Thursday, April 30, 2015

golf balls, gross basements and a great love

i was already kind of mad at him.

it was late afternoon on a sunday and i was headed to the nail salon. i had my book and my latte and my pathetic, garden-battered nails, and gosh darn it, i was ready to go get pretty -- or at least mani/pedi pretty.

with a girls' trip to the beach looming later that week, it was time to get the nails looking a little nicer.

it was my time.

but then his text came ----

my oldest son wrote, "mom, i forgot to tell you, (that phrase which never bodes well) but my whole discipleship group is meeting at our house in a little bit. don't worry, though, it's not a big deal."

not a big deal except that he failed to mention it and the house was gross and the basement where they'd be hanging out, even grosser. like i'm pretty sure my son hadn't cleaned the (HIS) bathroom down there in probably well over a month. and i was sure there were dirty dishes and dirty socks and no-telling-who-knows-what-kind-of-other-dirty breeding in that space where his discipleship group was coming over to be all spiritual and everything in.

and, because i'm a mother or a woman or a just your average person with a smidge of pride left,  that somehow didn't sit right with me.

even when the 17 year old assured me none of that mattered.

it did.
it does.

i'm sorry 17 year old son, i value most every little thing about you --- EXCEPT your opinion on what qualifies as clean.  (i've seen your room, dear one).

so there i was with my nasty, garden-damaged nails ... and though i should have texted him back something like, "what-the-heck-tyler" or "you're-on-your-own-buddy-boy-i'm-heading-to-the-salon!"

i didn't.

i went home to clean a toilet, collect the dirty dishes and create what i deemed a slightly more reverent space for these boys coming together to talk about Jesus.

now before you get all judgey with me, you need to at least consider the following:

#1.  this was the first time tyler's discipleship leader would visit our home. and, ya'll, he's not a high school boy,  he is married. and we all know that means he is at least somewhat past the point of thinking that blackish-green stuff growing in a toilet is kind of cool.

# 2.  i like to make at least a good first impression. after that i'm not quite so worried about what someone thinks. perhaps that's not right and i should seek help, but i really can't control it. i have no power over this deep need to vacuum a rug before your first visit to my home.

# 3. and finally, yes, in a perfect parenting world i would have confidently continued on to the nail salon and told my wayward teen to go clean his own bathroom, bedroom and boy-man-cave basement --- but he was already gone (at church for a meeting -- this, of course, did help his case a tiny bit) and wouldn't be home in time before the boys descended.

okay, with that said, everything (with the exception of my nails) was coming together pretty well.

and just moments before the group's arrival, i ducked into my own bathroom (the one without the greenish black stuff growing in the toilet) for a quick brush of my hair.

still slightly miffed with my last minute boy, i was vigorously brushing my hair, when i heard the explosion.


what the heck? i dropped my brush and covered my head.

a gunshot?
an earthquake?
a hand granade? (i didn't actually think that, but it makes for more interesting reading).

no --- but a stray golf ball rolling around wildly in my garden tub.

a stray golf ball and a whole lot of glass around the tub and at my feet.

guess who had come home a little early from his church meeting and decided to practice his golf swing in the backyard???


exactly. you guessed it. the oldest son.

the keeper of the dirty bathroom and the teller of last minute plans.

that one.

now, the swinger of the wild golf club and the breaker of the large glass window.

when i recovered from my near death experience, i climbed onto the ledge of my glass covered garden tub and looked out of my now damaged window.
and there he was below me in our yard: club in hand. mouth open and eyes wide.

oh no.

oh yes.

oh so not this kid's day.

not his day to get on his mom's good side.
not at all.
the boy would have just been better off staying at church.

except that's not how it works, right?

not for us mamas who love our kids.

even on days like this ... days of dirty basements and last minute plans and broken windows.
nothing changes the way we love our kids.
even while enduring our own dirty and neglected nails, we love them.

we love them.

and though their opinion on what constitutes clean might not amount to much, everything else about them does.

even their messes, their mishaps and their mistakes.

i can't help but think that's exactly (except better) the way our own Father in heaven loves us --- his messy and messed up kids.

nothing we fail to mention or wildly throw at Him will shatter the Father's love for us.


Sammy said...

It's always great to have a reminder that I'm not the only one with a life like this. : - )

Beth said...

Beautifully written perspective of mothering, particularly of 17 year old boys! So sad to have missed hearing you at the luncheon yesterday. Some day, I pray!

Anonymous said...

oh my! PLEASE tell us that he offered to clean up THAT mess… :)