Simply Sunday

Hearing Again, Listening

Some stories we hear over and over. Ones from our childhood, our family’s history. It is easy to hear without listening. But when we really listen, we often learn something new. View that familiar story in a new light.

Yesterday, I heard a story I’ve heard before. But somehow, this time was different. This time, I saw the parents, my parents.

I was two years old. We lived next door to my grandparents in the country. (My parents still live in the same house.) Mom had done office work but was not working at this time. Dad worked as a carpenter.

One morning, I woke up covered in red whelps. Quite upsetting for young parents. They loaded me in the car, and we headed to see the doctor.

I had an allergic reaction, most likely a food allergy.

Grandpa and Grandma had a milk cow. And I had been drinking fresh, raw milk. Apparently, something in the cow’s feed did not sit well with me.

The prescription was simple. Go to the grocery store. Buy ham and applesauce. Only feed her those two things for an entire week.

Here’s the catch. Mom and Dad only had eleven or twelve dollars to their name.

They went to the grocery store. Bought ham and applesauce. And all three of us had the exact same menu for the following week.

Mom always laughs when telling this story. It is not viewed as a negative story. It is a doing what you must story. But this time, I heard it as a sacrifice story.

My parents did not ask anyone for help. They did not complain about eating ham and applesauce for a week. They did what was needed to take care of me, thankful for a solution.

I can picture them as I’ve seen in photos. Young, first-time parents. Nervous and concerned. Loving their little girl. That little girl just happened to be me.

Morning Drive

The deluge
Was instantaneous
No drops of rain
Marking dry pavement
In individual circles
With their warning-
Here we come!
No, a flood
Soaking me
From head to toe
Leaving me
Floating
On my back
Waiting for the sun
To dry my skin
As it teaches my heart-
Emotions may arrive in a flood
But the memories
They are drawn from
Remain in the warmth
Of the sunshine
On my face

Why is it always during morning drives? It happened just yesterday. Suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. One single thought-Boy, I’m missing the kids.

The missing quickly changed to remembering. Remembering followed by looking forward to upcoming visits.

I know I’ve said it before. But that’s how it goes when you’re the parent of adult children. Today, I’m thankful for texts and phone calls. ❤️

Twenty-Seven Shares

Early in the morning, on my twenty-seventh birthday, you made a mom. And today, you turn twenty-seven. The significance is not lost on me.

The weeks leading up to your birth were traumatic. Your birth itself was traumatic. Waiting to hear your first cry. Seeing your tiny translucent face. And though I remember those moments well, I now see them thru a different lens. Your dad, me, and you were covered in love by family and friends.

You were a good baby. Your dad and I had no idea what we were doing but figured it out. You always loved music and books. Oh, and Legos. When your sister and brother came along, you loved them, too.

We’ve hit quite a few milestones together. The day you turned thirteen, I turned forty. I took you to your first rock concert. How old were you? Marching band, guitar lessons, prom, high school graduation. I will never forget the day we dropped you off at college. I cried the whole drive there and back.

Now you’re married to the sweetest girl and have your own life. Both of you are passionate about education. And you are working toward your doctorate in educational psychology. A life-long learner if I ever knew one.

I have the privilege of watching as you figure out this crazy, wonderful, beautiful life you get to live with a gentle spirit.

I am so proud of you. And I am thankful we share this day. Happy twenty-seventh birthday, Robert Allan Morris! ❤️

Simply Sunday

Ok, well…maybe not so simple this Sunday. 😉 This Thanksgiving was not what I had planned or expected. It did, however, remind me of what is truly important. And it reminded me to be thankful for time with those I love, no matter the amount. So many reasons to be thankful. ❤️

Already in Motion

A child
Growing
In love
Protected
Encouraged
Carried when
Stretches of
Road turn
Curvy and steep
By those
Refusing
To give up

A parent
Fluctuating
Between
Carrying
And being
Carried
Discovering
A profound truth-
Once a child
Always a child
Once a parent
Always a parent

Each role
Evolving
As the years
Slip by
Until a choice
Becomes
Necessary-
Whether
To embrace
Or ignore
Shifts already
In motion

Although
Avoiding
May seem
Easier
Embracing
Offers
Promise-
A heart
Filled to
Overflowing
Even when
It is broken

Kick Off Your Shoes

We used to live in a two-story house. It was great for growing kids. All their bedrooms were upstairs, making it quiet for mom and dad downstairs.

