Monday, April 21, 2008

Lessons from the Weekend

I spent Saturday at a softball tournament with Delaney's team (we won 2nd place; yay!!), which was a pretty "ordinary" day. But it was bookended by two days of pretty big lessons about life. Thought I'd share them with you...

Lesson #1:
Your babies are your babies...are your babies...are your longer how "grown-up" they get!

On Friday night, McKenna invited six of her friends to go shopping and to the movies for a "girls night out" as a late celebration for her 16th birthday (which was actually a few weeks ago). She has been driving since the first of the month, so I am still extremely new to the idea of her driving anywhere on her own--although I am trying to let go a bit and let her experience this newfound independence (which she is just beyond excited about!).

The logistics of the evening made it so that she was going to pick up three of her friends and then meet me across town where I was picking up two other girls (which meant there were already two things I wasn't too keen on--she would have three girlfriends in the car with her, and she'd be driving outside of our suburb area where she is usually restricted to). She really does drive well when she's with me and she's very responsible in pretty much every part of her life and attitude...but still, this is my baby girl AND she's in a car!

I am waiting on the other side of town and try to call her a few times on her cell phone. No answer! But, of course, I advise her not to talk on her phone while driving, so I will give her a few minutes to call back. Then... Gary calls me and says that he just talked to two people who called him and said that they saw her "flying" down a road that is pretty curvy and absolutely does not need to be "flown" down. I then try and call her and can't get I'm starting to get really nervous. Then, I call Gary in tears saying I can't get her on her phone, and he tells me to calm down and that he's talked to her.

I hang up and all I can do is sit in that parking lot and cry. I cry because I realize how my parents must have felt every time I left the house... I cry because I know some of the stupid things I did in my car at her age... I cry because all I can imagine is something happening to my brilliant and amazing and precious girl ...I cry because it's just so HARD to see them grow up.

Needless to say, the evening turned out fine. McKenna and her friends got safely to me and we had a good time...but McKenna got grounded from her car for a while and she got a nice little talk from me. And the talk wasn't about how I don't want to ever hear about her going 60 miles per hour down that road again (I'd already given her that earful)...but about how I have to get onto her because I love her so much, and how I want her to try just a little bit to imagine she is in my shoes. I know it's an impossible request, to get a 16-year-old to imagine that you are a mother and your child is quickly growing up and out into the world... but wouldn't it be a lot easier to be a parent if we could have this miraculous "perspective shift" happen every once in while?

That night (actually, that morning, since we didn't get in until almost 2 am), it took me a while to get to sleep because I spent a while praying. I prayed for God to give McKenna wisdom, for Him to keep her safe... but I really prayed more that I could begin to let go just a little bit and trust.

As I get older, I see it happening in the lives of all three of my girls. McKenna's sophomore year is flying by; Delaney is looking more like a young teenager everyday; Sydney still gives me eskimo kisses, but I can see it in the distance....

So, what do we do? I think we just do our best we can to equip them and teach them and love them, and then we give them over in faith.

(And, Lord help me when she goes out on her first "real" date. I guess I'll just be a nervous wreck!)

Lesson #2:
"Saying" I believe is a tiny part of faith

There are some times when I go to church and it's as if God is talking directly to me--letting me know that I need to stop and LISTEN and learn from what's being said. Yesterday was one of those times!

I'll just give you two snippets from the sermon...

"In his journals, Gandhi said these words, 'I studied Jesus in the Gospels and was quite attracted to his message. I might have even been able to become a Christian if it weren't for the Christians I know'."


"I think the WWJD saying [what would Jesus do?] is a bit of a cop-out. When we look around at the world and see people hurting and lonely, we know what Jesus would do. We know that He would reach out in compassion and love them. We don't need to sit there and ask what He'd do, because we know the answer. We need new bracelets that say DWJD... Do What Jesus Did."

Our preacher then asked us..."Have you either done something or NOT done something lately that has made someone else think that God is a lie or that your faith is not worth following?" and then challenged us to do what Jesus would do...make eye contact with that person who looks toward you, show friendship to that person who has no friends, show compassion no matter what.

