What Goes Around.

In the midst of the foggy pandemonium of mornings such as described in my previous post, it has occurred to me that I often forget something key to being a grace-giving mama.

I was once a Kindergartener.





In my kindergarten year, I heard the telling of an untimely death. The lovely lady sharing it in front of a banquet hall full of listening ears--none bigger than my little ones--told us of how her mother-in-law was in the back seat of the car on her way to somewhere or other, and suddenly just laid her head back and stopped breathing (at least this is how I remember it). Her time had been suddenly, and shockingly, up.

My little big ears heard that and I was stunned death could be that easy. One just could lay ones head down, and it was possible that it would never come back up. For whatever reason, that story from that banquet settled itself in my six year old heart, creating a channel that soon raged with fear. No doubt, my "time" could be at any time. And I didn't want to be away from the ones I loved most on Earth. 

Thus, in the B.C.P. era (Before Cell Phone), my parents were summoned over loud speakers at weddings by desperate babysitters, whose gangly brown-haired charge was laid up in bed, tearfully BEGGING them to call her parents for she was sure that her first step into Glory was nigh. That was on weekends. During the week days, my mother had to endure almost-daily calls by school nurse, informing her that her seemingly otherwise healthy daughter had come straggling into the "clinic" reporting a shortness of breath. After picking me up two times, she set up a meeting with the perplexed nurse and tried her best to explain her daughter's imagined breathing disorder.


Seriously.


This is what my mother had to deal with for MONTHS during my kindergarten year. 
And I had the nerve to complain about my six year old son and
 an isolated incident over nacho chips one September morning.


I wish I could say my Kindergarten year was the worst of it. Unfortunately, various attitudes and issues continued and culminated during my freshman year when I was perpetually making my little sisters tardy because not every strand of tight-rod permed hair was evenly coated with Rave (Level 5) in the mornings. I remember hearing the familiar sound of the van horn honking  out in the garage (my mom drove us to school as their was no bus service), and I huffed out in my strange palazo pants dress, jumped in the van in a huff and haze of hairspray chemicals and promptly sat down squarely in the center of my little sister's sixth birthday cupcakes (that she had taken hours evenly dispersing with sprinkles). Jerk. A big-haired, teenage jerk. I remember my mom could barely look at me for days afterwards. I now completely understand and admire her restraint from not kicking me out of the van mid-trip, forcing me to hitchhike in heels the rest of the way.


***

"What goes around, comes around"...my mom has said this many times. It is true.
It is also important for me to remember that I once was six and when I was, I know my mom must have wanted to ship me off to boarding school every now and then, but that's not what I remember. Even though firm, she was loving and so forgiving. I can only pray my children's memories thirty years from now are lit in similar shades of love.

***

One more thing: Last night I sat with friends and in course of conversation, one of the fabulous ladies among us spoke of her painful relationship with her birth mom. It was filled with unimaginable hurt, disappointment and rejection that has taken YEARS for this dear woman to be freed from. Which makes me all the more admirable of the amazing way she loves on her children when she had no point of reference coming from the woman who brought her into the world. For those of you with a similar past, I am in complete admiration of you and pray God will continue to give you an extra special dose of grace as you do unto your children what you would have given anything to have had for yourself as a child.


In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out.  In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in. 
 ~Robert Brault,









 

Comments

Kristen Carder said…
Beautiful, Jeane, as always. And very touching, too. I do pray that my boys' memories will be bathed in grace!

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