Perspective is an amazing gift. We are 11 months into this pandemic, just like everyone else. Our daily lives might feel like the world is on hold, it is not! In all actuality we have just slowed down and continued with an adjusted focus.
Our oldest, who we thought we would have to fight with in order to get him to comply with “stay in place” orders, complied readily 11 months ago. Just like the rest of us, for him, there was no work and anything else was remote.
Only so much time at home with the same 8 people can be tolerated by any nineteen year old. He needed something to focus on. So he sought out a job. Ultimately he got a call and … a job. It was at a Little Caesar’s Pizza. As a parent in this unprecedented time, I was torn. On one hand excited that he went out and got a job. On the other, worried about his potential exposure to the virus while serving the public. What to do? I expressed my concerns to him, gave him a hug and told him that I love him and be safe.
It is amazing what God gives you. Paul is still working for Little Caesar’s, now in a management role. Throughout the past nine months we have watched him grow. Early on his shifts would be scheduled until closing, he would walk into the house an hour or two before closing. I held my breath, “Everything ok?” “Yeah” was always the response. As I assume it is in houses around the world, boys of this age want their independence and are not always forthcoming with details (partly due to that Y chromosome, too). After a week or so, he told his dad, “I don’t work until close because I finished my work and there is absolutely no reason for anyone to take that many hours to complete that task.” OK! Would have been easier for this mom to sleep if he had shared earlier!! Other examples where he had an opportunity to grow arose and he met them. With each step his confidence grew.
We sat back and watched him change other habits in his life. We felt he was planning something. He was. At the end of 2020, he shared with me that he was looking to move out. Out of our home. Out of the state. Out of the Midwest. OK! Great, tell me more! Let’s be honest – this is all the information I was given at this time!! I understand my son well enough by now, he didn’t want me to do it for him or ask too many questions. So he plugged away at his plan until the day he appeared at my desk and told me he would be out of town for 6 days in January for interviews and to look at apartments. OK!
He returned from that trip today. The original plan, he and a buddy were going 5 states away. It became apparent quickly once they reached Wyoming, that it would only be our son moving. He got the position. He got an apartment. He climbed a mountain. He found a gym. He loved everything about this new home. So much so, he moved his date of departure closer by two weeks. Even as he got out of the car after driving 15 straight hours home, he had a huge smile on his face.
So why am I grateful for the pandemic? I believe that if we had not all had to stop and stay in place, Paul would have missed this opportunity to evaluate his direction and path. Now he has a plan for his furture. I am so blessed we have had him in our daily lives for the past year! How many twenty year olds have dinner with their families, seek out and talk with their parents, give their mamas hugs good night? Yes, he has been in our home for all of his life but an unsuccessful six month stay in a dorm room with three strangers. This time has given me the time to recognize these moments with him and everyone else in the house.
Let’s be real for a minute – I HAVE had my ‘fit to be tied’ moments with this son (and everyone else in this house). I have worried that he hasn’t embraced my plan for his life – the one that would make sure he didn’t suffer through any of the mistakes I made! I know this is only something that only occurs in my bubble! Ha! On top of that, one of my dearest friends pointed out I was apologizing to friends that my son was not following the traditional path. Wow. I spent that night thinking about her words and praying. One of the most relevant thoughts, I believe, was my realization that I would NEVER want Paul to think I was not proud of him! Think about that. Who wouldn’t be crushed if they thought their parent(s) wasn’t proud of them?? I will try and remember this, not just with this child but all of them!
Would I have taken the moment to appreciate that my boys were all at the dinner table with their grandparents and parents, last night – a Wednesday? Would I have been able to strengthen my relationship with my husband and know that sitting in silence is not us growing apart? It is just enjoying and wanting to be in the other person’s company. Would I have taken notice that one of the boys just wandered in and watched a show with me, instead of being in their room engulfed in their phone? We have been blessed that the virus has not negatively impacted us. We have had to quarantine a couple times due to possible exposure. Each time, as a group, we have pulled the reins back and stopped pushing the limits.
I know there are many people negatively impacted by this pandemic. I pray for all of you. I pray that we are coming to an end of this pandemic. I hope you can take a moment and look for any positives that the last eleven months have brought you and yours. 2021 needs to be uplifting for everyone! How will you do that for you?
Take care of yourself and those you love,
FAITH is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.Unknown
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