Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finding Her Place There

Published in Wasatch Woman Magazine,  April 2010 (click HERE for the link)

A few weeks ago, Jeff and I were on a date & got stuck behind a slow-moving Uhaul. It was already dark, & it became clear that the female driver was helplessly lost. As Jeff switched lanes to pass the truck, I wanted to wave her down, get out of the car, and give her a big hug. I wanted to offer her a tissue and cry with her, because 7 months ago I lived through the grand adventure of a move to another state, and had an idea of what she was about to experience.

 I wanted to tell her that I knew how much she will miss her old friends and neighborhood, and especially any family she may have left behind. Her children will come home from school in tears, insisting that they move back to their old home - today. She'll get in the car to go to a library or post office & realize she has no idea where one is. She'll open her Halloween decorations bin and start to cry as she unpacks the decorations her favorite neighbor had given her last year. After carefully mapping out directions to a doctor's or dentist's office, she'll become helplessly lost & come back home in tears. She will feel lonely and isolated in her new neighborhood; although some new neighbors will be friendly, new relationships and friendships don't grow overnight. It will take time to adjust to the idiosyncracies of her new house, yard, and weather conditions.

She will second guess their family's carefully-thought-out-and-prayed-over-decision to move at least a thousand times. She will feel lost in so many ways.

And then one day she might wake up in anticipation of a lunch date with a new friend, a decorating project to fill that blank space on her wall, or even of getting out in the yard and raking the leaves. She'll get a call from a new neighbor out of the blue and realize that she isn't completely invisible. Her kids will come home from school excited to share stories, homework, and the name of a new friend they made that day. Her husband will take her on a surprise date, remind her of how fabulous he thinks she is, and thank her for all the sacrifices she has made for him and their children.

I wanted to tell her all of those things as we passed her truck. Instead, I tried unsuccesfully to catch her eye, and Jeff & I continued on our date.

That night as I went to bed, I thought once more about the Uhaul driver, and realized that I had made it through the hardest part. I silently thanked her for being lost, but hoped it wouldn't take too long for her to find her new home, and to find her place there.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Gonna Miss This

Having recently moved here from Texas, my oldest daughter Kirsten is doing all she can to hold onto her image of being from TEXAS, including a new & abiding interest in COUNTRY MUSIC. Thanks to her, my eyes have been opened to its merits, and although I am aware that there are plenty of trashy country music songs out there, what other genre of music makes songs about Faith & God & Family Values acceptable? Thanks to Kirsten & Trace Adkins, the most recent song that makes me tear up and, more importantly, stop to find joy in the otherwise crazy moments of motherhood, is called "You're Gonna Miss This." The Chorus:

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this
  • Reading Caleb the book Go Away Big Green Monster & having him ask me to read it at least 10 more times (regrettably, I had to stop at 3)
  • Listening to Emma's prayers; her child-like faith builds my faith
  • Seth's excitement as he came home from a piano recital with a rubber eye ball; the pupil stares straight up at you as it rolls around
  • Rob showing that he's growing up when he left for Scouts, knowing they were going to be picking up trash as a service project, and didn't complain or beg to stay home
  • Kirsten wearing one of my old prom dresses to a dress-up Hallowen party; talk about feeling "vintage"; talk about seeing that your barely 13-year-old daughter fits perfectly into your high school prom dress
Hectic & stressful as my life often is right now, I know I'm gonna miss it!