My seven year old son Will just asked me to give him a “butt massage”. I wish I were lying. Naturally I denied his request. We all just came in from jumping in the biggest leaf pile ever made. Will and Jack insisted on jumping from the railroad ties, to the ginormous pile, in order to get some major air. I warned them over and over that they would get hurt. While only one of them cried, they both realized I was, after all, right once more. We managed to find some other good places to jump from, and jumped till there were leaves all the way down in our underwear. This is the kind of fun we all need, don’t you agree?
The stuff of life sure seems to be keeping us busy around here. I’m done with my final test of nursing school, and all that’s left is a leadership class, and my preceptorship, which is essentially an internship. As I get closer and closer to my graduation date in December, I become more and more aware of my lack of direction. You might think this causes me stress, and you might be right. I mean, what kind of idiot goes to school for two years, and graduates not knowing where she wants to work? That would be me.
My logic, or faith, whatever you want to call it, is telling me that if I can make it through two years of nursing school while raising three kids, then the right job is also going to come along in due time. Am I naïve? Perhaps. Today I don’t really care. Today we jumped in the leaves. Today we played. And today I went to parent teacher conferences for Faith and Will.
The conferences went well, like they always do, and I sat there amazed at both reports of my kids. Seriously, if you knew Billy and I, you would not expect our kids to be as smart as they are. It’s almost eerie. Since Faith is adopted, we feel that her smarts have an explanation. But Will seems like almost a fluke. Will’s teacher said he had lots of friends, and the only time he gets into trouble is “when he’s being too social”. She asked what Will is like at home, and I replied, “Oh he’s very curious. He likes to take things apart”. This would be evidenced by the screwdriver I found next to the milk in the refrigerator tonight while making dinner.
Faith’s conference went like all the others. The bottom line is she’s amazing. The good news is she isn’t perfect, and she knows it. I am always just blown away by the fact that I have a daughter who is not only sweet, but smart, fun, and has a zest for life. What a huge gift we have been given.
Tonight while we were eating dinner, three teenagers walked by our house, and one of them jumped into our leaf pile. Jack yelled, “Mom! Some kid is in our front yard jumping in the leaves!”. Normally this would irritate me—Jack’s urgent need to tattle, and some kid thinking it was okay to come into my yard. But honestly, after the tragedy involving Jessica Ridgeway, I’m seeing life a little differently. I quickly opened the front door, while the three kids were trying to grab their stuff and scurry off before being busted. I yelled, “Wait, it’s okay! That pile of leaves is begging to be jumped in! Go ahead and jump all you want!” For the next few minutes my kids and I watched them from the front window as they took turns. And we laughed at their happiness. I hope they come back.
Life doesn’t always make sense. In fact I think most of the time it’s just plain hard. Today I chose to look past the hard stuff, and live abundantly. I played with my kids. We jumped in the leaves. We shared the joy with someone else. And when it’s time for bed, there will be hugs and kisses. Today was a good day.