Coming into focus for me lately is the fact that these few good friends I have are the people I’m going to grow old with here in Greenville. I hope that when I’m 55, I’m still sitting on the right hand side, toward the front, of Village Church, with my friends Sarah and Jill. I want to look across the sanctuary and see Ashley and Kristy and a few others I'm growing to love.
Our pews will be empty of our kids, which is a sad thing to think about now. No more packing little snack baggies of cereal or containers of cut-up strawberries to dole out during the singing time. No more picking up kids from their classes during the Passing of the Peace. No more watching to be sure little hands don’t dip down into the Communion wine with their wafer. No more rounding up the children from the outside play area after church and hurrying home for lunch and naps.
When I think about my life from this perspective, it makes me much more open to dealing with the distractions in this present stage. I don’t want to be the old person alone in the pew. I don’t want to be the old person looking in the mirror or looking outside while I cook and knowing there are no kids to call in for dinner. I don’t want the Swurfer to sit empty, even if it means I have to listen to the fussing that goes with sharing the swing now. I don’t want to ski all I want, because that means the kids won’t be here to use some of the lake time for tubing and wakeboarding.
I will always be Ginger, but Mom as I know it now will pass sooner than I wish. Keeping what’s coming in mind clears my mind and I can see what’s at stake. I have the gift of four humans, four unique eternal beings who get to inhabit the same dwelling in time and space with me and TJ on this earth for a little while.
The only thing that comes to mind with that realization is what one of my favorite children’s authors, Kevin Henkes, wrote.
We get to listen to and love one another. We get to be present and play games and say grace and give grace. We get to wake up together and see sparkles on the lake and watch Sparkles the chicken having a dust bath. We get to do chores with and for each other. We have Story Circle, we make s’mores, we watch sunsets, we stay home, we sleep…and before we know it, we wake up and look in the mirror and say “Who are all these old people?” and “I hope I know them forever.”