One last Florida post. Before you start to resent me for sitting on a beach and drinking smoothies (seriously).
Enter Nancy. Aka, The Smoothie Lady.
Nancy, Ort's mom, came along to help us with the details of beach livin'. Airport shuttles, grocery runs, daily lunch service, sunset apps and cocktails, Kentucky Derby festivities. Melon balls! BLT's! A special Friday drug store run for the newest copies of People and US Weekly, of which she purchased TWO copies, so we wouldn't have to share!! Oh my God, it's like she KNEW I have shared EVERYTHING, including personal space and bathroom privacy with one, three and then four little people, and then! Heaven sent me a selfish gift and it was an uninterrupted copy of smut from the angel Nancy. When the holy spirit fell upon Jesus, I think this is what it was like.
Think I am kidding?
Here is our lunch tray, Day #2. Homemade chicken salad day. I told you there were melon balls.
Evening #2 consisted of cocktails and appetizers on the rooftop party room of the condo. Where items such as this were served. Followed by a dinner of crab cakes and cheese grits.
My point being this--I consider myself a hospitable person. But I have not a clue. Not an inkling of what it's like to serve with such grace and humility and absolute willingness. Wow.
But also, that she would take 5 days to be with her daughter and her friends. You know me, I am big on PURSUIT, and what an amazing example. I've always believed that the work I do as a mother in their first 18 years will *hopefully* lay a foundation for a great relationship in their adult lives. I am trying to find the balance between teaching them and encouraging them and being consistent while being kind. I tend to think my sphere of influence will run out when they leave for college (crossing our fingers on that one!), and from there the choice is theirs. They get to decide if I am lovable.
Only, I am beginning to think that isn't quite right. That Nancy is intentionally pursuing her daughter, not with reprimands and reminders to pick up her clothes, but with shrimp cocktail and pre-lunch smoothies. She loves her daughter so much, that she is there. Helping. Enjoying.
How many of us wait for new friends to include us, to invite us in? How many times do you actually pick up the phone to make a new friend, to invite an acquaintance over just to get to know her? Like I said in Monday's post, my own insecurity, lack of time, blah, blah, blah, keeps me from pursing new friends with any kind of passion.
But I'm beginning to see that having a great relationship with my children means EXACTLY the same thing. Now, and in 15 years. It won't be a choice, really. And not in the sense that I will inappropriately insert myself into their lives and choose to embarrass them by attending keg parties at their alma mater. But, that I will look for the opportunity to love them and serve them well. Where they need me. And without complaint or judgement or irritation.
I LOVE to say that I have every reason to be grumpy. Or selfish. Or tired and snappy. Because I serve little people ALL DAY and I feel so entitled! Yes, I can definitely make an argument for all the reasons I deserve space and peace and quiet and cleanliness.
At the end of the day, my argument for all of those things pushes my little people away from me. One day, they won't live here. I won't wipe their bottoms (fingers crossed!). I will want them back, I will want this kind of intimacy. But I will RUIN it, if my attitude while I raise them is one of irritation...and I'll drive the point home, if I send them out into the world and fail to pursue them as adults. Which I could easily see myself doing, under the guise of giving them space and freedom.
Just something I am thinking about, particularly as I think about having my kids home this summer. Which I am personally EXCITED about. Because this school routine is killing me. And I have a feeling it is killing G, even though she is putting on a brave face. For me. Which personally, breaks my heart just a little.