Passports and Permits

It’s been a big month around our house. Sawyer (our oldest) turned 15. That means permit time. And crying time. And praying time. And if I allow myself to dwell on it for long, a lot more crying. There’s only one thing that helps in times like these: denial. Yes, I’ll have some of that.

As if the permit milestone weren’t enough, we also applied for Sawyer’s passport. Yes, you heard it right. I’m shipping my kid off to Bolivia. His best buddy’s aunt and uncle have been missionaries there for 30 years and they’ve invited the guys over for a mission adventure. So if his driving isn’t enough to send me into heart failure, then putting him on an airplane to backpack across South America with another 15 year old boy should do the trick.  That part isn’t as nerve wracking as knowing he’s got to make a connection in Miami. MIAMI.  The only good thing I’ve ever heard about Miami is that Gloria Estefan lives there and something tells me she isn’t going to jump off her enormous yacht to run over and take care of my baby if he is kidnapped by drug lords.  (Who wouldn’t be running rampant if Crockett and Tubbs were still in uniform.  Or tropical colored blazers.)    

So yeah, we are a little anxious about the trip and we’ve had lots of raised eyebrows over the fact that we are not only letting Sawyer go but encouraging him.  As much as I don’t want to think about it (more denial), it won’t be long until my first child will need to begin figuring out not ‘what’ he wants to be when he grows up but who.  The what is easy.  Anyone can be a what, can do a what, enroll in school and train to learn what a what does.  ‘Who’ is a different matter entirely and is seldom learned in a text book or from a career assessment test given to teenage boys whose primary ambitions are to eat much and sleep even more.  Who is learned on the field trips that take you places that broaden your horizons and hopefully don’t break your heart when the boy/girl friend you started out with in the a.m. is holding hands with another by lunch.

Am I afraid?  Well I’d be a lame mom if not but the Lord spoke clearly to me on this a few weeks back.  Anxiety is the absence of faith.  Abraham was commended for his faith, not his fear, when the son he loved was the center of the test.  I can be comforted because no matter what happens, my son will arrive safely home.  God is for me.  God is for Sawyer.  I will not let my mind rehearse anything other than the best possible outcome  and that is he will come back with an experience of a lifetime that will open his eyes to a world around him that needs more who’s, not what’s.

Look at that darlin’ child.   That’s a who if I’ve ever seen one.

Teen in Triage

This weekend my second oldest, Elijah, turned 13. So I’m officially the mom of two teenagers and two more on the way.

*Moment of silence*

I talked him into holding off on the bash until we are moved in the new house so we’ll have a hundred-acre wood for the half-dozen boys to play in rather than my house that is currently in mid-moving shambles. He was down with that, thankfully. And if you think that sounds mean just know that he’s been a preacher’s kid his whole life so he figured out a long time ago that life isn’t often about what he wants. We celebrated Saturday by eating Mexican because we don’t do that often and we wanted the day to be special. However, Elijah did get to wear the cootie sombrero so the week may turn out to be special after all. I’ll let you know after I’ve combed through the nape of his neck three or ninety-seven times.

If he doesn’t develop the cooties, no worries, because he got a trip to the ER Sunday night. Apparently he had taken a break from playing guitar long enough to fool around with one of his knives in the ever-growing arsenal and somehow manage to cut his left pointer finger as close to the bone as it can get. He came into the kitchen and said, “Mom, I’ve cut my finger. I’m so sorry, but it’s pretty bad.” I wasn’t sure why he apologized until he uncovered it and I won’t give you the gory details but let’s just say he wasn’t lying. He got a little freaked the more he looked at it so I looked deep into his eyes and used my Jedi powers to tell him he would not panic or cry because he was strong, the word of God abides in Him and He could overcome the evil one. Okay, I didn’t say all of that but I totally would have if I had thought of it then.

At this point I called Luke who was at the store buying bread and milk for our regular Sunday night grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup fest. He rushed home and we dashed out for what was sure to be a long night in the local hospital. And why is it that kids always seem to cut their fingers off or spike a temp 20 minutes after the doc in the box closes up for the night? We arrived in the waiting room along with the greater North Alabama population but for some reason we were ushered right past the crowd into a room. Maybe because there was blood involved? It’s hard to say but I was grateful all the same. Except not for the ER copay. Not grateful for that. I’m thinking birthday boy may be pitching in on that one.

What little time we had to wait before he got five big stitches, Elijah was taking nasty pictures of his finger and texting it to all his friends. Being a boy mom for 15 years has warped me which is the only explanation I have for why I decided that would be a fun thing to do also. I quickly learned bloody finger pictures aren’t met with as much enthusiasm by grown women as they are pubescent boys. So, I decided to behave and Twitter instead which went badly. A tip here: if your phone has auto-spell check you should always, ALWAYS, proof your tweets before hitting send. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

So we are back home after only 2 hours and I debated getting on the computer because I’ve been serious about this no-media-after-9 thing. But since it’s after midnight, I’m technically into a new day so I decided to purge while I felt like it. Having this past week off from school has gotten me interested in this blogging thing. I think I may try it for a while.

This is the part where I should say some sickeningly sweet things about the joy of being Elijah’s mom. I want you to look at this darlin’ face, assume all the wonderful things a mom would say about a kid who makes her laugh her head off every single day of her life, and interject those things here. Because rather than write about how crazy I am about this kid, I’m going to cuddle up on the couch with him instead.

We’ve got a finger to nurse back to health.


Lost in Punctuation

We finished up Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS today.  I love Bible School while it’s going and I love it when it’s over.  Can I see the hands of those of you who need two weeks to recuperate?

I taught the 5th/6th Grade class which happened to include my Boy Two.  Today’s assignment was to read Philippians 4:4-9, summarize, and then share how to practically apply the scripture.

The Boy’s verse was “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”   I asked him to summarize:

Boy:  “Be anxious about everything.”

Me:  “Don’t you mean be anxious about nothing?”

Boy:  “No, the verse says to be anxious about everything.”

Me:  “How in the world do you get that?”

Boy:  “Mom (eyeroll), it says, ‘Do not be anxious about any thing, but in every thing.’  Period.  He had ‘by prayer and petition’ beginning a new verse.

So, were Two a scribe or textual critic, we wouldn’t just settle with worrying about one thing, we’d worry about it all, sisters.   We’d present our requests to God and get some peace at a later date. After the period.

Take Away:  

1. So far I’m safe in my prediction that Two will not be a theologian.  He’s still safe as a deacon though. (grin) 

2. I have a new appreciation for the jot and tittle.   And for the value of VBS.

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