Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thoughts while we drive the Pioneer Trail

we are traveling and I'm trying to take the many hours of driving to get back to the habit of blogging my thoughts. It is nice when the car is quiet, the miles passing under our tires, and the beauty of our country passing before my eyes to actually be able to think beyond schedules, carpools, house decisions or homemaking responsibilities.

These past fews days I've been thinking about pioneers.

We spent two days learning about Winter quarters and Nauvoo. These locations are intricately connected in the pioneer story. Those who founded and worked to create a beautiful city called Nauvoo then werer forced to leave it for the primitive and desolate cold at winter quarters. 

John  and I both have ancestors who went from the "city of Joseph" with its hilltop temple and perfectly manicured streets across the Mississippi River and muddy trying Iowa into Council Bluffs and what would quickly become Winter Quarters. 

From beautiful homes to rough log cabins. From having all the comforts of the times to having nothing at all.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

We are in the process of buidling a Nauvoo kind of home. A place of beauty and comfort where we have made the decisions about what it will look like, the size and shape of the rooms, the colors of the walls and the materials for the floors. We've chosen windows, sidewalks, siding, brick, doors and doorknobs too. We have not afforded every luxury, but it is certainly a home full of comforts and one we hardly feel we deserve. And Ive been asking myself this week 'could I leave it all behind me? Could I lock my door ad walk ahead into an unknown future in order to keep my faith?"

Its been a great chance to go through those important "checks and balances". Checking on the priorities and balancing them with what I know to be right. 

I've enjoyed the process of building our home (affectionately called 'the Homestead'). I've loved learning new things, being creative, thinking through challenges and seeing ideas become reality.  But I'm thankful to say that, as hard as it would be, I could walk away from it today if I knew I was walking into our future with my family in tact and the promises of eternity together weighing in the balance. I could do what my ancestors did, and leave it behind me now, with a hope and promise that the future with my family around me is better than any structure built to house us and make us comfortable. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

A moment of tearful rejoicing

Mason graduated from Olympus High School today. The ceremony was so well done. He sang a medley of songs with the school ensemble which he has been a part of this year. great speeches were given by his classmates. The jazz band entertained us, and the students who graduated were very well mannered. Mason seemed very happy and content with his achievement.As he has been saying a lot this past month "today - a very good day"

I felt happy too. 

It is such a paradox to have a child grow up. You look at yourself and your kid in so many new ways. How do you parent someone who wants to be treated like an adult? How did this happen so fast? Why can't I remember every little detail about his childhood and youth? Why am I excited for him and mournful for myself all at once? Why am I not crying more? Why have I not reveled in every single moment of his time under my wing? When does he leave home and why do I feel like he should leave home? Feeling like he must leave to grow, why do I want him so much to be here, be among us, be with us, be safe in this house, be where I can watch and protect and hover? 

so may conflicts within me as I smile in the stands and he throws his cap in the air.
The school board member who officially accepted the graduating class asked that the students stand and give their parents an ovation. He said something so correct, so completely accurate, and its the only time of the morning's festivities that brought me to tears. 

"the people in this room who are here to support you have made the most significant contribution to your achievement this day, and you will not be able to realize that for about another decade."

With the speaker's instruction the senior class stood and clapped for their parents, their siblings, and their grandparents in the audience. Mason, who was seated so his profile was all we could see, turned toward us and squared his shoulders to us, clapping his hands and smiling with gratitude. 

This was my moment of tearful rejoicing.

The work we have done as Mason's parents is thus far quite unrealized by him. In his eagerness to make his own path and forge his own future he sees us as having done very little to help him become what he is thus far. In the day to day grind of our family life we have lost our credibility with him in many ways. 

But for that moment today, he showed me he is grateful, and somewhere inside he knows that we have done all that we could for him. To get him on the right road, to set his feet walking in the right direction so that now he can run relentlessly toward his dreams.