She had missed what I wished I had missed and am still unlearning today.
I smiled and yes, got a bit choked-up just thinking about all of the conversations she wouldn't need to have with a friend, a parent, or even a spouse in years to come.
I'm so super grateful that the Lord has met with us in so many heart conversations.
In the hard ones about forgiveness, remembering what it means to "let someone off the hook,"In the funny ones where Dad can't spell "free" out loud, in the peaceful ones sharing future dreams, plans and prayers for spouses to be just as crazy for them as we are as parents, and in the deep ones reminding them that serving the Lord is the best life there is.
These hilarious kids of mine know that after about two hugs and some catch-up after not seeing them for a few days or weeks or months I'm gonna go deep and find out just what's on their hearts the very next thing.
Man I love conversations with my kids.
Well, I love them before ten in the evening and AFTER ten in the morning.
Because, well, forties.