We all need a bit of magic in the midst of all this merriment we are making, right? I found my magic today in moments with friends and children, in laughing with my husband and bonding with him over the perils of raising a teenager in today's world. I need to laugh often. It truly is good for my soul.
I talked to my friend Terri today and asked her how she was doing. She quipped, "Well the boat is taking on water, but I am baling it out as fast as I can-- and paddling frantically at the same time!"
And I responded, "Oh, I am right there with you, baling and paddling myself. And that doesn't even include that now we have to decorate the boat for Christmas!"
We had a good laugh at our little joke before she had to rush off somewhere, as did I. We promised to connect soon. And we will. And in the meantime, it was enough just to laugh for a moment. To say to another mom, "Yeah! Me too!"
This morning at Melanie's was wonderful. A public thank you to her for opening up her home to all of us. When I rounded the corner to her house and saw the line of cars down the street, my jaw dropped open. She had a great turnout! It was a very cool reunion for those of us who were there. She only invited women who go or used to go to our old church. She is still there-- as are many of the ladies who were there. And then there were those of us who are now at other churches. It was a great group.
It was so neat to see all those folks again. To pause in the midst of all the rushing around to eat and talk and laugh, and catch up on people we hardly get to see anymore. Not being at church with all those folks is hard-- and seeing them today reminded me of how much I miss them all! Though we absolutely love where we are now, there is something special about getting to spend time with our old church family. Because they truly were. Our family. The morning, then, was quite magical, and I left feeling so buoyed by our time together. What is so cool is that, though we no longer worship at the same place, we all still passionately love and serve God. And this morning it was clear that that is all that matters. I love that kind of unity.
The rest of the day was also good-- mainly because I knew I did not have to cook dinner tonight. I savored this thought all day, mentally rubbing my hands together in anticipation of what I would do with that T-I-M-E before dinner that is usually spent 1) preparing food, 2) dealing with various squabbles and/or complaints while preparing said food, and 3) keeping the baby away from her new favorite toy, the refrigerator's water dispenser. Look mom! A waterfall! Watch mommy clean it up! Again!
Instead, I knew I could stay out of the kitchen entirely during that time, as we were having a wonderful meal called leftovers. Leftovers are a mom's best friend. Maybe not the kids' best friend, but definitely mine.
And so I sat out on our screened in porch with a book in my lap, intending to read while my children played in the yard. (We had another day of 80 degree temps-- definitely doesn't feel like December, but I will take it!) Instead, it turned out that I merely held the book on my lap while my 13 yo daughter chatted with me about every little thing that popped in her head. And then the baby joined us. And by the time darkness fell on our happy little party, they were all gathered on the porch. I looked around me and felt tremendously grateful.
Tonight we loaded everyone into the car and headed to the library to drop off books and pick up other holds that had come in. A new pile of Christmas titles are now on hand for our reading enjoyment this season. Just as we were leaving the library, the train came through our little town, rushing by the library almost close enough to touch. My husband drove the car to the closest spot we could get to and the kids jumped out to see the train go by. They stood on the fence and watched in awe as I watched them watching it. I wondered if they would remember that moment someday when they are all grown up. I certainly hope so. I know I will.
Now my two youngest are in bed. The oldest and my husband are doing a grocery store run. The 13 and 11 yo's are at the Matthews Playhouse production of A Christmas Story. And the 7 yo is creating some top secret masterpiece at the kitchen table. I had to usher for the show tonight at the Playhouse, but am now home in my jammies, savoring the quiet stillness that has fallen over our house. In a moment, I plan to get into bed and actually read the book I never read this afternoon. I can hardly wait.