Sunday, September 23, 2018

I wish for you pants with no holes

Hello and welcome to the rain forest which is Dallas.  It's a full on mosquito storm around here and I discovered in such a way in the bathroom stall at my son's football game this past Thursday, that even in the nicest of stadiums, in the richest of school districts - um, sure not talking about ours......  we're all equal in the eyes of God's creatures.  It became a total issue of self preservation in there.

Kid 3 had a game at Highland Park stadium Thursday night, and we knew going in that it would be a predictable disaster, but then the lightning struck and we all got sent out of the stands to take cover for 30 minutes... except for the fact that when there's another bolt, the 30 minutes re-start - endlessly.   So this went on for about an eternity when Fireman Dave and I decided it was time to go get something to eat since neither our school's coach nor the Highland Park coach wanted to be the first to cancel the game.  The boys ended up going back out maybe an hour and a half later and playing 2 quarters just to show that we could.  Indeed, it was the disaster we expected, but y'all, we did it on our terms.

Then we got a call from Kid 2 saying his car wouldn't start and was stranded on the corner of Where am I and I don't know what to do.  And I swear if we didn't get almost the same call from Kid 1 a bit later about his truck not starting.  I grew up with a dad that was King of the Used Car Purchase, and the  Walters family is obviously following in those royal footsteps. 

My dad liked to fix just about everything with duct tape, and if that didn't work, he had a good ol' boy named Grady that usually had a back alley part or two and would be willing to fix it for the price of cheap plus a case of beer.  I have yet to find a Grady of our own, but do, in fact, have duct tape at the ready for many a project.  I did learn a thing or two from my dad.

And here we are the following night, in the middle of the Friday Night Lights Monsoon where Kid 1 played Highland Park's Varsity team.  Again, another predictable disaster, but let me say that the character of our boys, our parents, our school administration shines in the face of a challenge.  Though I gave up after about the 4th lightning delay, and tired of sheltering in the hot sweat of Fireman Dave's truck, I called it quits and decided to follow the team on Twitter in the comfort and dry of my own home.  And again, neither coach would be the one to call off the war, so they boys finally came back out about 10pm to play a bit longer and prolong the ineveitbale.  But,.... y'all, this gives me public school parent goose bumps - every school principal and administrator stayed the entire time, waited out the storm, and stood there to support this team that started out as the underdog in every way in this battle.  The score board says we lost, but my heart says we won in what was really important.

And on the subject of school, I can't even believe that Kid 1 just purchased his cap and gown for graduation and is right in the middle of receiving his college acceptance letters.  More on that later, but there are already a few options, and it has been my constant prayer that he find what is right for him, without the influence of others in his decision.  Y'all, this is such a big issue right now, and my school of thought is this, I believe the boys need to find their own way before trying to share that way with anyone else. And as we say in church, Lord hear our prayer.  

And you just have to read this... that I just saw in our church email for the coming week.

Wilshire Talks, Sept. 30
Plan to stay for lunch and Wilshire Talks next Sunday, Sept. 30, with two Wilshire members telling their stories in a TED Talk format. Speakers will be Wally Brewster, former U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, and Kristi Walters, mom, fitness instructor, blogger and humorist. Lunch is free. Wally made international news in 2013 when after unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate he became the first person in a same-sex marriage to represent the U.S. at the ambassadorial level in the Americas. His appointment was opposed by the Catholic Church and evangelical leaders. In his Sunday talk, Wally will explain how his own Christian faith sustained him in this challenge. Kristi is a regular blogger for Wilshire’s Facebook page, where she often writes about her husband, “Fireman Dave,” and their three boys and their journey through public education, family drama and lessons learned as a fitness instructor. Child care provided during the event with pre-registration.

Um, thank you for whoever tried to make me sound interesting in this ad.  But following up after someone who's gonna talk about something thoughtful and intellectually stimulating over a plate of lasagna has got me thinking about what on earth I actually do have to say.     Maybe something that will make everyone want to go home for a cozy Sunday nap,... but I appreciate the press.  And, yes I am honored to have been invited to share.  Really.  Wally's gonna be a tough act to follow, but can he tell an entire story about diarrhea like I can?  Only time will tell.  

