Our dinner menu for this Sunday night: Three bags of microwave popcorn, and 1 cake pan of rice krispie treats. I know, I know. I'm the best mom ever. Also I bet I'm contributing to Juvenile Diabetes. The cold hard truth is that Billy's been gone all afternoon, and when I'm left to parent alone on the weekends, quality supervision and healthy eating goes right out the window. When I announced the dinner menu from the couch, you'd think all I heard was cheers from the children, and I did, mostly--after Will pointed out that he "prefers the popcorn with extra butter, rather than just plain butter". I almost pointed out to him that I prefer grateful children who don't complain, but I was too tired to be snotty, after all my single parenting the last several hours.
We are on the cusp of another crazy week, as the school year winds up and summer is around the corner. I feel a little short changed from the public school system this spring as it feels like I've spent more time with my kids this past couple of months than in previous years. They've had several snow days (a few legit, a couple not so much). Then there's Jack's 15 days home for "Digital Days", otherwise known as "Let's see just how stressed we can get, and then hit send before we've checked our work". And now we enter the season of field day, Pioneer day, field trips, and root beer float parties. I've signed up to help when I can, but between the kid's stuff, and my job, I lose a bit of the "me time" I've come to enjoy.
Billy and I both got some "me time" together. This rarely happens, and almost never during the actual workweek. Billy had already gotten a day off to meet with a friend, and I also had the day off. We'd learned earlier in the week that a dear family friend of ours passed away and we were so happy that it worked out for both of us to be able to attend the funeral. It felt like a gift from God. Billy was asked to sing a song at the service—which he did, through tears and sadness. But there was joy too, for the knowledge we have that Janet is pain free, cancer free, and dancing in the presence of Jesus. The whole service was very moving, and touching, and we both left with a feeling of fullness.
There's just something amazing about reconnecting with the people who helped shape who you are. We saw our good friend Mark, whose always referred to me as "Lisa Lou" or when he's feeling really sassy "Lisa Dayle Dumb". We saw women who taught my Sunday School classes as a child, and they were gracious enough to not tell me I had been a brat. We saw some of our very best friends who were grieving, yet we were able to love and laugh with them, because even in sadness they know there's a reason to have joy. And we saw folks who never did like me much, and still don't. But that's okay. Sometimes you just have to admit that there are people out there who are just plain not going to like you. And some things never change, like when you are saying hi to people with your sister and everyone has to comment on how pretty she still is. The only "compliment" I got was, "Wow, Lisa, you look taller".
After we got home, Billy and I had to debrief and process the whole day. We sat and talked about how special it is to have people who have been a part of our lives since I was a kid. We began to think about all the special people who are doing that now for our own children. People like Mark and Beth, who ooze wisdom and grace, and exemplify God's love more than anyone else we know. There's our lifegroup gang, who invite us into their lives and not only welcome us into theirs, they know how to make us laugh till we cry. While all the kids are tearing up the Bulow's basement, we adults are learning how to do real life together. It's messy, fun, and hard. But there's a love that flows deeply, and somehow covers imperfections and helps heal wounds. We are grateful to be involved in a church that is not without flaws, but that's partly what makes us love it all the more. The folks there welcome us, even on those Sunday mornings when we walk in trying to cover the fact that we fought the whole way there. These precious people invest in our kids, and give more than just their time. They give their whole hearts in helping us raise our kids to know Truth in this cold, hard, mean world. This is the legacy of love my parents gave me, and now Billy and I are passing it on to our own kids. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails.