Happy Thursday friends.
I greet you from Panera and the "drafts" section of my website where I will be sharing some oldies-but-goodies that didn't get the send-off they needed way back "when."
I hope you enjoy this one as I did.
It reminded me that God has always been so faithful to this faith-challenged Mom,
And that waterproof mascara is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life.
The wind is warm and the windows are open and the crew has turned into some ground's crew because we just cannot stay off the grass.
It's Thursday and we cannot but help to help plants along and plow a bit for a new meadow coming Summer 2021.
I'm enjoying the leaf blower, the clinking of dishes being moved to the sink and the tinkling of the wind chimes my friend gave me at her last Ladies Meeting.
Today, the noise doesn't bother me.
Today I am glad to have all the kids here and there because it reminds me that they are home.
Motherhood is so funny.
It's a rushing to get them grown and a rushing to sit them down before they grow away.
No one tells you that in the rushing to get out of diapers you blink to find you have rushed them into driving themselves right to college.
Older wiser women told me that the days are long and the years are short and no one ever believes them until you have become the older wiser woman telling some young mom the very same line.
When my first was born I was so newly a wife that motherhood looked daunting.
He was long and sweet and deliriously always happy, always moving and always making some sort of noise.
He walked at my sister's wedding for the first real strut on his own, and has loved music as long as I can remember.
His tonsils came out and his comedic style grew and he drove the slowest I have ever seen a teenager drive.
He picked-up his Dad's trumpet and claimed it for his own.
He kept his cough-laugh into adulthood and always wanted rough hands for some odd reason.
He sat and held my hand through his high school graduation, the one his dad and I were MC's of.
Having to remember to plug microphones in AND find the kleenex is one of those "Pastors families" things no one tells you about.
He was singing in the school play with his Dad and then we were broken down on the side of the road on our way to take him to college.
Just like that.
And I sat in bed last night and remembered that last night in a little prophet's chamber house before things would forever change.
He kept coming in our bedroom to laugh about something for the excitement we all had mounting.
I remember just being so tickled with him.
So thankful for his heart to soak everything up, his bright eyes not wanting to miss one single thing coming around the corner for him, and his laugher, always his laughter.
Constant, contagious and sweet.
For serious we totally named him spot-on.
I remember never wanting that night to end.
It wasn't the leaving him at school that really got me.
It wasn't the phone calls, or him missing family memories, or even him making new ones without us.
It was him coming home.
I remember the exact spot where I stood trying my best to see him over every person descending the escalator.
Then it was as if I could take a deep long breath again.
He was right there in my arms to squeeze.
It was a good break together.
But in the back of my mind I replayed what a sweet Preacher had shared with Joel and I at the parent's fellowship at his school,
"This is a changing moment in your family. It's okay to mourn the loss of what was, and now what will be different."
We laughed and enjoyed every ounce of him home, but there was something "off."
I thought it might have just been me.
Or his gigantic load of laundry.
Then we prepared our daughter to leave and found those same lumps in our throats as we moved her tassel, moved her clothes into storage bins and sat around Chicago-style pizza just before meeting her twelve or so room mates.
Now the two of them came home to fanfare and fresh sheets and too many stories to share between siblings.
And here at the close of the second year for one and the first year for the other, I am well aware that life as we knew it is gone for good.
Over rice and chicken and chopsticks I let a few tears fall telling this adorable young woman that I was proud of every inch of her.
Chinese food is always good for Mother-Daughter talks.
Try it, you'll see.
I told her that I was delighted to hear her heart and watch the Lord is providing for her in better and more wonderful ways than I ever dreamed.
But I then shared with her that she's not the only one with growing pains.
That I too have had to adjust to new.
It felt good to express my love of the old and the love of the new and my heart to try and balance them both well.
Two adults forging their own paths and four at home still needing a proper send-off.
I told her that it IS a grieving of what we know and feel comfortable with.
It's a loss of comfort and stability that came from having all our eggs in one super-safe yet pretty cool nest.
I told her that God in his wisdom, gives such a richness in mentoring that counteracts the sting from young disciplining that makes it all bearable.
Mothering is funny.
Sometimes the weight, the delight, the fear or it all just washes over you and you are glad to have chopsticks and rice to move around your plate while you digest what is happening all around you.
It's good, it's hard, it's fun, it's long, it's rewarding, it's fruitful, it's painful and it's even lovely- so lovely at times.
And sometimes it's all in a day's work.
We Moms really control nothing. Even our own spirit is kept in check by our dear Lord because we can't be trusted with it's safe keeping.
And over rice and low lighting, it was good to relinquish the little I feel I can control to a good Father.
It was good to let the tears spill over and mix with all of the joy that comes from years of loving the best you know how.
These days I find myself snagging more treats for the lunch bag for that son who is almost ready for the runway.
Another tassel to turn.
I find myself wiping all the tears because I now know in a deeper way how different this family unit will look in another year.
Don't get me wrong, COVID has shown me that I do not want these young adults living in my basement for 20 years.
This change is so very needful and normal.
It's just different.
It's the savoring of the old and honoring the new to come.
It's the same push and pull of mothering in the young stages, the same, "grow up, learn this, and now slow down.."
And it's all covered with an amazing abundance of grace.
And I put this out there for the one who didn't have someone to tell them that it's okay to mourn what was.
It's perfectly "okay" to feel sad about Summers split, dinners split and even heart's split wide-open for the missing.
Just keep one little palm open to the future, to the joy that seeps through the weary and know that the best is yet to come, is right now and was five years ago too.
They come home to learn to begin their own "home."
Until we all come home at last.