Friday, July 19, 2013

Freeing Up the Gypsy

It's been another gypsy summer for us. Suitcases left in our bedroom between trips, waiting to be filled up again. Or in other words, I just didn't feel like lugging them back and forth between there and our basement every time. ;)  It's been a happy, busy kind of summer, spending most of it in other places, away from home.  We've loved every minute of getting to travel, seeing places we've never seen before, with people we love very much.  Living away from our family and lifelong friends is hard, and I've learned how important quality time really is.  We don't kid around any more....taking advantage of opportunities to see each other, to travel together, to make quick weekend trips to celebrate milestones, watch baseball tournaments, to allow for an anniversary getaway....yes, quality time has taken on a whole new meaning for us now.

It's also been (another) summer of life lessons for me. Something I have fought, and am still fighting a little....but slowly learning the beauty that lies within feeling completely free on the inside. Worry and fear have been a lifelong struggle with me....I'm a helicopter mom, a worried wife, a nervous Nellie in the truest sense of the word.....and it's what I dislike the most about myself.
Earlier this month my mom and I took the boys to Florida.  It was H3's turn for the summer-after-kindergarten-trip-to-Legoland (a Mimi and Papa tradition). :) We spent a few heavenly days in a hotel on the beach (my version of heaven on earth). The timing didn't work out well with my Dad's work, so I ended up going with my mom to take the boys.  An unexpected vacation for me, and although I was bummed for my dad that he didn't get to go (they would have had so much fun all together), I was thankful for this extra time with my mom.  And although it rained on us during most of the week (which provided some of the best moments of the trip, oddly enough) we were blessed with a few hours of sun on the day we'd set aside to spend on the beach. In between building sand castles with the boys, and playing in the water with them, searching for shells, I had a few moments to relax in a cozy loungechair and reflect.
My favorite thing about the ocean is watching the tide come in. I'm amazed by how the water knows when to stop. I love how it washes everything away, smoothing out the sand....making everything new again. Ready for fresh footprints. More sandcastles to be built. Little treasures left behind for us to search for...each shell prettier than the last. 

So I sat and took in all of this, watched my boys happily playing, and felt the most relaxed and worry-free that I have in a very long time. And even when that was interrupted by a minor emergency (Hud got cut by some rocks),  even that was somewhat miraculous when a total stranger stepped up to help me while Mom ran to get band aids. God was smiling on us....reminding me that while He's controlling how far the water comes in, He's also giving us some gorgeous sunshine, while at the same time showing me that there are still good people in the world who are willing to drop everything to help when they see a need. 

He's the ultimate multi-tasker.  :)

And yet, even as I'm reminded of all of this, I still try so desperately to hold on to everything God's given control, to check and double-check that the people in my world are much so that I'm consumed with worst-case-scenario when I can't. At some point after becoming a mom, I convinced myself that responsible parenting = control-freak parenting. That if I wasn't worried that I obviously didn't care. 
There's got to be a happy medium here. Somehow it has to be possible to be caring and responsible without letting the worry of what could go wrong completely consume me. Anyone out there want to help a girl out?!?

And so my greatest fear is that my ridiculous worrying is going to ruin these boys that God, in all His wisdom, (I keep reminding myself of this) blessed B and me with. God picked me to be a boy mom. To raise these 3....these amazing, sweet, rambunctious, hilarious, creative, testosterone-fueled little men-in-the-making...into just that. Men. 

I really don't want to mess that up.

I've had opportunities to be pushed out of my comfort zone a few times this summer. Most of those times involved our oldest. 

He's been a world traveler this summer...going to London with B's mom, staying behind with baseball friends in Tennessee while B and I traveled back and forth to be there for his games, flying by himself to Texas and back for extra grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins time...yes, plenty of opportunities for me to come to grips with the fact that I can't always be there to hover and make sure he's ok. 

Was I good at it? Nope. 

But I got better. Or rather, I'm getting better. 

I found myself checking in less than normal (for me) but more like a normal person would ;) as this summer has gone on. More proof? Hud is finally going to play tackle football this season...something he's been asking to do for a couple years. I kept using the excuse that he needed to be older, but who am I kidding? I needed to trust. 
I'm still trying to figure out that balance of responsible parenting vs. relaxed parenting. I have a ways to go, and any advice/prayers/wisdom would be greatly appreciated and taken to heart. 

But if there's anything I have truly learned, or rather realized through all of this, it's that I learn more and am so much more in tune with God when I shut off all the background noise. 

After this weekend, I'm taking an indefinite break from the internets. ;) I miss the stillness of sitting with a good book. The pure happy on my boys' faces while we play a game or watch a movie together. And I'm never going to find any real fulfillment from how many "likes" I get on a Facebook post. I'm tired of letting my phone run my life, and we only have about 3 weeks of summer left. Gotta soak it up. 
                 (Mimi and Harrison:)

There's this 1000 piece Coca-Cola puzzle sitting unfinished on our kitchen table right now. At this rate we're never going to have a meal at that table again if we don't knock this thing out. And then we will have to glue it together to hang on the wall, because this thing is going to take a village to finish, and then we're going to celebrate big. A glorious reminder that we're not quitters. That we can do hard things. ;) Hopefully for me it will serve as a reminder of what I learned this summer. 
I have some quiet moments on the porch with my Jesus to catch up on, some friends to meet for coffee, some scrap booking to do, a couple books to finish, some phone conversations with loved ones to have, and some evenings of cozy talks with the hubs on the couch to enjoy. 

The suitcases are back in the basement. The memories are filed away in my mind and heart (and hopefully soon, in our family books too). Ready to make the most of these next weeks....letting my boys be boys, sitting back to watch God work....trusting He will show me in the quiet places just how to be the wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend He wants me to be. The one they all need me to be. 

Freed up gypsy? Here I go. 


  1. Love to read what your heart says. Would love to be back at that stage of life again.