college life parental guilt parenting decisions

Her Second, First Bedroom

Just yesterday I was picking out the perfect bedding, just the right paint colors for the wall, a nice rug, lamp, a rocking chair, and pictures to hang on the wall for her first bedroom. The room where we would say “goodnight, I love you, God bless you, sweet dreams, for eighteen years…

A couple of months ago, my friend Allyson gave me the sweetest “random” gift for no reason at all (aren’t those the best!)  Well, maybe the reason was because I needed it!  It was a small plate with an easel that had a handwritten letter on it written by her friend reflecting on a time when her three-year old daughter was fighting cancer. It reads, “Dear Normal Day – Let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, and bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of a rare & perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may. Faithfully yours.” (cue the band Journey… “Faithfully”) 🙂

How beautiful & profound.  As mamas, we are constantly racing to the next thing, preparing for the next perfect vacation, striving for the next promotion, pinning that picture-perfect Pinterest meal, trying to plan for the perfect tomorrow, but this plate was a sweet reminder to take a look at my own full plate and embrace the “normal day!”

As my number two out of three daughters leaves the nest this week, what I truly will miss the most is the proverbial ‘normal day.’  The car rides where she gets frustrated at me, and I giggle because I know I am being a ridiculous backseat driver in the passenger seat, the cheering from the sidelines at every sporting event possible, discussions about homework, what Ms. Smith said in class today, how Bobby got in trouble, how some friends are for a season & some for a lifetime, how to keep being the light, how she got an A on her math test, how to manage her time, etc.. – just the mundane, ‘normal conversations.’  Then there are the normal dinners around the table filled with prayers, laughter, maybe an accidental burp or two, no cell phones, and normal conversations. The family movie nights where we take thirty minutes to pick out a movie to watch that we can all agree on, bowls filled with popcorn, sprinkled with our favorite candy that I inevitably fall asleep and never get past the middle of the movie.  My favorite normal time of them all, “tuck-in time.”  When the lights go off and all defenses are down. Head on the pillow, talking about our ‘favorite and saddest parts of our day” which turn into deep conversations, that turn into prayers, that turn into another normal tomorrow.  These ‘normal days’ are where we get to pour into our kiddos, whether they know it or not, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

How did yesterday become my today so quickly? Surely ‘Father Time’ does not have a second hand, I swear the dude must have wings!  So it begins again, eighteen years later…picking out the perfect bedding, just the right colors, a nice rug, lamp, and pictures to hang on the wall for her ‘second, first bedroom’ – her dorm. The place where we get to say  “good night, I love you, God bless you, sweet dreams” from a distance & cherish all the ‘new normal days’ that have gone by and the ones yet to come.

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