Last weekend I went to a pastor’s wives retreat, which was actually held here at the camp. My only travel included a walk across the hill, but the less than a day of being away set my entire weekly rhythm out of sync. That, and choosing to stay up til midnight talking, which I know will come with consequences at this point in my life.
I met a girl who I’ve been with friends with on Facebook for the past two years. I’m not exactly sure how or if you can know someone you’ve never met. The scene played out exactly how I would’ve imagined. I was outside on the wooden swings, talking with another wife, learning just how vast and unknown this new district is to me.
I didn’t notice her pull up, for I didn’t even know what her car looked like, or if she was even coming for that matter. It’d been months since our last correspondence. I’d logged into Facebook over the summer to send a message, telling her I hoped she could come to camp in the fall. She said she hoped to be there too.
She walked up the sidewalk holding a baby. “Are you Sarah?”, I asked from the swing. “Hi Rebekah”, she replied with a smile. We broke into laughter as I apologized to the woman on the swing, interrupting our conversation to stand up and give Sarah a huge hug. I held her little Anna so she could carry in the rest of her belongings.
Monday morning took a turn for the best. I wasn’t ready for school that day. The kids were dragging from the night before trunk-or-treat sugar high. My daughter asked me at the breakfast table when we’d go see Uncle Chris. Two phone calls and fifteen minutes later we were in the van. That’s how we ended up at my Mom and Dad’s.
Wednesday the oldest two returned home, the former home that is. Their Dad had a chance to do chapel back at their old school, which meant this was a chance to see their old friends. They left before five in the morning and drove south for two and a half hours. The three little boys, woken up from all the waking, piled into bed with me.
They were back in time for our homeschool P.E. class. Once a week a local fitness center provides two hours of swimming and games in the gym. It also means two nourishing hours of exercise/reading/alone time for mom. When it’s over we dry off and change and talk in the locker rooms–then off to pick up the little one from Grandma’s.
On Thursdays the oldest takes a chance to be man. He told me one day he wanted to go to work with Papa. Since then, I’ve seen pictures and heard stories of pellet guns, harvesting soybeans, walking the farm fields, driving the tractor and fixing the combine. I don’t know what all they do out there, but I think that’s precisely the point.
Today’s Fine Arts Friday looks like writing right here with my tea by my side. The kids are watching God’s Not Dead. I’ve never seen it, but they assured me it was okay. The oldest boy is with his dad, out in the woods where the boys belong, at least at some point in their one wild and precious lives. I promised my daughter we’d bake this afternoon.
This morning he and I kept each other warm. We’d weathered through the winds of another relational storm, the familiar stirring up of old pains in new places. We’ve been through this before, yet somehow we’re always able to come away having learned something. I said to my husband, “I wish we could stay right here in this moment.”
“Me too”, he said.