Rainy days and Mondays
Recently I have been busy, overwhelmed, and frankly at times, worn out. Amazing things have been happening, and accompanying those have been some moments that have shaken my foundation. While at times I may need a reminder, I know that my foundation is laid on God’s solid ground which has and will always anchor me through the storms of life.
Despite my best efforts, the clock hands continued to turn and so too flipped the pages of the daily calendar leading up to yesterday – which happened to be a Monday. Blech. In my mind, I wanted to pretend that the day wasn’t coming. Mondays are sometimes bad enough, but this Monday was the worst of them all as it was the day we would be taking the Boy Wonder back to college. Much like the unexpected Friday e-mail that sentenced me to my bed weeping, the arrival of this Monday had me not wanting to leave the bed. If I just lay here this day will come and go and we can go right back on living our lives with our guy home.
But then I saw the excitement and joy and anticipation in his eyes, and I put on a happy face and kept on keeping on even though my heart wanted to hold on tight. And while my spirit was sad for me, for us, my soul knew he was going in exactly the right direction on the path God has laid out for him to truly shine a light in this world, desperately in need of some illumination.
I know this with every fiber of my being, but it was confirmed while we played the game known as “Let’s change passengers with our college boy every 30 miles; so, we can all have one-on-one time with him”. He, of course, while willing to play along, knew nothing of this plan. When I had the coveted co-pilot seat in his sporty little car, I asked him about his goals and dreams for the year. This seemed like a better plan than sobbing and pleading with him not to go. His answer helped soothe my worried momma heart. Adding to his goals of continuing to be involved on campus and being the best student he can, he dreams of adding more leadership opportunities and hopes to start a new campus club. Whoa! Socks blown off! I often look to heaven and marvel that we had a hand in the shaping of this amazing young man.
I am a better person because of him and his brother and sisters. These tiny moments, even while hiding tears behind sunglasses, are the glimpses showing me how blessed we truly are. No matter how tight I want to hold on to our past, he, with God’s help, needs to create his future.
When my heart is breaking, there are always friends that receive my distressed Bat Signal, and they respond with rapidity unparalleled by any caped crusader. A perfectly timed text saying to hug my kiddo and tell him “how proud he makes us all” and a personalized card saying to keep shining because that is what the world will see in our son changes everything. I am left smiling through my tears, counting my blessings. Who would guess both of those could happen on a Monday?
There are many days when laid out grief is all I have to offer, and then there are the moments in life when someone has to offer the bit of humor to fill the awkward silence. I prefer the latter and it seems I have developed and (if I can brag for a moment) perfected this technique over time.
Growing up, I don’t think I would have ever considered myself funny. It just wasn’t in my repertoire. I loved to laugh, but creating laughter wasn’t my strongest subject. In school, I was never the class clown, being more concerned with trying to learn everything about everything. I know the apples don’t fall far. I am certain in all my growing up days my parents would have considered my brother the humorous one.
But, like my son – who has always been hilarious – I went to college chasing my dreams and along the way somehow developed that sense of comedic timing where a snarky comment, a light-hearted sarcastic retort, or an aptly-placed witty comment could save the day. Although not my superhero power, this skill has helped me on more than one occasion to change my outlook on something. All my besties share this knack, and it is the glue that bonds us together as a tribe of mommas doing the best we know how to do.
So while my boy goes off to college, I can always take solace in the fact that technologies have improved so that we can stay in contact much more easily. If that doesn’t work, I always have pictures for blackmail memories.
To all the returning college students: Be your best. Shine your light. Call your mother. Make good choices. Find your adventure. Be brave and take chances. Make a few mistakes and learn from them. Be resilient. READ THE SYLLABUS. Find your own tribe of weirdos and embrace them. Be kind and gentle. Give back to others. Don’t forget to study. Remember why God gave you knees. Read a book just for fun (trust me you have way more time than you think you do). Have fun and my most favorite of all-time: Be Particular.
And for our guy – Ride like the Wind!