Friday, August 16, 2013

More Than Checklists

My phone alarm went off at 4:40 this morning and neither my husband or I could figure out what it was-- the act of getting up that early has become so foreign to both of us.  Once the mystery was solved, he turned around and dug shoulders deep into mattress, liberated by the fact that it was calling out to me and not him. I hesitated for a minute and wrapped both arms around my own pillow, as though this somehow anchored me from the risk that someone might come by at any minute to tug me out of bed by my ankles. No one was coming, of course, and it ended up being completely left to me to do the grown-up thing and get my own heiny out of my covers.

Today is a big day in what feels like a month long string of big days.

My oldest daughters and I will be heading to our second year of mother-daughter scouting camp after we pack up the littles for grandma's house and the temporarily comfortable husband in this scenario drops them off with her, before dropping himself off at work. I've gotten up to do the laundry and the list checking to make sure we have everything, from stuffed one-eyed monsters, to marshmallows meant for stuffing, and it's a good thing I did because last night's towels in the dryer were loaded but not run.

Silly little dryer button, if you had put yourself on The List, I might have remembered to actually push you.

My girls have been looking forward to this time all year and I'm looking forward to seeing how this time will be different and how it will be the same. Last year the girls were new to each other and now they've had a full year of laughing and playing and getting to know one another better and there will be an ease in that familiarity that wasn't there before.

We will buy snacks for the drive and make sure we've packed Jenga and Apple To Apples to share. The ten year-old will pull me along with excitement at check-in and race down bunk-house stairs in search of the highest and squeakiest of beds. They'll shoot off in a thousand different directions, drink unrestricted amounts of hot cocoa, wipe dirty hands on the fronts of t-shirts and shorts, and we'll eat camp food, gloriously prepared by Not-Me.

I imagine that in the late evening, after a day bursting with tie-dying and critter catching and splashing in the lake, the other moms and I will gather in our pajamas on folding metal chairs around dining hall tables, and we'll notice how fast our girls are growing, as if this gathering again in this same place is a pencil mark on the wall of life itself, and we suspected it to be true before, but when you actually draw that line?

And we adults will have grown, too--in community and in other ways. And I will be thankful for this brief exhaling of breath, and for these women and girls and for God's provision of friendship.

A prayer of slowing and seeing for you, too, this weekend. May our days and our people be more than check lists in this life that just moves so very fast.

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