Wow!! I sat there and cried. Because it is. SO. TRUE. I want to be a voice of love and encouragement and friendship and tolerance and understanding and joy.

So...I was, and am, challenged.


And now, the two poems I did over the weekend for my Poem-a-Day Challenge...

The challenge for Saturday was to: write a poem about a "memory" that you don't really have a memory of (you know? one of those stories that other people tell about you, but you don't actually remember).

"I Climbed"

as a baby,
I was apparently quite the

"I couldn't take my eyes off of you for a second,"
Grandma tells me now.

I'd climb on the back of the couch,
on top of kitchen counters. that one moment that her eyes were off of me...
I climbed on top of the television set.

"How you got up there I still don't know,"
Grandma told me last time I saw her.

I wonder now,
did I get this irrational fear of heights?)

Yesterday's challenge was to: write a love poem. It was easy and I wrote two (I could have written ten!)

"The First Dance"

I smile when someone asks,
"How did you meet?"
and I tell the story of
how a stranger asked me to dance

and I said yes,
and we danced,

and talked,
and ate,
and danced some more,
and kissed,
and kissed,
and fell in love,
and keep falling in love


and this one...

"the little reasons"

when I lose my keys,
when I interrupt your sentences,
when I don't wash your socks,
when I make us late,
when I run out of money,
when I tickle your feet,
when I don't turn out the lights.
you love me still.
"for better or worse"
is in the little things too.

And now, just because I can't let a post-softball Monday come without a few pictures...

(And, really, this could account for a Lesson #3, which would be: Play Hard. Never Say Quit. Second is still really good. Have Fun.)

If you stuck with me through all of that, you deserve a BIG GOLD STAR!! Thanks, as always, for making my day a little bit brighter with your presence here.

Have a BEAUTIFUL Monday!!


~gkw said...

Beautiful entry.... and I do even in the little things. Yes, I see the argument in the future with Sydney, even as she give butterfly kisses now....

Patti said...

Yay for second place!

I was on pins & needles with you Cheryl. I get freaked out thinking of the DUMB things I did as a kid and it's such a different world now too. I would have been a crying blubbering mess.
You are such a wonderful Mother!!! I love reading you. You inspire me every single day.

Adrienne said...

Awww what a great entry Cheryl!

~Nancy~ said...

Such a great entry Cheryl! Nad love the pictures too! XOXO

Auburn Kat said...

I would have been a nervous wreck too!

hippochick said...

WHat a wonderful post. I was especially moved by the lessons learned from the Sunday sermon. I, too, was spoken to on Sunday, in a different way, but I felt it was a message of hope just for me. Isn't that cool?

I loved the "love" poem. That's how I feel about my Jim. And watching our children grow and make mistakes is painful. Mine are 32 and 35 and still I worry.

Have a wonderful week.

Gin said...

This is a great post, Cheryl. Thanks!

~Telah said...

I would have cried the same as you. Maybe she was able to see where you were coming from and will keep that in mind.

Kimberly said...

I would of been a nervous wreak too. Hopefully she saw how upset and worried you were/are! Love the pics of ball...we are really enjoying watching Douglas play. Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Cheryl said...

I can feel your pain as you try and let go of your daughter. I have heard stories so many times as my children were growing up, but to actually feel it! Now that is something totally different. The pain is so hard that you can't put it into words huh? That is where our Faith comes in. We have to learn to let God take care of them and believe me it has been a long hard battle for me. My son is 19 and just recently have I started letting go. Are you laughing?? Yes, 19 years old! He has put many gray hair and wrinkles on this Mom!hahahaha You have to laugh to keep from crying. I wonder if it gets better with each child because I don't think that I worry about Anna like I did him??? Well, not yet anyway. Have a good week!

Stacy said...

oh boy so not looking forward to this day at all my son is 9 now and we let him drive the quad with his aunite on the back and it was all about the speed i was terrified then now you got me thinking lol!!

Anonymous said...

Its all so true. Thanks for the reminders.