Whenever they would get home from school, shoes were kicked off at the bottom of the stairs. This was not an expectation or house rule. It is just what they did. At some point, we placed a small storage bench at the bottom of the stairs. A place just for shoes.

I can picture them now. Shoes off, heading up the stairs. It was time to relax after homework and a snack, of course.

Hi, Mom!
Hi! How was school? Homework?

Kids are all grown up. We no longer have stairs. Nor the same number of shoes.

Today, I decided to clean the laundry room. Ours is attached to the garage. And often becomes the drop zone for lots of non-laundry stuff. It is small, but there is a counter for folding.

Once the counter was cleaned off, I knew it needed a little something. Maybe a cute laundry sign. Something small, simple. Just enough to encourage us to keep it clean.

My daughter, Rachel, and I went shopping this afternoon. Looking at Christmas decorations and possible décor for the laundry room. I had just about given up when we saw the perfect sign.

Not at all what I had pictured, yet, perfect!

I know only close friends and family will likely enter our home through the garage. But I hope those that do take the message to heart. Like the kids when they were little, kick off those shoes and let go of their worries. If they’re lucky, there might even be snacks!

Questions and Answers

Opening doors
Requires
Asking questions
Whether seeking
Knowledge
Creativity
Relationships-
Some we ask
Almost every day
How are you?
What’s wrong?
What do you think?
How does that work?

Listening
For answers
Is the key
I pride myself
On being
A good listener
Discovering that
Some questions
No matter
How many times
I ask them

Have no answers-
My youngest son
Turns twenty-one
Tomorrow-
Where has the time gone?

Happy Birthday, Ryan! ❤️

No Increase

Why are we
In such a hurry?

Wishing
Our days
Away
As children
In a hurry
To grow up
As students
Hurrying
To finish first
As young adults
To get married
Start a family
Realizing
Our foolishness
At the moment
We wish
Time would
Slow down
Our children
To remain little
A bit longer
Our parents
To age
A bit slower
Ourselves
To breathe in
Each moment
Accepting that
Our hurrying
Offers no increase

Simply Sunday

Listening

Two of us
Together
In the kitchen
Making coffee
Cleaning
Cooking
Breakfast
Blueberry pancakes
Bacon and eggs

Our grown-up
Children
Together
Around the table
Laughing
Comparing
Embarrassing
Stories
Old and new

My heart
Quiet
Listening
Voicing
Silent prayers
For contentment
Over ones
Forever
Part of us

Everyone home this weekend. Happy mom. ❤️

Summer Morning Surprises

Cool summer morning
Pleasant surprise
Family of birds
Playing happily
In a nearby tree
Begins to circle
The sky in flight
Darting up
Dashing down
Dancing together
Like children
In a game of
Ring around the Rosie
Upon their return
To the safety
Of familiar branches
The welcoming tree
Like a wise grandmother
Rocking on the porch
Shakes with laughter
At their homecoming
Knowing they will not
Live with her forever
Especially
The young ones
For soon, they will
Find their own mates
Build their own nests
Perhaps in
A nearby tree
Perhaps not
For now, she accepts
The importance
Of protecting
While preparing
For the day
They fly away
Hopefully
Another lovely
Pleasant surprise
Cool summer morning

Full-Circle Photo

Some photographs represent full-circle moments in life. I received one of those this week from my daughter.

Graduations are a big deal at our house. Times for celebrating with family and friends. Eating cake and opening presents. Looking back and ahead at the same time.

All three of our children graduated from Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Union knows how to celebrate its graduates. The name of each senior is displayed on placards on the school lawn. Balloon drops and confetti cover the sea of red gowns as caps are tossed in the air!

My husband, Gart, was one of the high school principals for our first two. He handed all three kids their diplomas as they walked across the stage. We have a wall of pictures in our living room to remind us of these momentous occasions.

I have not given a lot of thought to other Union graduations since our family’s celebrations. Until this year…

When I began my teaching career at Union, I taught special education. My five years in this field were challenging and life-changing. That was twelve years ago.

My daughter, Rachel, is finishing her second year as a special education teacher at Union. She spent her high school years as a peer tutor in the very same classrooms. The picture from my daughter was taken during graduation practice. She was standing in the middle of her very first group of graduating seniors. Three of whom were in my class in elementary school.

This full-circle photo was a powerful reminder. As an elementary school teacher, I need to picture my students walking across that stage. And as a parent, I need to celebrate the impact my own children make on this old world. ❤