What have I gotten myself into? I am now officially going to lead the small Sr. High Youth Group at our church in a bible study/discussion group. To say I am intimidated is not an adequate description. I am not a well educated Bible scholar, I am untrained, I am not at all one of the "cool" or "hip" adults...I guess I am just willing and therefore get the job by default. So I have spent the past couple of days looking at materials to use, trying to find a guideline and ideas. When I told the boys what I was doing Kenny and Matthew said "Cool mom! Then you can do it when we are that age!", like they will even want me to have anything at all to do with what they are involved in when they become teenagers.
It really does cause one to look back at those years, to the intensity of emotions experienced when a teen, to the wide open future ahead of us that was often fuzzy and not quite crystallized in our minds yet. It truly is a time for figuring out what you carry with you into adulthood, what you discard from your childhood, what kind of person you really are. Looking back, I was such a very different person than I am today and yet the teenaged Cindy still lingers inside there somewhere. I was a quiet, studious, "bandsie". In the middle of high school I started dating Dominick and we obviously had found our perfect match so I never dated anyone other than him, never flirted, never got caught up in a lot of the high school drama. I was boring, basically. I was far more black and white in my thinking than I am today, as life has a way of helping you to see that there isn't always a clear cut answer.
So here I am, this middle aged terribly lame woman going to try my hand at working with today's Facebook reading, text messaging, alternative rock listening teens. This should prove to be....ummm....interesting!
We are also as a family doing a lot of praying lately. Praying for an adoption we hope can eventually move forward and yet not knowing exactly might occur. Praying for Kenny's application for treatment at Shriner's Hospital in Chicago will be accepted as that will help us financially more than I can even begin to express. Praying for our friends to have an easy transition in their new home once they leave in a few weeks.
As the end of ski season draws near, I am looking forward to life getting back to some semblance of normalcy. I want to take the kids to the library, to have time for homework and making dinner, I want to be able to breath in between activities and to enjoy the summer together. I am so blessed to be able to work the schedule I do, allowing me so much time with the boys the remainder of the year. As hard as it is on all of us during the winter, it is well worth it. We already have a ton of plans for the summer...camping, dear friends coming to see us for a week, driving trips to Denver to visit friends, a trip to California to visit our moms thanks to earned miles from our trip to Kyrgyzstan last year, church camp and retreats...and more importantly lazy afternoons spent in the backyard with kids running through the sprinklers, planting a garden in our raised beds made of stock irrigating tanks (yes, we have grown corn in them too!), evening walks hand in hand with Dominick as we follow the boys riding their bikes. It is the stuff a real life is made of, the little pleasures. It may be different for different people, but the big vacations and new toys are not what it is all about. Perhaps for some it is cool summer evenings spent on the patio with friends, a glass of wine in hand. Or maybe it is backpacking or hiking 14'ers. For others still it may be a day on the lake, fishing pole in hand. Whatever the case may be, it is good to be reminded that the best things in life are not necessarily the Big Adventures, but instead the good things are the daily things that bring peace to our hearts.
I will treasure this spring with Josh, as it will be our last time at home alone together during a school year, as he begins kindergarten next year. My little companion is an amiable one, and I will miss his quiet kindness when I am not around him all day, just as I miss Matthew and Kenny.
And where, I wonder, will Kenny be at the end of the school year? What a monumental task it seemed at first, to educate an 8 year old boy who came from such a unique and sheltered background, who did not share a common language with us, who had so much growing up to do. 3 more months, and his first year of school will be completed, and already it is obvious he has exceeded all of our expectations, thanks to the wonderful team of teachers working with him.
So now on my day off I am heading over to the school to volunteer a couple of hours in Kenny's class, and to pop my head into Matthew's class as well. Although I had plenty of things to do today, Kenny's pleading look this morning was enough to convince me that laundry could wait :-) I hope all of you are having a wonderful, spirit renewing almost-spring day as well!