This is a little painting I made this weekend while we watched movies. It’s from the Tom Petty song, the theme song for Andi’s wedding.
Each week for 11 years, I have shopped at Maceys, and Adam is the gentleman who helps me with my groceries each week. He’s always polite and helpful. When ever he sees me at the store, he comes up and gives me a hug.
Lots of times, those hugs and short conversations (how long he’s worked at Maceys, how much the customers mean to him, how much he loves me) are great. I enjoy talking to Adam for a brief few minutes as he bags my groceries or stops me in the aisles.
But I’ll be honest, some days when the kids are wild and climbing all over the displays/cart/me, and I’m barely hanging on to my rope, those hugs get a little uncomfortable. I try to listen politely as he tells me (again) how long he’s worked there, all while shushing the child at my feet, and holding the cart from being pulled away by another child. I dig deep for that little bit of energy to smile, tell Adam that I love him too, and I’ll see him again next week.
But I heard a quote once – I don’t remember who said it (Sister Hinckley?) or what the specific language was, but it gave the general feeling of this: Be gentle with the souls around you, you never know what hard lives they have had.
And so I dig deep on those tired days, and I try extra hard to be gentle with Adam’s soul. For years I have imagined his mother, and what she must wish for her son, the bag boy at the grocery store.
Last February Adam stopped me in the freezer section to tell me he would be having his 40th birthday in November. He planned a big party, and wanted to be sure I would come. Since he was giving me 9 months notice, I promised I would be there.
Well, I put it on the calendar, and as the day approached, other activities tried to interfere. “No” I told Wyatt, to other events for the evening. I had to go to Adams birthday party.
“But what about . . . .” Wyatt would ask. Surely the alternate activity was just as time-worthy, and certainly much more fun.
Finally I told Wyatt: “It’s not about what I want to do on a Monday night, it’s about who I want to be.”
And so Wyatt and I dressed to go, and went out to Olive Garden for dinner with Adam, his family, and his friends.
While we were there his mother came over to us to talk to us. I could see the tears on the surface of her eyes as she asked about how we knew Adam, why we came. And that was when I finally was able to see just how worth it that effort was. It was a connecting moment, and for a split second (ok, now I’m going to get weird, but bear with me here) . . .
for a split second it was like being at the foot of the Throne of God, and seeing how your deeds really play out in the lives of those you never know. Seeing his mother, it was like seeing the ripple carry on. It was both surreal and so amazing.
And I was glad I went. And I was glad I was counted a friend of Adam’s.
It’s been a while since I’ve had the thought that martial arts could be especially well suited to Everett. He is my most sensitive and sweet child, and I thought some form of martial arts could really help him have self confidence as well as discipline.
This past week we were given the chance to try some lessons. Man, was that boy excited. I think it will be very good for him. We’re excited to see what comes!
One day this week Everett came bounding off the bus with a giant grin on his face. He won an award.
Not to be all braggy and stuff, but . . . obviously.
He received his recognition in leadership. With the award came 2 free months of Martial Arts class, which he is SO excited for.
I’m proud of Everett for being a great help to his teacher at school, and an example to his peers. Good job Ejo!
And this is Halloween in the neighborhood… A chili bar dinner with friends and neighbors, a whole gaggle of kids running from house to house, exotic treat experiences like smores bars and home made rootbeer, and the pink blue fading skies above. #butler4th #thisishalloween #likeascenefromthewonderyears @kelliekengh @briellereimann
Our Halloween wasn’t haunted. It was lovely. The leaves were bright and crisp. The air was warm, perfect for trick-or-treating. And we had a fun evening of friends and candy. Does it get any better?
Wyatt surprised me with Garth Brooks tickets for Friday night. I didn’t even know Garth was coming to town. I was super excited. Plus, we had the best seats we’ve ever had at a concert. We were about 40 feet from the stage, but up a little so we could see (instead of down on the ground where you can’t see over everyone in front of you).
The concert didn’t start until 11:30. Can you believe it? And it didn’t end until 2 am. Seriously! But it was so much fun. Garth does a great show, and if I ever have a chance, I’d definitely go see him again!
Like, seriously, they should know who certain bands are.
So, I’ve been working with them for a while to get them to recognize some groups. Right now we’re up to U2, The Beatles, The Eagles, Bruce Springstein, and Don McClean. I think they should be able to recognize the musician not just for the songs, but for the unique sound they have.
So the other day we were driving down the road and “Hotel California” came on.
“Roo!” I called, “who is this?”
I looked back to see Roo asleep in his car seat. He lifted his head, opened his eyes so he could just peek out beneath the lids, made eye contact with me, and sighed: “The Eagles.”
And then his head dropped again back to sleep.
*And Don McClean because Calvin LOVES the song “American Pie” and we play it as we drive to and from the cabin, singing along all the way. My kids have all 8 1/2 minutes of the song memorized.