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.

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!

Work Gives You Purpose

Everyone wants to be industrious. It creates happiness, and gives our life purpose at every age.

The 5th graders are at science camp this week, which leaves their school jobs vacant. Some of the fourth graders decided to ask the principal how they could help. She is so brilliant and I just love her. She found something for those who asked. Who knew she could create such excitement? You would have thought she told the kids they could go to Disneyland.

Charlie came home yesterday and had something very important to ask me. He couldn’t wait for me to get off the phone with my sister, and kept interrupting me. Of course, I’m still trying to teach him patience and respect, and I (meanly) asked him to wait until I was done with my conversation.  He obliged and as soon as I hung up he told me his plan.

He had to be at school today by 8:05 am at the latest because he had an important job to do and he had to be on time for his training. He was going to be the school crossing guard and he took his job very seriously. He was so excited and the energy that was coming out of his body was bouncing off the walls, “entertaining” us all. He insisted that we wake him up early and he was the one asking me if I was ready to go way before it was time this morning.  I LOVED his enthusiasm.

We were the first of the four students to arrive. He picked out his vest and sign and was ready to report for duty. This is a very serious job and there is a bit of a danger component that made it even more important. I was very proud of his work effort and how he focused on learning the new procedures and executed his role with confidence.  I loved watching the kids work with the principal, and I loved being in the group of moms standing on the sidewalk observing and being proud.

All the kids really were truly happy serving and being helpful. This made me realize how important it is for all of us to feel needed and purposeful. He can’t wait to go back to school early again tomorrow and serve again.

Be purposeful.

Be of service.

And you will find happiness. Just like Charlie.