Sunday, August 23, 2015

If you don't want to read about praying for the new school year, dont read this post.

It was in that moment, as I stood out in the front yard watering the plants, and my biggest and grumpiest kid walked out on the porch and declared, I'M TAKING MY PHONE BACK, after it had been confiscated due to lack of motion and physical activity on the part of said kid for the better portion of the day..... that I asked myself, What would Jesus do?  What WOULD Jesus do if a 15 year old just tried to buck the entire family hierarchical system of discipline and respect by demanding his own selfish way in matters?  Jesus would do as I did and say, Talk to your father... who happened to be driving up in the driveway from the grocery store.

Speaking of whom... Fireman  Dave is currently working his annual overtime job/ RAVE party-goer in downtown Dallas, because it's back to school time and we learned long ago that even public school expenses eat us out of house and home.  So there he is, down there in the heat of the day saving drunk and naked people from themselves.  It's a living.  Years ago he also got to be the personal paramedic for Jennifer Lopez, when she was pregnant and performing here in town, as well as being the paramedic in a presidential motorcade a while back.  I wonder which job he liked best.  My bet is on the backstage view of Jennifer Lopez, but it's simply a guess.  

Back to school for us means one kid starting high school, and the little one of the family starting middle school.  Which it seems so cliche' to say, but gosh it's true... Where did the time go?  It wasn't a blink of an eye ago that I was sitting in carpool line for morning preschool listening to a Kenny Chesney song about how fast time flies.  Kenny is such a speaker of the truth singing his country ballads all while wearing incredibly tight jeans.

New this week.... Kid 1 got recruited onto the JV football team, much to my surprise.  It was a day like any other.... imagine birds singing sweetly and my three hooligans lazing about on the couch eating tortilla chips.... when we went by the high school to pick up Kid 1's class schedule for the year.  And stopping by the gym to ask if the schedule looked all okay for Kid 1 to be on the wrestling team... a band of bold speaking coaches looked at Kid 1 and said,  Have you ever thought about football, son? 
And his eyes lit up like stars in the sky and we were quickly ushered into the inner sanctum of the mens locker room where the coaches office sits.  And I was secretly shaking my head no inside and trying to send Kid 1 a mental mind message of how I have no interest in feeding him with a spoon the rest of his life if he gets terribly injured playing football.  Then I was asked if I could get him a sports physical asap, fill out both a Concussion Awareness and Death by Sudden Cardiac Arrest form, and have the kid back for his first practice in 2 hours.

So I said yes.  Of course I said yes to the tall coaches looking at me wondering what kind of mom they were dealing with.  The kind of mom that looks fear in the eye and lets her kid learn his lessons the football tackled sort of way?  Or the kind of mom that wants her kid to play the flute in orchestra,well insulated by the giant brass instruments all around?   I said yes to letting the kid make an independent choice and got him back for practice in 2 hours, ready to go.  

And I sat in the stands last night watching him play in his first scrimmage game and took videos to show his dad when he got home.  It turns out that's the kind of mom I am.  Who knew?  (I am also the kind of mom who sits on the opposing team's side because it's cooler and shadier over there.  But I totally supported our team from my area of cool comfort the entire time.)

But as school starts and I feel overwhelmed by all the potential for change and all the growing up that's headed our way, I think that all I can do is pray.   I can pray for my kids.  I can pray for their teachers, and their friends, and for safe travels each day on the road to growing up.  I can and have, more times than I can count, prayed for the parents of the kids that my boys will meet that will keep them friendly company in these giant growing up years - that those parents are raising their kids to love and be loved by the God that made up the original definition of that word.  And yes, I pray for the young ladies that will undoubtedly influence, one way or another, the choices my boys make.

What I pray differs greatly, depending on the day.  One day at the gym I was talking to a friend who had with her, the happiest toddler in the land.  And I told her just that.  Her response, however was, Depends on the day.  Which then the little guy parroted mom and said happily, Depends on the day!

And my heart melted and I felt a certain kinship with that three year old because we totally think just alike.  Because on one day I pray for everything I can think of and sometimes it even comes out in pretty words.  Some mornings on the way to work I pray for all the bad people to stay the heck away from my sweet angels.  But then I get a call from a teacher and I find myself praying for God to turn these hellions of mine back into the angels that they had me all fooled into thinking they were.  

And some days I can't pray at all.  The words just don't come, no matter how hard I try.  So on those days, God already knows, I just ask him to do it for me.  To read my mind and cover my heart with all the goodness he has to offer.  And then I turn on the radio, drive to work, and trust that from that moment on, that God, the maker and sustainer of a list of things so long I can't even begin to name, ... can handle his own affairs.  So I trust that he'll pop the right person in the path of danger to avert any crisis.  I trust that teachers and friends and other parents will show up, miraculously, at just the right time when another voice is needed to speak to or for my kids.  And I trust that all will come home safe.  And mostly I trust that we will be given chance after chance to try again if today doesn't go as planned.

Because for me, much of this summer has, and some hasn't, gone as planned.  Tomorrow will be the annual day of cutie pie back to school pictures posted all across the land.  And I'll read about the separation anxiety and the sadness of the ending of a summer together.  But I can't tell a lie, y'all.  I'm ready this time around for it to get started.  I'm ready to get back to a routine that creates normalcy around our house.  I'm ready for time apart so that I can better appreciate our times together.   

I'm struggling with one kid in particular right now.  Sometimes two.  On occasion, three, but mostly one or two.  Depends on the day.... don't ya know..... Which may or may not fill my daily quota of weight laid in the hands of the good lord for a morning drive to work.  

And I feel a need to get a fresh start.  I'm not sure all the techniques I'll try - or for that matter, that anything I try would even work.  But trying won't kill me.  Not trying actually might.  

I commented recently to a work acquaintance about some vacation pictures he shared.  I commented that his trip stood out to me because it was a trip to visit his grown son.  And what I told him is that my greatest hope is that I'm growing strong relationships with my kids that will last well into the days when they're grown and gone.  And that my biggest fear is that I'm not.  Depends on the day.  

So I am trusting lots of things for now, and for tomorrow as we set out on our new paths.  I'm trusting that the day made by God for the special occasion of a new start, will be ordained for His glory.  And really, I think my simple prayer will be that it all turns out just fine.     

post script... thinking back on the day Kid 1 announced he was taking back his phone, and how I had a choice to make with my response,  .... Giving that some thought after the fact, I think if I were completely honest, there are plenty of times I've been just like that demanding 15 year old.  Bucking the entire system of discipline and respect to my heavenly father.  And what does Jesus do?  He says, Talk to your father

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  1. Beautifully said and as always, you hit the heartstrings - mine and others!

  2. the truth tends to do that, right?


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