Navigating conversation with my teen, it’s like walking tight rope. Words fall off for lack of generational balance, bounce below on trampoline and crumble into oblivion. I brush myself off, try a different technique and start across the thin line all over again. Once-in-a-while I make it to the other side of understanding, onto the platform of safety without a fatal fall.
When I turn around to see where I came from. How that thin line held me when doubt turned my head down, I know His hands cupped me gentle along the way. Those are the days that give me hope, to try again. Engage the one who rolls her eyes at my questions.
And the more I engage, the more I realize that I am the pupil, learning from a portal of time and perspective that is more like the backyard pool than a ship charting seas with endless horizon. She keeps me focused on the things that float on top, not what I think swims below my feet, too deep to see or feel.
Because the deep water soul life, it swims to the surface at just the right time. When that light sword exposes what swims in ebony waters, the gaze of the eyes all heart.
And I will be waiting, floating in my boat on top, ready to grab her hand and pull her in so we can row through those deep places together.
It’s been twenty-five years and I mingle with friends in reunion, the ones that once rolled their eyes beside me on bleachers and orange shag. The friend with the Lauren Hutton gap who invited me to be part of her family. I lived on a golf course one teenage summer, far from my house of dreams and the empty refrigerator.
She approaches me, apologizes like it haunts her every day of the twenty-five we live separated by stretches of pavement and welcome signs. Says she regrets the way she acted, how I had to move out of their house because her eyes, they rolled in a way she just couldn’t see anymore.
I didn’t even remember it. I just remembered how the breeze blew my hair in the golf cart, the feel of wet turf cooling my bare feet when we ran to the pool in our swimsuits. How we laughed in the company of Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees hanging on her yellow bedroom walls.
I told her about how grateful I was to her parents, for taking me in when my mother decided to move away. How I saw clear again, after living blurry all those years with the cockroaches and wine bottles.
She said she didn’t know that about me, that I lived that way. I took a step back and my perception stepped off the curb, fell right into the pool of splashing perspective.
I was sure I walked through the halls naked, that my peers knew what all my private parts looked like after the police came to my door the night before the tardy bell rang. But my friends, they just liked my blue pantsuit, Dorothy Hamill haircut and the way I laughed at everything.
Now when my daughter answers “I don’t know” to questions about her friends, I believe her and then I go look at the beach ball and rubber duck floating in the pool. And I’m fine with that. Just that.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Psalm 51:5-6 ESV
It’s Monday and I counting gifts today with Ann. Won’t you join me?
- A day with my girl shopping for her Easter dress.
- Three boys on motorcycles doing wheelies and making us laugh.
- An air-conditioner going out in March, instead of July.
- The new one installed before the weather hits 90.
- For friends who ask questions because they care.
- Grocery shopping with H, so we can start our diet today.
- Plans for our anniversary trip to London and Scotland and the realization we haven’t done this in twelve years. What a gift!
- For emails, comments, tweets and texts that speak encouragement to this writer, new on the trail.