Oh, and just for the fun of saying this happened... I sprung a hole in my work pants one day last week.  Leaving me to dig around in my bag of tricks to find an emergency pair.  Kind of like when  I used to pack a little ziploc bag for the boys with extra shorts and underwear when they were in pre-K, in case of a similar yet somehow so different pants problem, I had a pair of black and red dotted Nike tights as my only choice to wear with my clashing gray top and bright pink and purple shoes.  It looked like Hobo day at the Y that day, but I got paid so I have to be thankful for that.  And no crazy man attacked me over towels which is always a plus.  If you didn't hear that story, you can read all about it here.  

And last bit of news for this week - I invited my brother to come see Kid 1 play this past Friday night.  And I'm just going to say that I knew that this situation could end up as bad or worse than the game itself, but a feeling in me made me do the right thing.  He did show up, wandered around and found Kids 2 and 3 in their respective spots, and tried to make reasonable conversation.  We're all pretty sure he was drunk, but did a good job of holding it together for the first quarter of the game.  He did, however, tell Kid 2 how mad I make him and how he would like to kick me in the head.  Such love we share.   I've heard worse.  Much worse.  In fact, that pales in comparison to the one where he would like to cut off my head and put it on a stick.  Something about my head just gets this guy all riled up.  

Anyway, it was, for me anyway, an extension of the grace that I know full well that I receive each and every day from the God that doesn't have to even give me the time of day.  

So  I invited my brother to the game becuase I have been invited many a time to start again, even in the smallest of ways.  And I hope I continue to get those second and third and millionth chances.  Again, Lord hear our prayers.  

I will just say this... my brother is a challenge.  He is what happens when a parent stops being the parent and allows the kid to control the home.  He is what happens when the parent is so afraid of what the kid might do, that they let the kid do whatever he wants at the expense of the family.  And he is the perfect example of an adult who never learned the word no.  So now he is stuck in a place with a suitcase full of bad decisions, an empty house that he inherited,  with all its contents, and no one to share it with.  He's an adult who never learned to interact with other adults because he was far too long treated as a child.  And now that my mom is gone and his support system that had set the tone for his existence is gone, he's  lost and lonely and not sure how to move one step beyond where he is now.  

He loves to throw raging, curse filled tantrums my way - having learned that from the best of them, our mom.  But what he has found in me is a woman that has grown up and away from the position of being held prisoner to the abuse.  He finds in me a person that he can easily yell at because I was always the one easy to yell at.  But I learned so long ago that not giving it the attention that the abuser is hoping for, not getting involved, not yelling back, not encouraging the moment, makes his energies tired, lifeless, and all the more draining on his attempts.  And I have to remind him that I, too, learned from the best - our mom, as I put up with abuse for a lifetime, and had to figure out how to move beyond it.  

I think I'm still figuring it out - even as the mother of 3 almost grown kids of my own.  Sadly, I may always be the kid that was this or wasn't that in her eyes.  But the good thing is that I am now the adult that refuses to let that be acceptable.  So last week when my brother tried to fire off his best anger, I met it with an invitation to see my son play football.  And I met it with the disciplinary words of a mother telling a child that his behavior will not be tolerated, and to please try again. 

Teaching a grown man the difference between right and wrong is probably a bigger job than I have time for at this point, but to be a part of my life, he has to learn the rules.  

I would typically throw in a Bible verse or some sort of catchy lesson right in the here and now.  But I've come up dry on this one.  My prayer is for healing, for patience - which I heard we should never really pray for because God will certainly give you the practice you need to get it perfect - and for me to just be what I need to be for this family.  

And.... for you, I wish you such good things this week... pants with no holes and blessings beyond measure.  

Would you like to comment?

Love your comments. Leave Your comments.