That’s what Mama would say about now.
And I’d nod my head and say, “Yes ma’am. I know. You’re right.”
It was her way of saying, “There’s a time and a place for everything.”
Referring to the verses from Ecclesiastes 3. Mama loved that passage. She even wrote it down on one of her recycled Mary Engelbreit calendar pages as a reminder to remember where I am–what season, what place.
The season I have been in this week has been a busy one. Saying goodbye to another family of neighborfriends. This is the life in a military community. Folks move into your neighborhoods, into your hearts, and then they must move on.
It’s been a week of endings. The end of our year of dance and gymnastics for our Princess and Cooter. And for me, who has usually been the one making the trek twice a week in my “taxi-mobile” to and from. And for our family who has suffered through eating takeout on Tuesday nights (ha, who am I kidding–I can name at least four of the five who look forward to that night). Yes, it’s been a good year.
Thursday evening, we attended their gymnastics program. It was fabulous. From listening to children singing along with the song that Princess’ class did their routine to–“The Best Day of My Life”–to watching Cooter and his male counterparts do a ninja-like routine to the theme from Mission Impossible–it was AWESOME. Top it off with folks who know my children and love them anyway showing up to sit on the bleachers and clap and give hugs and high fives after. We giggled watching Princess walk across the gym on her tiptoes (it’s what she does) and nodded together that the song she performed to suits her well. We watched in awe as Cooter did cartwheel after cartwheel. Well. Just full to bustin’, y’all. I can’t even put all that good stuff into words. Except to say. It was good.
Last night was dress rehearsal for the dance recital. As we got our Princess together–hair, makeup (oh my stars–only light stuff for our girl, I just can’t), and costume, we realized she did not have a bowtie. Her costume was adorable. All tux with bowtie look on top with red sparkly fabric–sharp and cute all at the same time. But no bowtie? Sigh. Yeah. Sounds about right. I was convinced it had fallen into the abyss that is our laundry room–where I’d had it hanging waiting for the big day. I spent a lot of time searching and digging to no avail. Finally it was time to leave. Well, it’s dress rehearsal for a reason. I’d figure out something by recital time.
Which brings me to the season for today. Today was the season for travelling across town to the craft store to search for black velvet ribbon so I could figure out how to make a bowtie. (I’m sure there’s an instructional video somewhere, right?) When that was a fail, I went to the party store, where “if we had them, they’d be right here.” *points* Well thanks. I’ve enjoyed staring at this spot in your store where you have no bowties. But it’s good to know where they would be, for, you know, the next time we misplace a bowtie. Yes.
After a major shopping trip to the grocery store (on a Saturday morning, good gravy, why do I do this to myself?), I headed home to do what came next. Figure out how to “make do.” My Fella came to the rescue, with a black clip-on bowtie from his mess dress uniform. Excellent. It was black and from a distance, it looked no different from the others. Three safety pins and voila! Win. Yes. Hair. Makeup. Check. And we were off.
Today was also a season for revisiting my past. Back home to Wesleyan. The recital was on the stage that I walked across so many times, and now my oldest has too. Such a precious thing to me. I helped downstairs and backstage, something I have enjoyed doing each year. I love the excitement in the air, the girls’ stomachs full of butterflies and hair full of hairspray. They giggle and help each other straighten out skirts. They share things forgotten and whisper encouraging words. They talk a bit too loud in the stairwell and tap their shoes when they are supposed to be quiet, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of it. Because I got at least four extra hugs from my Princess today–one from excitement, one just because, one when she heard who was in the audience, and one–“Thank you for being my Mama.” Ahem. Nothing to see here folks–keep on moving. Just a Mama bawling her eyes out. No big.
Tonight I am thankful for Team Zoo Crew–who pulled it together and got our littles where they were supposed to be this week, dressed and ready. Well mostly. I am thankful for loving family who step outside their comfort zones and show up, which is one of the most precious things we can ever do for someone. Ever. I give thanks for dance teachers who brush off lost costume pieces, and say, “Don’t stress, if need be, get some black ribbon and tie in a bow and pin it on. No one’s going to notice.” Love that grace-filled woman. I am thankful that she loves the hugs from my girl just about as much as I do. And accepts them every time they are offered, which is often. I love that I have a ninja boy who rocked his performance and, with his one-toothed grin, told me he wants to do gymnastics again next year. Thankful for his teacher who puts up with all those boys every week and says she enjoys it. I’ll take it.
It’s the big moments like these that I miss my Mama and Daddy even more than usual. I remember with a warm heart the dance recital two years ago. It was the first time I’d seen my Mama light up since my Daddy had died six months before. She was beaming and couldn’t stop talking about all of the performances, but especially those of her grands. And during both the gymnastics program and recital today, our dance studio director incorporated Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” It was played for the last dance today. I’ve never heard this song before the way I did today. Daddy really liked it. I know because he asked me if Cyndi Lauper had gotten an award for it. He only did that with songs he thought were really good. So of course I thought of him. But as I watched the final performance today from backstage, and I noticed the director/teacher guiding her students from off-stage, I saw she was mouthing the words. Her face was lit up with something that had nothing to do with the stage lights. I thought of Daddy and realized whatever she was hearing was what he heard too. And then I heard the words differently myself.
So today was also a season of change. Which I don’t do well. But I’m trying. Goodbyes, scheduled big events, heading up and down the massive staircases in Porter Auditorium several times with excited seven- to nine-year olds two days in a row, and missing my parents more than usual–it’s been a whirlwind. But mostly a good one. Yes, this season is a busy one. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.
Love and a wishes for a good season to all.