I wrote a while back of an odyssey to make friends, when I signed myself up for a kind of class at the local scrap booking shop. You can read about it here. Let's just say I was less then successful, and then life happened, and making friends was no longer on the forefront of my mind.
Recently there was a call out in the home school group, of which I am a member, to anyone who would like to be a part of a sisters girls tea. I signed up with fear and trepidation, with the blessings of my two daughters, who would also like some friends by the way, and yesterday was the big day!
After a hurried morning of school, and laundry, and dogs with limps, and uncorrected trig problems, I slapped on my trusty berry berry Merle Norman lip potion once again, and we were off. A few minutes down the road Haven whispered quietly, "what if we are the only ones dressed up?", "I was thinkin' the very saaaaame thing" I replied with a grin. A few more miles, and she said with a smile, "Momma, your beautiful", "I was thinkin' the very saaaaame thing" I replied. Then I shared what was on my heart:
"About thirteen years ago" I began, "I was a much younger mom, with three small boys. I loved my boys more then anything, and I wouldn't have given them up for the world! But, If someone would have told me thirteen years ago that I would have two little girls someday, and we would be going to a tea party together, all dressed up, I wouldn't have believed them! I feel so blessed that God gave you to me!"
Haven went on to express how happy she was to have a sister, and we shared all manner of sweet girlie talk, and soon we arrived at the home of the tea.
Suddenly, it occurred to me as we opened the van doors, that I wasn't going to know a soul at this party! Perhaps I should have taken a few minutes to prepare myself??? There were introductions all around. The hostess liked the paper wreath I made for her, and everyone seemed warm and friendly. All was going well, Then the dreaded question came......Que in the shrieking with the knife jabbing the air....I hate the question.... I have avoided the question to no avail numerous times, and people mean no harm. The question, is this.......
How many kids do you have?
To say four would not be truthful, it would be denying the existence of a person in my life that has taught me the most. it would be denying the little body that I long to hold, and feed, and hear....and mother! I must answer five, there is no question, that that is the answer, my answer, but after my answer of five, always comes the second dreaded question, and that is ......
What are their ages?
Now, I have tried to just give their ages, and I suppose for us Crockett will always be 12, as that is what he was when he went to heaven, even though it was 13 years ago that he was born. If I include him in the ages, I invariably get a remark like, Oh, I have a 12 year old, we should get together, or, What grade is your 12 year old in, then I have to explain, and by then..... it seems a bit too late! If I say I have 5 children, and then I don't include him in the ages, there is always that one in the crowd, that says, "but you said five, and that was only four, what about the fifth?" Then I have to explain.... and again it seems too late. Here's the thing, it would be fine, if I could explain solidly, and without waiver, but the tears are always right there! Not the sobbing, or even real crying, just those insipid tears, right there on the surface, waiting to pop out at a moments notice! Oh how I miss my boy! No one here, in my new home town, other then just a few families at church, has ever met Crockett, as we moved here just 5 months before his home going. I want to scream how beautiful he was, how they missed out for not knowing him, how God changed me through him, and how special he was. I want to tell them about his soft hands, and his giggle, and the strong kick.... all the things, that only those who loved him knew, only those who loved him cared about. Instead, I quietly explain, with popping tears, and there is instantly a damper of mood, and an uncomfortable edge.
Anyhoo, I got through it, and the women there, were very gracious.
There was one friendly face after all, that I had met before, and we were able to share a tear or two later on the porch. She recently has endured the loss of two children to miscarriage, and the pain is fresh. I hope I was an encouragement to her. If you know someone who has lost a child, say a prayer for them, and write them a quick note of encouragement, it would mean so much!
I met some wonderful women today, and that was a definite encouragement, and my girls also met some fabulous little women. I was encouraged by my girls today, by their manners, and their friendliness, their kindness, and ability to jump right in and be a part. I hopefully encouraged them, by telling them so!
The tea was lovely, China, linens, candles, yummy finger foods, Christmas finery, teapots, all types of pretty dresses, and lots of new friends!
What is your story of encouragement today?