This very morning I sat at the kitchen table with my son Will, and my husband Billy, and listened to the two of them in deep conversation. They are basically the same person, except Will has yet to develop his father’s calf structures. I give it a year or two, before the boy has fully morphed into his dad. Anyway, the two of them were discussing what it would take for a vomiting incident to register on the Richter scale. They also discussed fracking, and something about scientific measurements. I try really hard to not miss the little moments of my kids’ lives, but honestly, I wish I had those 20 minutes back.
Some might think that having a summer full of mornings around the kitchen table and staycations might turn out to be boring or worse yet, unworthy to write about here. However, this is not so. In fact, I have tried to sit down many times and describe all the great things we have to do here in our beautiful state, but there are always about 17 children at my side, and at least one giant dog. I. am. never. alone.
For the record, we are having a great summer. We have enjoyed Boulder Resevoir, The Bay, Marshall Mesa, the bike path along Hwy 36 and a variety of other outings in this great town. My kids are learning to appreciate the park in our neighborhood again, like they did when they were younger, and they meet up with friends at least once a week. We eat out back all the time, and sit around the fire pit in the dark and enjoy warming our feet after a long day. Life is good. And it is moving along way too quickly. I cannot even begin to explain how badly I would like to stop the clock.
A few days ago Billy and I accompanied our beautiful friend Danielle to Marshall Mesa to watch her take pictures of our son Jack, who happens to be heading into his senior year in a few weeks. Jack was annoyed his mom and dad had to tag along to an already “dumb” event, but I told him, “Jack, this is the kind of crap parent’s look forward to your whole life”.
We met up at sunset and walked a trail we’ve hiked with our family too many times to count. The setting was gorgeous and Danielle was able to make Jack look like he was happy to be there. When he started to get grumpy, I began to re-tell Jack’s “birth story”. He didn’t exactly LOVE that, but he did laugh, and we all enjoyed the sweet moments caught on camera. This was the kind of evening that I will cherish in the depths of my heart forever. Except the part where he wore a Star Wars tee shirt for several pictures. That, I’d like to erase.
The year ahead will be full of milestones such as Jack’s senior pictures. He is our firstborn and an ever constant reminder of God’s grace on Billy and I. Just this morning we were having a difficult conversation about a miscommunication and I had to remind Jack that we never had a 17 year old before and we need some room to make mistakes and figure this whole thing out together. I think he seemed a little surprised at my honesty, but in the end he was relieved that we don’t try and fake our way through parenthood but take the “we are giant messes” approach.
In a month, Jack will wrap up his college visits and his summer job will come to an end. We will close the door on this, his final summer as a school boy, and face the reality that adulthood is around the corner. The saving grace of all this is Jack remains young at heart, innocent, and always the kind of kid who isn’t afraid to say I love you.
Words don’t do justice to explain the gratitude I feel for being chosen to be a mom to this kid, as well as his siblings. 18 years ago, I was pregnant with Jack, walking around France, wondering what lay ahead in life and how parenthood would change Billy and I. Nothing could prepare me for what joys we have experienced, what lessons we have learned, and what love we have been given. We are nowhere close to being done raising kids, as the youngest is 5, but boy the ride has been something so far.
Matthew 6: 34 says, “So then don’t worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own”.
We have just about one month left to run through the sprinklers, and go get Sonic Slushies. One month left to find a new hike and go to Water World. One month before I have to buy 4 pairs of shoes—one for each child, as this is the first year, and the last, that they will all be in school at the same time. While soon, I may have more time on my hands, my heart will long for the days when we woke up when we wanted, took our time, and didn’t care about grades, tests, entrance exams, and the opposite sex. Growing up is good, and the road ahead will be sweet. Today we cling to what we have, for all we have is today. And today is full, abounding, richly lavished in God’s goodness.