Monday, November 14, 2011
Out in Public
I cracked up when Elizabeth told me she'd taken a picture of me "out in public," this self-proclaimed hermit (me) was at a Youth Group Family Day, with all of my kids who still live at home, plus two of their friends, Jaden and Luis. Our family friend, Michael, had made it all possible, coming by earlier in his wife's big ole Tahoe, taking the first load of my teenagers with him, as I was already tending to a family emergency. He even later got Luis home for me, while I dropped Jaden off.
I got called out of church, leaving Sarah and Preston with my rowdy teenagers there in the sanctuary listening to a sermon on dealing with fear that I'll download later, while I ran to pick up some adorable grandkids to allow their parents to deal with an emergency doctor's visit, racing back to church, just in time, to hear that my kids had all been very good in my absence.
"Except for Scotty," Tony reported. The ropes that tie off sections of the church for reserved seating were stored under Scotty's seat. Somehow he managed to tie his own self up for entertainment.
But Family Day was a blast, it's held on a vast gorgeous acreage, maybe 4-500 acres of secluded woods with a lake, a zip line, a rock climbing wall, and many other activities. I stood there fantasizing about living in a tiny house someday, all alone in silence, as an elderly lady trying to heal from trauma and PTSD. I'd want my dogs certainly to be with me, but in my dreams the kids were successfully grown up with their own families that I could go visit. If Daniel's theory about me being thin due to stress is true, then likely I won't fit in a tiny house when the stress is over, right?
Sarah'd just recently ran into an old boyfriend of mine, telling me that he'd aged handsomely. "The timing wasn't right," I told her. "The timing was never right for you," she reminded me. That's true. I've needed all these years to mature, never certain that it'd have been the right time to commit. (See? Look what happened when I did) When in doubt, don't. I surrounded myself with my children and grandchildren instead. I've never been lonely in my entire life, indeed I like to be alone, it's a rare opportunity for me.
For the first time in my entire life I got to go off-roading with Boss. How cool was that? Off-roading as a sport had never beckoned me. I'd even initially turned it down yesterday, preferring solitary walks, but I was told of a very interesting granite outcropping they were headed for, a bunch of us jumped in to go. So much fun. Jack was enthralled.
I didn't do the zip line this year, my heart has been viciously kicked around like a soccer ball lately, I'm fairly afraid it's gonna go splatter all over creation, or simply self-immolate at some point, thanks to the hateful way I've been treated by some outsiders. I sat on a rock, under the zipline, so I could watch my teenagers and their antics, got some good praying time in, who doesn't pray best in the woods overlooking a lake full of canoes? God doesn't require closed eyes, right?
The kids stuffed themselves with hotdogs, hamburgers and roasted marshmallows over the campfire, Nando caught a bass, most of them spent time paddling a canoe around the lake, even Tabby and Nando took a canoe out together, as I watched from the banks. They're both excellent swimmers, I have no fears when my kids are around water, Scotty dove in to retrieve a paddle, drying himself out later on the zipline. Martin decided to land face first as he'd ziplined upside down on purpose. A warm and beautiful autumn afternoon, my kids all shedding the sweatshirts I'd insisted they wear, indeed when it was time to go we had our usual jacket retrieval scramble in progress.
"When are we leaving? JoJo asked me.
"At dark," I responded.
"Why do old timey Southeners tell time like that?" he asked me.
Why wouldn't we be ruled by daylight? This is how I think abut time.
In all photos of CW, he's doing very event upside down. A teenage challenge I suppose.
It really was a most excellent afternoon, my family especially does very well in the great outdoors. We need room to allow our very large, expansive and overbearing personalities the proper expanse of space. It just feels so good. I truly believe many of society's illnesses could be remedied by more deliberate time spent outside away from TVs, game systems, computers, and snack foods. Go outside and breathe America.
Pam took the photo of Sabrina wrapping her arms around me, Jack jumping in to the picture as well. Another bonus of spending time out of church with church friends is in getting to know them on a super fun level. I totally needed this event yesterday, especially after a day of driving for so long and sitting still so much the previous day.
We've had an infinitely long, emotionally trying week of extremely unnecessary hassles, my kids have been stressed out beyond imagination, as I continue to insist upon family safety. By eight o'clock last night my very exhausted family had all retreated to their rooms, Paloma called me to detail a fight she'd been in, "It wasn't my fault," she explained, but immediately contradicted her innocence by throwing the first punch.
I simply remain grateful to the God-created universe that none of us were the target. BTDT too many times over a ten year period.
"I fell asleep at 7 last night," Allen bragged this morning, glad for 11 hours of sleep.