I’m not sure when I stopped dreading weekends and coming home after being gone all day. All of fifteen and I breathe shallow years that come with the push of a grocery cart down the liquor aisle with my mother. The aisle next to my favorite cereal and frozen pizza snacks I chose for dinner.
She grabs Boone’s Farm from the shelf, lays it on top of the Milano cookies. I look at my watch, count the hours of dread before a new day dawns.
I escape the unwelcome transformation of my mother through the portal of prime time. Learn from the Brady’s and the Partridge Family what “normal” families do on weekends.
My mother and I, we mesh in the familiar weekend dance of escaping soul pain; offering consolation for the guilt on the edge of blankets with cigarette holes the next morning. It takes me a long time to let go of the false responsibility for the happiness of her misery.
Because honoring your father and mother doesn’t mean fixing them. Sometimes the most honoring thing you can do is let go.
The fear that comes with what I can’t control, it returns the day the line turns pink on the pregnancy test. After all, I did such a poor job parenting my mother; it terrifies me to think of the mistakes I might make with the clean slate of brand new life.
But redemption, it pushes through the birth canal in the tiny toes and wiggly fingers that pulse with my DNA. And God reveals how much he trusts me by granting the gift of motherhood.
An awakening to the realization that the pages of my life, they are not authored or edited based on my circumstances. My history as a child of an alcoholic shapes who I am, it doesn’t define me.
Because when I look into the eyes of my daughter at the dinner table, she sees her mother. The mother, who cuddles with her on the couch, knows what kind of gum she chews, saves the last cookie in the jar, and hangs up the pile of clothes at the bottom of her closet when life gets overwhelming.
With every stage of parenting I am more fully awake to the knowledge that His plan for my life, for your life, they aren’t dependent on our experience or circumstance or the things we do for acceptance. And the deepest transformation often comes in packages labeled Beyond Your Experience and Instructions Not Required.
I find myself whispering worry prayers blanketed in the fear that I’m not doing enough. Am I doing enough to train my daughter to live on her own? Am I doing enough to be a successful writer? Am I doing enough to cultivate a hunger for Jesus in the heart of my children?
I’m the centurion (Matthew 8) asking Jesus what to do to resurrect the dead places, avoid death altogether. His answer has always been, trust me.
It’s Saturday and H pushes the grocery cart down the wide aisle at Costco. He holds up two bottles of Cabernet and arches his eyebrows for my approval. They find a place on top of the box of frozen pizzas and cereal. And I realize, I haven’t thought about watching the Brady’s for years.
He could plainly see that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world. ~The Awakening, Chopin
In community Michelle, Laura, Jen, Eileen and with Ann to count gifts. I’m thankful for a mid-day walk on the beach, for the new shoes that left footprints in the sand to follow back home, for the sand crabs that scurry down under and pelicans flying low over the water.