We are ultra casual here about the whole celebration of Easter, in hopes that we will not commercialize such a meaningful and sacred holiday. I have a feeling Martha Stewart and other venders like her over do the importance of “putting on a great Easter” so that they can in return make some great money. I’m not saying that shouldn’t be done. I just want to keep it personal and simple. We lit up daddy’s new grill, enjoyed dinners laughing like old times with all of us present, went to Easter church service on Saturday night and then out to dinner at the country club. And don’t go thinking ‘oh, they go to the country club.” Just imagine the seven of us in a fancy dining room where the waiters have to know our names and we pull out the playdoh and start rolling snakes and begin laughing at a level that’s not considered polite. That’s who WE are. ( I am Fun.)
Donny is home and he is worn out. I think home is so comfortable that he collapses even further than he would at school. He studies deep into the night and sometimes through it for big tests, and he pushes hard to keep all the balls in the air. We call college kids “Probies” in Life. (short for probation). The simple responsibilities we have as more mature adults wear out college kids because they aren’t accustomed to managing it all. The first day he reclined with a novel while we swarmed around him. He came to life a little more on Saturday and by Sunday he was chasing the brothers around the yard playing war with airsoft guns. They all proudly appeared at the end of the game to show me the welts they wear in return for the fun. Of course when I suggested they didn’t shoot each other, but something else, they laughed at me and gave me looks like I don’t possibly understand. But I do understand, I just wouldn’t be a mom if I didn’t ask them to be less aggressive and more safety conscious. (Yes they wear safety glasses).But… I am mom.
I guess when I think about how strange it is to me that they want to run around the woods with guns and hurt each other for hours they think I’m pretty strange for running off to a place that smells like poop, where I get filthy dirty and stinky, and all so I can ride on the back of a horse and practice riding techniques in an arena…and I might add having an incredible connection with a gorgeous sensitive animal. I am an animal lover.
I happen to believe the majority of the girls out there would come with me, and most of the boys would pull weapons into the woods. God made us differently. Jordan idealizes real combat, and when he does that it makes me shudder. In the same way I figure I am in training so I can ride my horse on the beach bareback in a long flowing white dress with my hair down at a full gallop. And when I say that out loud the boys drop their forks and stare at me like I’ve lost my mind. I am a woman.
Fun is relative. So while I would like to confiscate all of the guns and lock them up in the real gun safe I take a deep breath instead and think, God made boys to want to beat each other up and identify who is king of the hill, and girls, well we need to know who is going to protect us and give us security. (speaking for myself if that offends you) They all love it that I like to spend my free time at the stables, because then I can’t yell through the house, “turn off the tv, go do some honest work for honest pay in the yard, or put away those guns.” Mom’s gone, they are free, and old enough to enjoy it. That’s why they like my horse. I am intuitive.
Some of my weekend was spent with my shovel in hand, and my mind on the design of my one singular garden bed where I can play. Where I once had twenty rose bushes to care for, I now have one. There is room for all my favorite plants, but only one of them, not big clusters. And I welcome a smaller garden so I can take good care of it, but also have time to do other things. It gives me great satisfaction to look out over its beauty and know I am participating in it’s development. I am a gardener. (what a relief it is to be able to say that again.)
Only Craig and Jack were interested in coming to meet Gwinny this weekend. When Craig saw me with my new mare, knowing me better than anyone, and recognizing the glow and radiance I have with her, he counted his experience of watching me with the big gift he has given me as the best part of his day. And it’s being so well loved by him first that makes it possible for me to enjoy this mare. I couldn’t enjoy her or go to the stables without his blessing. Really that’s true. I might go anyway, but I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. I am a wife. And I am loved.
I remember when the boys were little and would go down for a nap on the weekend I was desperate to get out of the house, and my husband who was always out of the house was desperate not to go anywhere but sink into the comforts of home. So I would escape and he would keep watch. But I didn’t do anything much fun other than shopping errands. I got myself in the habit of going to the mall. It’s strange how much I have changed over the past six years, because it’s hard to drag me to the mall now when I can buy online and spend my free time at the barn. Now when Kira goes for her nap there’s no question how I’m spending that time, I’m off to see the horses. It feels good to know what I want to do and be able to do it. I couldn’t even solve that puzzle in my twenties. Perhaps I wandered around that mall wondering “who I am?”. This is one of the reasons I love my forties. I not only know who I am, but I am able to do what I am meant to do. AND I can look back at my record and see how it is I got where I am, counting the highs and lows, always giving credit to God and spreading my humble thanks at His feet. Without him I am nothing. With him all things are possible…even enjoying the smells of a barn, Craig warming to the idea of owning a horse, and accepting that my sons like to play with guns.
I am a Christ follower.
And the special unique privilege that I’ve been given as a result of following Him deep into the unknowns and out into blinding light is the opportunity to effectively take care of orphans in Uganda. I can’t wait to share with you how their Easter came to be special. I am Mama Tonya. (I really believe that one is the most unexpected answer to the question of who am I in my life, and one given to me by divine appointment. I feel so unworthy to be her, and so thankful at the same time.)