Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Camping He Will Go

I have this thing....this issue, if you will....that makes me crazy.

I can hear the collective whisper of my friends saying "haha....she thinks she just has one issue that makes her crazy?!"  STOP IT!!!  I know that I have more than one issue but this issue is the one that is on my mind right now!!

So anyway...this issue that I have is that I hate being late and I hate it if anyone that I am responsible for is late.  This is an issue that I have passed on to one of my five children (which is wonderful and so comforting to know that when we are about to start running late for something that she is about to have an anxiety attack right along with helps to know that I will not be lonely in the loony bin.)

The problem is that I have four other children and a husband that do not have an issue with this issue.  They also have a hard time judging how much time it will take to get ready to go places. that I have that out in the open, I'll tell you my story.

Yesterday, Jared had a campout.  Jared is my most laid back, free-spirited, hang loose kind of kid which just means that HE DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!  So...he decided to start getting ready for the campout at about 4:15 (he had to be at the church at 5:00).  At about 4:30, I realized that I hadn't seen one piece of camping equipment and that we needed to leave soon, so I yelled up to him that he needed to hurry.  He slowly sauntered down the stairs and said "Mom, we need to pick up Joseph on the way." 

This is the part of the story where my heart starts racing and my stomach starts hurting.  I really should have expected something like this because it's Jared.

So, he slowly wanders around grabbing things and stuffing them into his backpack.  At one point, I watched him put a Ziplock bag full of water into his backpack full of his dry clothes and food for the weekend.  I may have loudly asked "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" when I imagined the bag of water exploding all over his backpack.  He casually said "What?  My Frio pack needs to soak for a few minutes." (his Frio pack keeps his insulin's really amazing!  It has these little bead things inside that get really cold when soaked in water and it keeps his insulin at the perfect temperature the whole time he's hiking...even in Texas in the summer!)  He really didn't see why in the world I took the water bag out of his backpack.

See....this kid is going to kill me!

So anyway, we finally get on the road and I am torn between driving the speed limit (my need to always be obedient) and driving like a bat out of .... so that he is not late (my need to never be late).  I chose to drive the speed limit.  So, we pull into Joseph's neighborhood, drive all the way to his house and see Joseph wandering back to his house with all of his camping gear.  He gets into the car and says "You saw me didn't you Jared?"  Joseph was waiting at the entrance of the subdivision and I drove right past him.  I said in my most annoyed voice "You saw him waiting by the road?!  Why didn't you tell me?!"  He said "well, my water bag was leaking so I was taking care of that."

This is where those deep breathing exercises come in handy.

By this point, it was about 5:10 and so I made him call his scout leader and tell him that we were going to be late.  He gave me a heavy sigh and told me it wasn't a big deal that no one is ever on time for these things but I made him call anyway.  Just once...I would love it if a scout leader would say something like "well...Jared, we are all waiting on you and you should feel really bad about that" but instead the scout leader says "oh...that's okay...I'm not at the church yet either."  Sigh....

We get there and everyone had smiles on their faces and were all happy to see him.  Really...where are all the leaders that are annoyed and ready to teach these kids some good life lessons like the importance of being on time?!  I'm just kidding leaders....thanks for being nice!!

Jared gets out and it's at that point that I notice he is wearing clothes to hike in the winter, not in the 95 degree weather in Texas.  His scout leader is pointing out that everything he is wearing will not be allowed on their high adventure camp (they are going to Philmont) and tells him the evils of wearing cotton while hiking.  Jared says something smart-aleck-y like "I made sure to stuff my backpack with all cotton clothing."  Jared does not have that need to be obedient either.

He is still carrying around his bag of water so all of his leaders are wondering if that is his water supply for the weekend.  For some reason that struck me as funny.  I might possibly be in the loony bin sooner than I think.

As they are throwing everything into the truck, one of the leaders asks him if he has his food for the weekend.  He says "Yep!" and happily pulls out his bag of Chewy Sprees. 

That kid!!  He's going to kill me but I love him anyway!

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm Married to Pollyanna

The last few weeks of school, Gary kept saying he couldn't wait for school to get out because that also meant that seminary was ending for the school year.  He couldn't wait to sleep in, he kept saying with much excitement and anticipation!  His wake up time for the school year was 5:35 am. 

We are now into the second week of summer and all week long his alarm has gone off at 5:45 am.  He was anxiously and happily waiting for an extra 10 minutes of sleep.  In what will probably go into the record books of amazing restraint, I have not committed one act of violence against him even though he has woken me up every morning this week at 5:45 to go walking with him.  If I were Catholic, I would be expecting a saint to be named after me any day now...Shanon, Patron Saint of Nonviolence (or something equally clever).

This morning as we were walking, I was looking down counting all of the dead squirrel carcasses I walked past (2) and feeling empathy for the worms that were struggling in a futile attempt to get off the hot concrete into the grass...although not enough empathy to pick them up and help them in their quest because ewwww...they are worms. 

At one point, the thought crossed my mind that I feel like those worms.  I feel stuck in a hard place and completely helpless to do anything about it.  I can't seem to muster up the energy to crawl to a safe place if such a place even exists.  Life is kicking us around right now.  Gary came home yesterday with news that his company is selling out and shutting down and he will be out of a job as of August 31. 

I don't know if I have what it takes to start over again.  The last 6 years have been hard and I have on more than one occasion woken up disappointed that I did not die in my sleep.  I am blessed beyond measure but am well acquainted with sorrow.  It has come and made permanent residence in my heart.  Depression...that quiet disease that no one knows about has been my constant companion for as long as I can remember.  Just when I think that maybe I have figured out a way to lay it by the wayside for a little while something comes and knocks me back into that hole that I have been trying so desperately to climb out of.

Gary is my Pollyanna because as I was walking along beside him quietly counting the dead carcasses and feeling like the dried worms, he was commenting on what a beautiful sunrise we had to look at this morning.  For a brief moment, I smiled at the hilarity of it all.  Here is my husband, who I am sure is worried because he is the sole provider of a household of 7 plus the caretaker of his mom, grateful for his extra 10 minutes of sleep and looking up instead of down at the beautiful sunrise that God gave us to enjoy this morning.

I'm sure there is a lesson somewhere in that to learn.  I'm really trying to learn it but it is so hard!!'s a video dedicated to my Pollyanna.  I'm grateful that he is responsible for our family because I am a mess and would have us crawling with the worms but he is strong and positive and refuses to do anything but soar with the eagles.

Happy Father's Day to all of those dads that do hard things and especially to the dad of my children that takes such good care of us.  We really love you!!