Saturday was a big day for our family, because Clark registered for college. EEEK! He will be attending OBU in the Fall, and we could not be more thrilled. I wrote about our day yesterday here.
What I neglected to mention is that, as we walked across the campus, Aaron-the-son-in-law remarked at how nice everything looked. And it did. I've always thought the campus was so pretty, even back in the stone ages when I went to school there. Aaron said, "the thing that is sad to me, is that the Ouachita River is RIGHT THERE...but you'd never know it. You don't really see it, because of all the buildings."
And, this is how you know there's a chance you might have watched a tad too much "Fixer Upper," because I stood there in the smack-dab-middle of the court-yard, and said, "well, if I was Joanna Gaines, I would tell you that we could 'reconfigure this space' to maximize the view of the river."
Oh, "and add more natural light."
You know...just move a few buildings around to expose the natural surroundings...no big deal.
This morning, we all got up and went to church. Holly was on Praise Team, so they went out on stage first...and then the choir came out. I looked out to where Joshua and Jim usually sit, and saw Logan and Morgan sitting beside them, waving at us. We were just missing Clark, who has to go to first service, because of Youth (but not for too much longer!).
And, I'll just tell you right now, apart from my salvation, and my marriage, and the births of my children, and maybe a few other cool things...there's not too much more thrilling to a mom, than to look out and see her adult children sitting beside each other in the same worship service.
I thought I was gonna die right there.
Even tho we had less than 24 hours with everyone here at the same time, it was the best time.
Because I never wanted it to end.
I never thought my time as a mom would ever be more fun and rewarding once our kids got older, but I was SO WRONG. I have love, love, LOVED every single stage. I have.
Each stage of parenting has it's own cares and concerns and struggles, and each stage can be wonderful.
Learn from me, my little Padawans...don't wish the time away, and don't try to hang onto it longer. Don't wish they were older, and then when they're older...wish they were young again. Embrace each day...each stage.
I don't want you to feel bad for me when I say the next thing, but listen...I have Joshua, and he has Down Syndrome. He is a man, but he is a child. Many of the milestones our other 3 children met and passed...he did not. And it's okay, it really is. I'm gonna get to be a Mommy to him for...like...EVER. And that's okay.
But it's not "normal." You get what I'm saying?
I don't mean that in a bad way, because "normal" is relative...but it can also be divisive...because I know for myself, there have been times when I just wanted to blend in. Which totally shows that God has a sense of humor, because we stand out pretty much everywhere we go. Oops! But I'm not sure we should strive to be "normal." In fact, I'm not even sure that God calls Christians to be "normal" or live a "normal" life. What is it the Bible says about being "peculiar?" (But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light;" 1 Peter 2:9)
What I'm talking about is OUR normal. And it's okay.
I'm saying that it's good for our kids to grow and learn; to get to an age where they might not want to hold our hands or be seen with us in public; to form their own opinions (even if they're wrong); to strive for independence; to work out their faith; to get a driver's license and want to be free; to work and make their own money; to vote; to go to college if they want; to get married...to have children...and to raise them how THEY think is best.
Remind me of those last few as you feel led.
Because come August...and I take my baby to COLLEGE...all of this is going out the window, and I'm gonna be crying my eyes out.
But I'm gonna remind myself...it's hard, but it's normal. It's what most kids do...and what they're supposed to do. And I'm gonna remind myself to breathe, to embrace this new stage in Clark's life.
Anyway, back to today, my friend, Ruth, had also come for the service this morning, and it was so great to see her. After church, we went to eat at a Mexican restaurant. Everyone* was really excited about going out, because we usually just go home and eat re-runs (what Joshua calls left-overs) for lunch.
*Well, JOSHUA was not excited about eating out. HE wanted to come home...and change out of his Sunday clothes...and eat his left-over chicken strips from last night.
Hey, I can respek dat.
We typically walk in the house after church, and it's a full-on race to see who can get in their "comfy clothes" the fastest before lunch. Joshua has a love-affair with his Crocs. He can't get them on fast enough, so when we said we weren't going straight home, but going to lunch instead...he was not happy. And he started doing the mutter. You know, how the bad guys on cartoons used to mutter? Like that.
Plus, he calls his grandmother at straight-up 1 p.m. every Sunday without fail, and our lunch at the Mexican restaurant was totally messing that up.
A fact that he shared with his grandmother immediately after we got home, when he called her.
I was not happy with Joshua.
Anyway, after lunch, we came home and everyone started changing clothes. Logan and Morgan were getting their stuff packed up and ready to leave for their home. Joshua came downstairs and said, "I talked to Mammaw Jack...they are doing okay."
I said, "I heard you telling her that we messed up your plans, because you wanted to come home and eat re-runs."
Joshua said, "IMNOTTALKINABOUTTHATRIGHTNOW."
I said, "that wasn't very nice, Joshua. Logan and Morgan are here, and we all want to hang out with them as long as possible. We have a few left-overs, but not enough for EIGHT people."
Joshua just stared at me. I could see the wheels spinning.
Finally he said, "I was just hungry. You know that commercial that says you're not yourself when you're hungry?"
Joshua, "I was not myself, because I was hungry."
"Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent), and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6