Zadie has her piano lessons on Wednesday nights, and Denver is gone for work, leaving me to manage the gaggle of children on my own. A mom offered to let Daxx come over for a play date while Zadie had her lesson. I agreed, because one less kid makes my life 10000% easier.
Zadie had her lesson, meanwhile I walked Dutch across the street to check out a few library books from our neighborhood library. The library is an antique building and smells like my grandparents’ musty basement. The book selection was slimmer than I was used to, but we managed to find a few (or more) to take home with us. We chose a few books and then walked back to pick up Zadie from her lesson.
Talking while walking
The weather was pleasantly cool and many people were out walking home from work. A handsome man walked by in a chambray linen suit and as we passed him on the bricked sidewalk, it took everything in me not to stop him and compliment him on his style. I like men who can pull off their own look… I guess. (If you know my husband, you know this fact…wink, wink)
Zadie’s lesson was over and the three of us walked over to pick up Daxx from his friends house. I had been to this house a few times for coffee, so I was familiar with where it was. Dutch ran ahead of us, while Zadie walked along side of me with her piano bag draped over her shoulder. She went on and on about her lesson.
We arrived at the white brick Rowe home and entered their small court yard through the metal gate. I latched it behind me to prevent it from swinging out into the sidewalk. We walked up and stood on the wooden front porch as we waited for someone to come to the door.
Tag on city streets
The mom came to the door and we visited a bit before all the kids were outside on the side-walk playing tag. Two more kids from school came out to join the fun. I turned around to walk down the steps to leave. I paused to take in the view. The tree leaves danced along with the kids as a soft evening wind blew down the street. I heard laughing and squealing and kids doing what kids do. It made me think, “Wow, this will be one of their childhood memories..running the tree-lined sidewalks, playing tag in front of the local Bodega while Mr. Ko, the store owner, smokes his cigarette chuckling at their shenanigans.”
I told them we had to go, and as we walked away, the neighbor kids went back into their homes.
I turned around and one girl was yelling at Daxx through the barred wrought iron door that hangs in front of her wooden front door. Her hands clasped to its’ art-deco bars and her face squished through trying to get one last “GOOOD BYEEE” in before dark.
Faith VS Fear
This has been the hardest part of moving: stepping away from the only framework I have known. From the midwest to the big city. I looked at the little girl’s face peering through the wrought iron door and thought, “This is so different from my childhood.”
Suddenly, a tinge of guilt started to creep up my throat. Thoughts slowly made their way into my mind; thoughts of cheating my children out of dirty bike rides around the block at dusk and rambunctious trampoline play with neighborhood friends or digging holes to china with a spoon in our back yard– and how these memories of my childhood, won’t be the memories of theirs.
Constantly, I find myself pushing back fear. This fear bubbles up mostly in my parenting. I am raising my children to have a childhood that I can’t comprehend. I am not alone here. Many people raise their children in situations that are different from their own childhood experience, I get that. And many situations are much more serious than a cross-country move.
The fact is, I didn’t know how much guts it took to confidently move forward in the unknown.
Curating a self-sufficient life
Our pastor said a few weeks ago that we are becoming an increasingly self-sufficient society. We hand-craft lives that eliminate a need for Christ. I love being self-sufficient. This is not news to anyone who knows me. I find it completely euphoric when I am in control of life and I know all the plays. In my old life, back in Oklahoma, I knew all the plays, but here I don’t know any…. and I am finding that I need my faith more.
Stepping out of my comfort zone has forced me to make the choice; do to cling to fear or faith in matters that I typically have “under control”?
So, here too, I choose faith. I see that my children are creating a kaleidoscope of memories that will be uniquely their own and a beautiful part of their stoy. Each gem reflecting a memory that they will hold deeply as their own. I will not fear the unknown, but I will trust the author of their story. This may be a surprise to me, but to HIM this has already been written.
Press firmly into faith
If you’re walking your children through an uncharted childhood, whether it be due to the military, ministry, adoption, divorce, or simply a difference in ideals, press firmly into faith. Trust the path that the Lord has you on. Don’t let fear consume you, but claim the truth that the Lord has given you a spirit of of power and a sound mind.
One of the beautiful things about scripture is that between it’s pages, no two stories are the same. (Although, some stories are told from different perspectives.) Just as each of us are uniquely created in the image of the same God, we are also given exclusive narratives to reflect the same glory. The pull for us to have the same narrative as someone else is a real thing, in our own life and in the roles we play.
We cannot settle for carbon copy life when the Lord wants to sculpt us into a masterpiece of his own vision. When we place our whole lives into his hand, he will create new versions of his redemption. He is limitless, and so are this story-lines.