Life’s Moments

Do you ever feel like sometimes life stands still and you actually get to stand back and take a snapshot and really see a moment?

Do you know what I’m talking about? 

Every so often, I feel like time stands still and I have clarity and can really see and be present in that exact moment. 

Today I had one of those.

Christian returned from his Caravan journey and it was such a touching and meaningful moment, that I almost missed. I was scheduled to play a finals USTA tennis match tonight at the exact same time of his arrival.  Before he left, I had asked him if he minded me missing his homecoming because of this big game, and of course he said no.  He knows how much I love playing tennis and that our team has been doing very well. As the week went by, I was feeling worse and worse about my selfish decision to play, even though I knew my team needed me. I was so torn. Then on Thursday, I ran into an angel at Charlie’s sports camp, who asked me if I was going to be there for his arrival and I told her my story. She said I really wouldn’t want to miss this moving experience and from that moment, I knew I couldn’t play.  Luckily, the night before last, I got an email with our team lineup and there was a backup player available to cover anyone who might have an issue.

I had an issue. I had mom guilt. I couldn’t play anymore. I knew I had to be there for his arrival and couldn’t be two places at once. I wanted to be there to greet Christian and to see his face and to hear his story about his journey, first hand. Luckily, I was given a pass.

I have been anticipating his arrival all week. Today I spent a couple hours deep cleaning his room, kind of like in preparation for his arrival, as if I was having a guest come over. I think I was nesting, just like what you do before you have a baby and you want everything to be just right for the baby’s arrival. Just this time, it was my big baby’s arrival back at home again.

I wanted to do something nice for him, so I decluttered, dusted and created a clean space for him. Juliana made a welcome home sign and hung it on our garage door that said, “Welcome Home, Christian.”  We were anticipating his arrival and were so excited.

We were at church, when the Caravan crew arrived. They opened the doors and the kids and all the advisors came in and walked past us seated on the benches, to the front of the church to their reserved seats, while we sang and clapped and I cried. I kept crying because I am overly emotional and feel so deeply.

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I cried for several reasons.

I cried because I was happy to see his face again.

I cried because I was so proud of him.

I cried because I couldn’t hug him right away and wanted to touch him.

I cried because I know he grew up this week and had a life changing experience without me, which is great and wonderful and perfect, but I still felt like I missed out. I am attached and am in the process of detaching as moms should do. I just didn’t know that this was happening right now. But now I do, and I’m ok with that.  Just weepy. 😉

I cried because I was fully aware that he is growing up and becoming more independent, doing exactly what he is supposed to do. And that means that my role is changing. I felt the transition tonight. And I cried for that too. Moms of grown kids – I know you get this. I’m just beginning. I get it.  I am feeling it and it’s really ok.

I am so thankful that I ran into Colleen and she guided me to be there for the homecoming tonight. Thank you, Colleen.

I am so thankful that we belong to such a great church community, filled with love and teaching my kids to be loving and giving and providing this wonderful service opportunity for them, that is also helping them to grow up with grace. 

I am thankful that Christian is home again and that he had such a remarkable experience. I loved hearing his stories about the people he met, the work he did, and the friends that he made.  

And my tennis team, they won tonight!! I stopped by at the end of the match and was able to witness our final win in a tie break, with the lady who took my place and my partner. They all understood me and get it – they are moms too. And we’re all in this thing together. Thank you Gloria and Reid – for being great captains and for supporting my last minute change of mind. You are the best!!

Life is good!

Inspired and Content

Sometimes you need a friend or two to inspire you.

I was inspired by Reid today on the tennis court, when she beat me over and over and continued to share tips on how I could improve my game. She was a great coach, and I can’t wait to play with her again. She was determined and hates losing and was really good. She met her goal, which inspired me to find a new tennis goal myself, like to win (more than once)!! 😉 And to control my shots by not hitting so hard and being more consistent. Great skills that should transfer into real life too. Thanks Coach!

Elizabeth also inspired me today. We made time to get together for some girlie time – you know pedicures and lunch and chit chat. I haven’t had a pedicure since before I left Holland and it was much overdue.

Sitting side by side, with our feet soaking in warm water with rose petals and lavender scented bath salts, we relaxed and caught up on so many topics. With our polish still drying, we decided to continue our date next door for some lunch because neither of us was quite ready to go and we definitely worked up an appetite from all that “work” and still had so much more to talk about.

Sometimes you need someone who can listen really well and that understands you and has a lot to share too. We talked about raising kids, living in neighborhoods, being busy, planning parties, volunteering, family, local restaurants, cooking joys, exercise, and figuring out when we could meet up again. We talked about being real, slowing down, and enjoying the gifts we’ve been given and being thankful for all we have versus longing for something more. After we parted, I kept thinking of all she taught me and felt gratitude for having a great friend who thinks somewhat like me. I felt thankful for the friends I have in my neighborhood and for the relationships that have grown over the years in our little town. I went home and made a sausage tortellini soup for dinner because she mentioned this was one of her family favorites and was something I’ve never made before. Thanks for the great idea. We loved it!

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I ran into another friend at the local grocery store today too. Chatting with him and catching up made me thankful that we have lived here long enough that we run into people we know. It feels good to have a home base again where people know my name.

Debbie stopped by today to drop off a magazine. People don’t just drop in anymore and I miss that. She stayed for awhile and we talked about how the Dutch people always make time for a cup of coffee and one cookie. I love that tradition and want to do more of that here. She stayed for 20 minutes and then was on her way again. Next time I’ll offer her coffee or a cup of tea, as I was happy that she came by to visit even briefly. I love spontaneity and the art of conversation.

We live in a great community, and even though we never meant to stay here, I’m glad that we did.

Who or what inspired you today?