When my son left home to go to boarding school never to return to live with us again it was a depth of emotion and pain that I'm not sure I really have felt before. Last night a new chapter was written when my 16 yr. old daughter came into the room I was busily writing in and just stood there grinning. She asked me what I was writing and sat down and read some of it and somehow she turned the conversation to the family down the street that moved in about a year ago. The father of the family is a fiction writer, songwriter, singer, and pastor of a church that meets in a theatre in a nearby city. He has a son a year older than my daughter. I've met him and he seems like a nice kid. BUT, I am not ready to release my little girl's hand into some pimple-faced, hormone-powered, bible-thumping, son of an evangelizard. There, now that I've got that off my chest I want to say that I'm excited for her. She's liked this kid for awhile now, went to his bible studies where he preaches to other teens (and usually draws anywhere between a dozen and two dozen kids - but not the ones you'd think, the ones that seem to be the outcasts and you'd think they'd be too cool to buy this God stuff) about purity and living their lives to God's glory, and she has spent quite a bit of time with his parents as well. She wasn't allowed to date until she turned 16, which was less than a month ago, and remarkably his dad had told him he couldn't until he was 18 but he must have caved in. Anyway, my heart is broken at the thought of my little girl, who suffered through her daddy french-braiding her hair at 5:00 a.m. just to be the "best" daddy I could in others eyes, becoming a woman. We had a tough year together last year but we rode out the storm and we are closer because of it.
You know, we have no money, we have one car working right now and we're two months behind in our mortgage. The Michigan economy is slow and we are having to change our lifestyle drastically because of it. I would love to try and call that suffering but I can't. I have no friends with time to sit around and talk. I can't get the book written that is inside me and no goal that I have set seems even worth looking at right now but there are little things. Little things like last night with my daughter. Little things like the birds that come to the feeder. Little things like wondering at how so many people KNOW so much but really just have heard it from someone else and have these exponentially large number of tiers between really knowing and just believing, yet cannot accept that others DO exactly the same thing and cannot forgive them in their ignorance. I thought it ludicrous one time when a pastor friend told a troubled lady that she had to quit trying so hard and take some time to just "be". I believe he was right. I am thankful for being. I'm thankful for the loss and the gain and little Calvin sitting in the chair drifting off to sleep while I read. I'm thankful for the lit up faces of my little ones as they watch me scan a toy car into the computer. I'm thankful for the snowmen we built and the way that my heart has been ripped out every time I get the idea that I have a direction to head in. Its all worth it.