Friday, October 18, 2013

because i love them

 i'm not sure there's any other possible explanation, but love.

i love him.

i must. otherwise i wouldn't have spent my entire morning in the middle of nowhere minnesota on a chilly, gray day with a group of mean looking men and a few even meaner looking women.

but i love my 16 year old son and yesterday was his firearm safety "field day." and so we got up early and drove kind of far and circled up with this interesting cast of gun savvy characters. and we learned more about firearms and amunition then i had ever thought possible.

go ahead, shoot me a question!

i know the GUN word is rather controversial in today's world, and let me just say, this post is not about THAT. i'm not making any kind of argument one way or another. no, the gun thing isn't important in this post, it just happens to be the setting for my story. we'll have to save that debate for another post friends. =)

but my outdoorsy-kind-of-kid wants to wade out a bit into the waters of hunting, and this field day was part of the process. and so there we were.

love her sweatshirt
hunting isn't really my cup of tea. i mean, we hunt all the time for missing socks or keys or receipts. i even hunt, on occasion, for a good bargain while i'm out shopping. but the kind of hunting my son is interested in exploring isn't really in my blood. i was definitely more the type to bring home stray animals as a kid ... my mother swears, one time i even dragged home road kill wanting to help it.

anyway, there we were: listening to this rather.. er, um...rough man talk: following his directions, signing the paperwork, taking the test, writing the check, sticking foam in our ears, shooting rifles (go ahead and imagine) and trekking through the muck of the minnesota horse and gun club ... or maybe it was the minnesota hunt and horse club. something gun, horse and hunt. let's just say when i went inside to find a restroom there were lots of stuffed things up on the walls -- even in the ladies room. (see my friend to the left).

remind me, again, how did i get here? oh yeah, i love my boy.

we do strange and uncomfortable things for our kids sometimes because we love them, don't we?

i bet you have a few stories of your own. things you'd never really have ever agreed to except that you had this child and she or he had this dream or desire or destination. you went along because you were the mom or dad, and then ended up looking around and wondering how in the world you got there. but knowing, regardless of how you felt about THERE, you were doing your part just being THERE for your child.

because sometimes we do things for our kids that really don't speak all that much to our own souls --- like chuck e cheese.

as a little girl, my middle daughter, sarah, adored the idea of chuck e cheese, mostly because it was a lot like forbidden fruit. mostly because i was never the kind of mom to really be all that passionate (or willing) about taking her there. so it became this really big thing in her mind. every time we would pass the establishment she would go on and on about how "all she has ever wanted to do in he life is go to chuck e cheese." well, we went there. once. and i remember feeling pretty close to how i felt at this morning's hunting lesson. how in the heck did i get here? if you've ever darkened the doorway of this little kids' mosh pit, you understand.

i had the same thing happen this past spring with my oldest daughter when we went shopping for her prom dress. i found myself at the world famous mall of america on the busiest prom dress shopping saturday of the year. my daughter and i were in the company of every other 17 or 18 year old girl (and all of their mothers) in minnesota. we waited almost an hour at one store to get into a dressing room. i was flabbergasted. i mean it, mad as a hornet and completely aghast at the idea of waiting 55 minutes to try on a dress, prom or otherwise. it seemed ludicrous. it was ludicrous. but it was also my daughter and it was the only weekend free for shopping and we were stuck. and, the bottom line is, i love her. and so we took turns waiting in this God-forsaken line to try on a dress which would cost too much money and that she'd wear only once. {trust me, it's better not to think too deeply on that}.

i'd like to think that because of love for my children i've also done more noble things than gun field day, chuck e cheeses and prom dress shopping. i know there were countless after hour trips to the 24 hour medical care facilities and late night runs to the drug store. there have been many early mornings when i've driven kids to 6:30 am practices ... or picked them up at midnight from a friend's house. one time we drove at 2am to pick up the middle daughter (miss chuck e cheese herself) from a sleepover party when she couldn't "make it through the night."

we've quizzed thousands of spanish words and bible verses and read the same, favorite, bedtime story books until the pages fell out. we've stayed up late frosting cupcakes or washing uniforms or consoling broken hearts. one time, when tyler was a little guy, his pet lizard wasn't doing so well, and we had a middle of the night conference call with a lizard expert. we ended up camping out on the basement floor cradling little "spikey" on our laps while attempting to share our body heat and feed him from a medicine dropper. i'm sorry, but prior to children, i just never imagined sitting on a basement floor, cradling a lizard and feeding him with a medicine dropper. these are the parenting things they don't tell you about before you sign up.

but it's in these very moments when our children connect deeply with us, isn't it? it's in these moments when our kids learn that they've got someone on their side ... no matter what. when we stay in a place despite our preference. when we camp out in the backyard or in the basement. when we stand in long lines for the prom dress or the concert tickets or the ferris wheel. when we throw the baseball to the boy who can't catch or play cards with the little girl who doesn't yet know her numbers. when we allow our kids to do science experiments in our kitchens or slide down the staircases in sleeping bags. when we choose mcdonald's over the salad bar place or an animated movie over a classic. when we put aside our own wishes or wants and meet our kids in the middle of their kid-kind-of-mystery ... we connect.

i'm not saying that the answer should always be yes! oh no, no, no ... if you've read anything on this blog in the past, you know, i'm not a mama who believes in always giving her kids their way. not at all. we use the word "no" rather often, in fact. and, by the way, the word "no" can also show love -- regardless of what our kids think! but in our parent-discernment we know there are times when we stretch ourselves for our kids.

maybe the word is sacrifice. because that's clearly part of this parent thing. but i think it has a lot more to do with just plain love. we love them.

and so, on occasion, we do some things which aren't quite in our wheelhouse, but we pull up our boot straps and we walk alongside our kids in their kid kind of worlds. and even if we leave with muddy feet or ringing ears or shaky hands, we know, more times than not, it was worth it.

i'd love to hear from you! tell me about a time when "it was worth it."

 on the way home we stopped off to check out the blaze orange and camo! 
again, not really my kind of fashion ... but, hey, never say never.

back at home, ty printed off his license/certification. i made him pose for this picture. 
told him he "owed" me. might use that one for awhile. =)

1 comment:

DiJo said...

Congratulations Tyler (and Jody!) You never know, that baby blue "girl" sweatshirt might end up at your house too if you stay here too long!
It's amazing the things we do in this crazy huge job we have as Mom's!!! Love this post!! :)