Watching them become individuals-sometimes challenging and scary,but more often big bigger biggest gifts.
Connecting with and forming a trusting and delightful friendship with a friend's daughter- g.i.f.t. The gift of watching her become.... is so much a present.
Being the not-peer- not mother with a collective group of teens is so big in my heart that it would clear out a whole wrapping paper aisle in a Hallmark store to wrap it.
A couple of years ago, I rode my neat old and worn bike to work. Before the day was out, the bike was being driven by a regular visitor to work church who needed transportation to find work. Even though I knew this visitor well enough to know he would probably sell it and purchase things I didn't want to know about, I thought giving him a dose of trust might be a good thing, so I sent him off on my bike where he was spotted half an hour later by a work friend who saw him driving like a bat... we didn't read any headlines about robbers on bikes the next day, so we let it go.
I started looking for a replacement but I wasn't really sure what to get. Classifieds read: Middle aged body seeking comfortable two wheeler....... what to get? A friend who is framily now, called and took me looking. He and his best- in- the- world girlfriend and I had fun shopping. Actually, I think they had fun shopping while I was having heart attacks at how much new bikes cost if you get them with a seat and wheels, which is really more useful than a lone frame. The seats were mostly built to hold one cheek of the average adult bottom, too. What's THAT about? The day ended and I had such a nice time.
The next day, I came home from church and on my back stoop sat a bike. A bike with wheels AND handlebars and a seat that might just hold even my aged a......I couldn't believe it. How serendipitous! The very next day after we'd been looking and shopping!!. I called my friends and yelled into the phone to them, "Someone bought me a bike?!........ Did you buy me a bike?........ Why could you how could you do this !?" I could feel their good natures over the phone.
I hung up and brought it in the house. One week. Two weeks. A friend came by and said, "Hey, why don't you ride your BIKE? or are you going to leave it in the dining room and start eating on it?" I rode it to a friend's house and to work. I would probably frame it if I could and hang it because the thought behind it means so much more to me than the bike itself. Now, a few years later, I ride it but not as much as I wish I would. When I do, I am taken back to a day when three friends spent a Saturday just tooling around talking and looking at bicycles. The value of that time and the friendship means everything to me.
I walked to work and anywhere else I could. My daughters were more than kind in offering me rides, but they have their own jobs and things to do going on, so I resisted unless I absolutely needed a vehicle. They loaned me their cars to garden, and to grocery shop for Messy Chef jobs. They were very very kind and loving. Friends at work were just as kind. My biggest fear was not being able to get to weekly talk time. but framily came through. My daughter and then a friend at work offered to take me and even my kind counselor came through with making sure I got home. Too many kindnesses. I started learning the bus routes and rescheduled errands of like kind together. All good habits to learn. A week passed. No news. The weekend and a few more days, no news.
I told her, the mechanic, that I had XX amount of money and I would either like to keep the car there until I could come up with the rest. (which meant I needed to find a treasure, win the sweepstakes, or sell my firstborn-it was obvious I wasn’t getting anywhere hitting the downtown stripper stretch at night. No takers. J) or I would like to give up my apartment and move into the car. She said come on over.
The crying man said, “I don’t know you, but if you wait a minute, I’ve got a few bucks in the car.”
The mailman drove by and beeped.
A train sped by and blew its whistle.
The mayor, who lives a mere block away wanted to be with us too, I’m certain of it.
As if I wasn't already struggling to find my clearer thinking over this ginormous act of kindness and mystery, I got green lights the whole way back . I thought I saw a stop sign coming up once, but it ducked before I could get there.