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All that matters

April 28, 2015

It’s been a while, dear friends. I needed to process my grief for our latest surgical news, support my child who is doing her own grieving, and prepare for our upcoming celebration – our first high school graduate. I’ve been learning all sorts of things about myself through this process. Before I go any farther, I must admit that I LOVE (I mean love, love, L-O-V-E, LOVE, truly I do, love!) to throw parties. I am a planner and a dreamer which can be both a blessing and a curse. To have a party as significant as celebrating this milestone is something I have been dreaming about for years. Once we (as in I asked the Boy Wonder what he would like to do at this shindig) made our selections, I have been sketching, sorting, eliciting help from others, and doing a lot of behind-the-scenes prep work. I won’t give away any details until the big day.

For years now, my parents have asked me to assist them when hosting dinner parties and various assorted soirees. I have created invitations, menus, shopping lists and suggested decoration ideas from thousands of miles away. So other than the obvious fact that he is a guy and really only had a couple of things he was incredibly passionate about for the party, I have had free reign to create. The path has not been without troubles, the first disaster was our choice of an accent color. Somehow for a school with colors of Laker blue (think: royal) and black, the Class of 2015 chose tangerine and silver for their class colors.

Whether or not Leigh Anne Touhy actually said this, the line in “The Blindside” movie has never left me. I gave my best: “I will not use that gosh-awful orange . . . it is not in my color wheel!” He comes from deep Southern roots and decided a nice preppy navy would be his choice. I fully supported his choice for its amazing pairing with our theme décor.

Do you know how hard it is to find a true navy in fabric stores? Before anyone thinks otherwise, I am FULLY AWARE this is a first world problem and that no one other than my family will know the difference anyway. We spent four hours searching (to no avail) to find wide navy ribbon for our tables. I had almost given up hope when I had a spark of creative genius hit me at about three in the morning. Why not search for table runners? Voila! A great deal was found in navy and ordered promptly.

My excitement was giddy, only to have hopes be as swiftly dashed. Instead of the navy prominently featured in the picture on the website, the box contained Laker blue table runners instead. Curses, foiled again! This was a crushing blow which was followed promptly by the ordeal known as: “Oh good gravy! Who knew that mini-cheesecakes were this much work?”! In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

To most people, they would just roll with the punches. I. AM. NOT. MOST. PEOPLE. Thankfully, one in the inner circle was able to talk me off the ledge. Here is a sample of our conversation:

Friend: Hey Kan! How is graduation planning coming? What can I do to help you?

Me: (forlorn, but not so forlorn as to vow never to go hungry again while simultaneously planning my next ball gown out of the drapery) Not so well.

Friend: Oh? What happened? The last time we talked things were going great.

Me: I can say this to you and you won’t judge me. . . (long pause for dramatic effect and just good form in Southern story-telling) . . . why can’t I just be average?

Friend: (absolutely in stitches as evidenced by the fit of laughter on the other end of the phone) That ship sailed away a LONG TIME AGO.

Instead of suggesting I was thinking a little too highly of myself, she knew my heart. She knew that the Boy Wonder never (and I mean NEVER) asks for anything for himself, and here I was left pretty much feeling like a failure because I wasn’t producing the two things that he most wanted for his party – mini-cheesecakes and navy as an accent color. I just wanted to give him the desires of his heart because . . . Well, that’s obvious.

He’s my son, and I LOVE HIM.

Even with all the graduation planning and end of the school year ta-das for a busy houseful of children, I have been trying to spend time doing some things just for me. Exercising, reading, and crafting have been my escapes. Ironically, one of those big lessons learned about myself occurred at the same time as my disappointment with table runners and cheesecakes. With all the remodeling we have done in the last few years, I have allowed a few odds-n-ends to stack up. One of those undone items was to sew new hand towels for our new kitchen. I had purchased the linen toweling last fall, but there it sat, still in the sack on my crafting table.

I took one afternoon to cut, iron, and hem the ends of my future towels. Let’s just say what I envisioned in the quaint little fabric store in St. Paul is not what occurred in my basement. For some reason, my machine was sticking at the folded layers of linen and created what could best be described as a jumbled mess.

For several years, the Boy Wonder (who has since outgrown the severity) attended a camp just for children diagnosed with asthma. The weekend camp was in the heart of Amish country in Minnesota. While he and the other no-wheezers (seriously that was the name of the camp: We No Wheeze) were having the time of their lives, we were camping and enjoying the local farmer’s market where Amish families had their wares on display. The quilts were absolutely stunning. I’ve been told that the seamstress will purposely make a mistake because only God is perfect. I could say I was channeling my inner Amish, but even I know that would be more than a Mark Twain embellishment.

towel1

towel2

For some reason as my shoulder blades were approaching my earlobes as my frustration grew more intense, God reminded of one amazing truth. Like my towels, I was and am, at times, a jumbled mess. I am not AVERAGE, because I am daughter of the most high KING. Even though I sometimes take my desire for things to be “just so” a little too far, he sees beyond that moment. He also reminded me no matter what my party or my towels look like, he would always be with me because . . . Well that’s obvious.

I am his child, and HE LOVES ME.

And after all, isn’t that all that matters.

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