Friday, August 12, 2016

Tree Tunnels and Vanity

As a vain pre teen I often found my mom annoying and embarrassing.  Did she always have to say the same thing at bedtime everynight?
Sleep tight.
See you in the morning.
I love you.
Did she have to leave notes in my lunchbox? I wasn't 5 anymore!
Why were normal things so fascinating to her?  I can vividly remember her making a huge deal out of the "tree tunnel" street.  I can't remember where we were going, but I know she would go out of her way get lost in the "tree tunnel."  I was not sure why trees that encompassed the road were so fascinating, but to her, they were.
My insecurities often held hostage my ability to question, explore, enjoy, and have fun as an adolescent. Never did I let lose and dance at a junior high dance.  What other people thought of me was significantly more important than any truth about my identity.  If I my peers considered me pretty, popular, and skinny, I was set. 
Junior high students don't have fully developed frontal lobes, and clearly mine was lagging.  Even thinking about this makes me want to go back in time and shake some sense into that little insecure girl.  I'm pretty sure my best friend almost divorced me in junior high due to the insane amount of energy I put into myself and my status.  Barf.
That same girl who was too cool for love and inclusion was the same girl that believed in Santa until 5th grade.  I never understood how our family could afford Christmas.  Santa was the explanation.
After much push back from my friends I asked my mom point blank about old St. Nick. I crushed a little bit of her soul with that question.  She knew it was coming.  She did a graceful dance about the spirit of Christmas that Santa represents, and how she believes in the magic of Christmas even if there isn't a fat man lording over toy making elves. 
I wanted to believe in the magic of Christmas.  I wanted my heart and my thoughts and myself to be bigger than my insecurities.  But in that season, the insecurities won more battles than they lost.  
Luckily my frontal lobe eventually caught up.  Life blessed me with some challenges to walk through.  My internal voice grew in size, as did my trust in it. Trusted people in my life spoke truth to me in a direct and loving way.  I have come along way from that insecure and self obsessed girl, and I know I have a ways to go.   
Today we were driving down a road that just happens to be a "tree tunnel."  I was explaining to the boys how much I loved this road, and how I couldn't wait to see it covered in snow again.
My desire to create magical experiences for my children runs deep in my bones.  My mother blessed me with magic seeking and grey hair genetics. 
Grayson then blurts out that he wants to see his big girl friend.  But he can't tell me her name because its a secret.  She loves tree tunnels and he wants her to see it.  He wants to give her a big hug, but she is too far away.  I ask him who he is talking about, and he tells me, "its her birthday next."  (We frequently talk about who's birthdays are coming up in relation to his.  First it was Asher's, then Jude's, then Grayson's.)   Never have I mentioned that it's my mom's birthday next.  It is on Wednesday.  
At this point the tears stream down my face.  I'm not sure how God gave my three year old the words I've been wanting to say for the last week, but He did.  
I too want to give my mom and hug, and experience the little things with her again.  What I wouldn't give for another birthday.  
I didn't probe.  I didn't ask for more.  I didn't want to ruin or explain away the little gift I had just received.  So instead I let the tears fall again, for the first time in a long time.  Life has gotten full, and I no longer need to grieve daily or weekly for the loss of my mom.  The wound is not as deep, and it doesn't sting as much.  
But today I remembered that its still there.  I miss her, so.