Written Monday, May 2nd.
It’s been such a good day. Any day that is Green and Spring is good. These precious days when we enjoy good health and good food and relative peace are good days. I had to add “relative” to the peace part because we seem to be having an especially bad round of fighting at our house. I am not the pro-active mother that I could be and sometimes I just wring my hands in despair and roll my eyes and pray that we’ll somehow make it through without being consumed one of another because of all the biting and devouring that’s going on. (Paul knew what he was talking about in Galatians 5.) Maybe when they’re 30 they’ll love each other.
Dan is much better at handling things. “Okay you two. I want you each to think of something to do that will make the other person happy.”
It works! They think. Liesl gets shiny eyed and goes to put away the silverware for Andre. Andre gets thoughtful and goes downstairs for the bottle of bubbles he never uses. They go outside and blow them together. Dan says, “See? Isn’t that so much better? You’re actually smiling now.”
I took Victoria to the airport in Grande Prairie today and she flew to Lethbridge for a week to be with my mom. This is our girl who finished her schoolwork early for the spring, graduating with the CLE academic diploma in eleven years instead of twelve.
Here she is with her friend Sandra, who also graduates this year.
I imagine that when God was growing Victoria inside me, he said to Himself, Ok. This lady Luci cries easily and overthinks life and tends to negativism. I’ll give her a break in life. I’m going to give her a daughter with her Dad’s calm and steady disposition and his mathematical mind and musical abilities. I’ll give her her Grandma Martin’s grace and her Grandma Peachey’s efficiency and organization. She’ll have her Auntie Monica’s perfectionism and her Aunt Michele’s thick dark hair and almost black eyes. She’ll be poised and disciplined like her Aunt Linda.
And He created her and said that she was very good.
(I’m not sure what part of me He gave to Victoria. Maybe my love of Beverly Cleary and long walks on sunny days?)
But seriously, she’s such a good daughter. She’s not perfect and she wishes she could express herself like her witty Smucker cousins and she wants to be more socially adept and not so bossy with her siblings. She finds fault with her dad and mom like I did when I was 16. And other things.
But if I told you her grade average I might be bragging. And she is a girl with a Sense. A sense of appropriateness, a sense of otherness, a sense of Jesus.
I love her and am so proud to call her mine. I know that God gave us a beautiful gift when He gave her to us.
We shopped a little yesterday, more rushed than we’d hoped to be. I wanted to take her to eat at The Chopped Leaf. But there were taxes to sign and we didn’t have time for too many extras after spending too long trying on sweaters at Value Village. It’s fun to be able to swap shoes and sweaters with my girl.
I hugged her goodbye and left her, happy to know I can trust her and happy to think of her spending time with grandma and her aunt and cousins. I miss her when she goes, but I know I have to gradually get used to doing without my right-hand girl.
She dreams of Faith Builders in Pennsylvania, Jungle Breezes mission in Guatemala, Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute, IGO in Thailand, Maranatha in Minnesota, going back to serve at the place in Belize where we spent two happy years when she was little, Zimbabwe, teaching at the Russian school in Hudson’s Hope, working in a Dawson Creek coffee shop. It is good to be 16 and full of dreams. I hope we can keep her close for at least the next school year. Seventeen seems too young to go very far for very long.
I drove home in the May heat, the farm suburban air conditioning out of order, windows rolled down. I so seldom drive alone and when I do, I daydream about just driving and driving. Ending up in Fort Nelson by nightfall, heading on up to the Yukon and maybe Alaska. Who knows on a summer-like day?
I thought about the stony-faced Mennonite lady I saw in the Walmart checkout line and wondered what made her face so dark.
I thought about this meme someone posted on facebook.
I passed an abandoned camper and wondered about its story. Had someone made love there? Died? Left it for a double wide? Maybe I could write fiction, I thought. The idea was quickly discarded. I don’t even read fiction much anymore. Chalk it up to being over 40, I guess. Real life means so much more to me than it ever used to.
I thought about the new shoes I’d found for Natalia, those Converse style she’s been dying for. Teal and shiny to boot. (They didn’t fit and need to be returned to Payless, which is a hard realization for a 10 year old. Maybe they won’t have the right size by the next time we get to Grande Prairie.)
I saw a jet stream in the blue and marveled (again!) at all things green and warm.
I thought about the balance of mercy and judgment and how hard those calls are to make and where God stands in all of this.
I prayed about church problems and family stuff and so many hard things in life.
I laughed again at how in my last blog post I called myself a judgmental human and later in the day I read a post by someone who isn’t my personal friend, but is a friend of a lot of my friends and she’d written her post about 5 hours before mine and used that very term. And I was sure that our mutual friends would be sure that I was copying her because I used her very words. But I was innocently naïve to the fact that she’d used that term when I wrote my post. I felt at the time like I needed to clear myself immediately of plagiarism. But then I thought better of it and realized how driven I am by what people think. And usually people are thinking of us so much less than we imagine them to be anyway!
(But here I am, still clearing myself in the event that someone may have read both posts who happens to also care about reading this!! Ugh. The fear of man bringeth a snare.)
I thought about how someone told me after our choir program the other night that I look So Sad. And I know they meant well and were being sensitive, but it made me feel bad.
Number 1: I wasn’t actually feeling sad, I was actually quite happy and at peace.
Number 2: I realized that do the same thing in my attempt to care for others.
Life Lesson for me: Do not tell people they look tired. Or sad. Unless you know they are, maybe? Or maybe ask them if everything is ok instead? But then that can get on my nerves too. When things ARE ok and somehow I don’t look like they are, I wonder what is wrong with me that I look troubled. But sometimes it’s the question I need and it gets to my heart and I am ready to talk about the sadness or the tiredness.
Sigh. Conversation is dicey. Aptness is a gift.
I didn’t finish this post on Monday and it’s now Tuesday and the 3rd of May.
I need to plant beans transplant tomatoes plan supper change a load of laundry bring in laundry clean the perennial beds wash the windows and buy a new loveseat.
Not all happening today, obviously.
Happy Spring, wherever you are.