Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ordinary Loveliness

It was the first unbooked Saturday in a long time, and we didn't even have many projects lined up.  Laundry was caught up, the house reasonably clean, and only a shed needed clearing and the new one was waiting to load bikes in for the winter.  With Kenny on an overnighter at a friend's, it was weird how empty the house seemed.  With even one of the 5 kids gone, it changes things.  It has been odd lately to realize I have completely adjusted to our new life when I look around at 5 kids and think "That seems like too few..." as I quickly do the headcount.  No, that does not signal another adoption is in the offing but it does mean life with 5 now seems ordinary.

Ordinary...what a beautiful word.  It ranks up there with "content" and "pleasant".  Life lived in
contented pleasantness might seem ordinary to some, but for one who has lived a life that has had many emotional moments, both good an bad, there is a peace that comes with ordinary.  It also is a place most of us realize is not lived in forever, as life always seems to ramp up and throw something new at us.

Angela and I went to the store this afternoon to do a little shopping.  I say that like $275 worth of groceries is ever "a little shopping" :-)  18 bags,  6 new closeout $3 shirts for the boys, and another 15 pounds or so of fruit and we were on our way home.  Just a boring Saturday afternoon, but a year ago it would have seemed anything but ordinary.

We walked the aisles together, my daughter and I, as we talked about nothing in particular.  We joked about how many bottles of ketchup we needed and half seriously contemplated the #10 sized container with a pump.  Teasingly, I offered to take over the driving of the shopping cart when twice she ran into an end cap display.  An acquaintance whom I hadn't seen in a couple of years did a double take as I briefly said hello over my shoulder as Angela and I walked arm and arm through the produce section.  Yea...we got "another one".  At the register we played our usual family guessing game of seeing how close we could each come to naming the cost of our groceries.  Sadly, both of us selected amounts too low and laughed over how far off we were.

It was nothing exciting, just an ordinary afternoon with one of my daughters.  It was also a little miracle to be in this place, to have this sort of close relationship already with both Angela and Olesya.  It was lovely to simply be with each other, to do an ordinary task that most moms take for granted.  I saw several other mom-daughter combinations pass us in the store, most of the time each in various states of boredom as they went about their less than thrilling task of filling the cart to the brim, no doubt dreading the remainder of the work ahead as they contemplated loading and unloading the car.  As I passed these mother-daughter teams I wondered if Angela, Olesya and I would ever get to that point, where we would not have a great appreciation for being together doing the ordinary.

It is not ordinary for an orphan to walk through a grocery store.  It is not ordinary for an orpan to have access to enough food.  It is not ordinary for an orphan to walk around with a freshly showered body, wearing clothes selected especially for them, and to have a loving arm draped across their shoulder.

It also is not ordinary for this mom to have daughters to share the ordinary with.

And it is lovely.


Kath said...

This post brought tears to my eyes, in a good way :) You are such an inspiration, I hope to be even half as good a parent as you are someday.

I don't know if you ever will get to the stage of being able to shop as if it's completely ordinary. When I was younger, money was incredibly tight, and shopping was an ordeal as we had to make sure everything was as cheap as possible. Now we are much more secure, but nearly every time I shop, I find myself putting something small and relatively inexpensive in the trolley, and thinking how weird it is that I can just do it, without having to worry about going over a budget. And every single time I thank God.

I know it's an completely outlandish comparison, because I know even when money was tight for us, I was so, so much more fortunate than the children in the orphanages, but if it never seems ordinary for me, maybe it will never seem ordinary for you and your daughters either, but I think that can most definitely be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Nearly a year ago you would not have dreamed that ordinary would come with the girls or even that you would have future time with them. How deeply blessed we are that we have been with you through these times, how blessed you are to have the completed Team LaJoy family, and how blessed the girls are to have all of you and this "ordinary" relationship.

Love you all,

Kimberly said...

It sounds lovely.....and divine! Literally!
God has done such amazing things - I am so grateful that you allow us to have a view!