A Graduation Kiss
Monday, May 23, 2011
As is often noted by many people, running parallels life in countless ways. One of my main struggles with my running is that it takes me a good 3 miles to warm up and get into the rhythm of the run. Sometimes this is 75% of the day's run... then it's over!
This weekend I attended my daughter's seminary graduation--could not believe it. It seems like we just got into the rhythm of our relationship--we understand each other--we LIKE each other--we do things and respect things and dream things together. And now she's going off to BYU to pursue her own goals and dreams and life. We were just getting warmed up.
So my question is... how do we warm up faster at the start of the run or the relationship or the life, in order to minimize the shuffle-stepping and maximize the long strides and thrilling distance? Not complaining here, it's exciting to see the new phases of life coming; but is there a secret out there, that makes the most of the whole experience? How can we warm up before hand and hit the ground running? Just askin'... and seriously hoping for answers.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Mother's Day. Of course today I thought of my mother and the relationship I am blessed to have with her. She is my inspiration and my friend. She taught me to want to be a mother by example, and by this same example, she has taught me to enjoy motherhood, to love, to serve, to be lost in the lives of my children. I love my mom and am so proud to be her daughter.
I was reminded today as I became absorbed in the image of my own kids playing in the family room, the beauty and benefits of living "in the moment." To learn from, but let go of the past and to allow my experiences as they are, be beautiful and new. Benny enjoys almost everything. He sees his toys, his family, his friends untainted by hurt feelings or past grudges or wishes for what things might be in the future--better, shinier, nicer. He connects with them now.
Sometimes when he is upset, Tori looks into his eyes and sings about speckled frogs and mama ducks without a hint of boredom or monotony. Those frogs and ducks almost seem to appear on her arm as one by one they "go off to play." Benny is with her all the way and enveloped by the calming influence of the rhythm of the song and play interaction with his big sister. He follows her lead with the hand movements and forgets his concerns.
Dania sits down on the patio in back and brings out the colored sidewalk chalk and draws with him. He copies her as best as he can. She takes a pink, he takes a pink, she takes a green, he takes a green. They don't talk about what will happen if the chalk gets all used up or if there are better colors out there, or the time it the chalk got rained on and there was nothing left to color with... They just color and create.
It's so easy to get wrapped up in the future, or past for that matter, and forget about the now. Are things wonderful this week? Today? This hour? This moment? Yes they are. I have people to serve and family to love and a home to keep. And right now, I'm glad for motherhood in general. For the chance to learn from my own kids as well as my mentor mother. Right now I will make and keep memories that I will recall at the right time, down the road. Right now I will go with life and see the beauty all around.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This is Dave (and Benny). To me, Dave is Mr. Wonderful. Dependable, loyal, true, loving, generous, forgiving, and ever-so-patient. He is a statistician, which means, he is a "numbers guy." By day he teaches graduate level statistics and drives students crazy. But on the weekends, he teaches the 15 year old kids in sunday school at church. Actually, he shares this job with another man who is, in fact, a magician by trade. Literally.
The two co-teachers usually alternate weeks conducting class. In case you didn't know, kids this age are particularly difficult to reign in when it is time to focus on a lesson at church. Dave's teaching partner has a few "tricks up his sleeve" and can usually catch their attention with some sort of optical illusion. Kind of a tough act to follow, I'd say. While Dave may have been tempted from time to time to woo the teenage crowd with calculus or the statistical significances of this or that, he has held his tongue... And steady but sure, he simply plugs along with the lesson of the week.
Sometimes we may see eye-catching beauty or talent of people that cross our paths in our daily life and wonder if our simple plugging along is getting the job done well enough. We may not shine or have anything to show but heartfelt effort and a steady pace. Sometimes fashion takes a back seat and reality is front and center.
Yesterday I took Dania to Nordstrom to get a pair of shoes for Senior Ball. I knew I wasn't exactly put together, but it didn't dawn on me, how much of a mess I was, until the salesman commented on my old running shirt. The knees in my jeans were also stained and dirty from cleaning and my hair was falling out of my ponytail. Initially I was embarrassed but it didn't last long. I remembered Marjorie Pay Hinkley's quote below, and I was okay. May we all show up to our most important event eye-catchingly dirty.
"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."
— Marjorie Pay Hinckley
— Marjorie Pay Hinckley
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
From what I gathered on TV, the northeast region of the United States was filled with fast-moving, quick-speaking, cold, abrasive people. Then we took a trip to Connecticut. As it turns out, the area is not all about NYC and crime and public transportation! In fact, this area has to be the most picturesque, peaceful, quiet, serene area I've ever come to know. I didn't want to leave. I loved the people. And now, after 7 months of serious research, travel, waiting, networking, imagining, interviewing, negotiating, and praying... it appears as though our family will soon be making a move from Provo, Utah to Canton, Connecticut. Dave has been teaching at BYU for 15 years and as much as we adore this little bubble from the world, he is excited to have been offered what seems to be, the moon. We're still working out details but I'll put it this way, I'm planning the biggest yard sale I've ever hosted.
2000 miles seems to be world away, but we are all excited for the opportunity to experience something new and different and beautiful. We've been to the area, the church, the schools, the stores, the community. We've run on their trails and eaten in their restaurants. We've made good friends and spent time in their homes. We've shopped in their shops and driven their byways. Hey, Tori even enjoyed a 3 day trip with the youth there. How could I have ever have been so intimidated by the idea? The people in CT have been incredibly welcoming and warm. Such as I have never seen before. We've been facebooked, emailed, texted, and phoned by them... and it wasn't even official until just this week.
Family is in the west. All of them. We will truly miss being able to just hop in the car for a day's drive and attend a big event or visit on a whim. This has been our greatest pull away from the decision. But it will be a day's flight, however, just like it is a day's drive is now. And there are blogs and facebook and picture texts and cell phones and skype. And there is still the amazing love which always has and always will, bind us to our eternal family.
I'm so happy for Dave, who has worked hard in his career to get to this point, excited for Dania, as she'll be coming "home" to the east coast like she has always dreamed of, thrilled for Tori to have an adventurous last two years in high school, and glad for Benny to start his life as big-boy where they really value education (yes... he would start part-time this fall, in a pre-K program!). And me? I look forward to radiant autumns, endless exploring, and getting involved in the community wherever possible. Canton, Connecticut, here we come!