This weekend was crazy busy, but one event stood out and has given much material for pondering. Russ and I got to see a junior high musical of Pinnochio. I love the talent and creativity of live productions at all levels, but there is just an added charm when it is young people. There is nothing like the comments that come over miked 7th and 8th graders when they finish their lines, and are making their exit but forget the microphone continues on. Hilarious!
We knew several of the kids, but were there mostly for a dear family friend. It was a great night, and long after I had pulled away from the school, I was contemplating the story line and marveling that these kids could remember lines, belt out tunes and look anywhere from 10 – 20 years old depending on how maturity is going for them.
I also thought about the inevitable drama that had accompanied the production. Times have changed in many ways, but I am quite certain that there was way more theatrics backstage and leading up to the show than we ever were treated to under the lights.
I confess that as I sat in the audience between sets, I thought back to my own junior high years and only managed to drag up one memory of any kind of similar endeavor. I know it had some Spanish theme and that there was a character called Senor Pimpernel (which in these modern times would have made us snicker but back in the dark ages had no affect whatsoever). My mom made me a skirt with ric- rac around the bottom and a white peasant blouse. I stood in the back row and sang and stumbled my way through “Toreador, be ever on your guard….” and that sums up the whole memory. I racked my brain for concerts, other plays, church skits and I got nada.
I know there were things. Plenty of them. I was on the go all the time. But when I think back and try to remember, there are just a few snap shots here and there.
Fast forward to three Reimer’s junior high years and the scenes flow in living color. I have memories of dialog both fun and not so fun, between us, between them, between them and their friends. I have countless hours of events that roll like a movie trailer from buses and car rides. I can literally feel the yard chairs, bleachers, auditorium seats, pews and folding chairs of myriad events that I sat in for hours upon hours, from sports to the arts and everywhere in between.
Maybe it is because the events are more recent, but I think it is because for some reason, the years of life with our children were just packed with more lasting meaning. I wasn’t just experiencing my life, but experiencing my life while actively involved in the most intimate way in the lives of people that were here because of me. Because of choice and decisions Russ and I made, with God’s great mercy and guidance, we are the parents of these three people. My life is intertwined with their lives lives. I can truly relate to the plea of Judah for his brother Benjamin when he says he can’t leave him in Egypt, “…for the life of the father is bound up in the life of the child”. (Genesis 44:30 NKJV)
I cherish and treasure every day they had in our home. So when I think about how little I think about my own childhood and youth, I have to tell you, it just is kind of a wake up call that they are probably not going to dote on every birthday party, Christmas stocking opening, car ride, movie day….on and on and on….like I do.
This parenting thing is a never ending learning process for me. I can get my nose out of joint when they forget the details of these years that were kind of a big deal to me. Just because we shared the experiences doesn’t mean we are going to share the memories all the time.
Lord, help me to hold on to the treasures you have given to me with light hands. Teach me to give them back to you as praises and thanksgiving for Your kindness to us in them. Teach me how to walk this road of being the mother of adult children. Hold my heart as our children move into the next phases of their lives. Help me to move on with them and for them in appropriate ways. Thank you that you know how I am made. Thank you that you know my heart. Thank you that you hold all of my days, and all of their days, in Your hands. <3