Having older kids means I am no longer abruptly woken by someone standing at my bedside saying, “Mom? Mom? Mom?” In fact, no one stirs in my house until noon now that summer has overtaken us with its heat and lack of structure. No one goes to sleep before 1 AM in my household, other than my husband. (I work until midnight. The rest of the household has no excuse whatsoever, other than their youth and ridiculousness.)
Consequently, the mornings are silent and languid around here. I miss my quiet nighttime house, but the late morning stillness is a good consolation prize.
Between the four of them, my kids are filling the summer with part-time jobs, a lot of “sleeping over” at friends’ houses, youth groups, beach days, erratic sleeping schedules, going-away get-togethers, Pokemon Go, movies, and growing up. So much growing up.
It’s just weird. This year I will have only one child still in school. She’s going into 8th grade and is in a rush to get to high school and beyond so she can get a tattoo and nose ring. (Over my dead body, I think, but I try to keep my face free of expression since I have been informed that I am “so critical.”) Two of the kids will be attending the local community college.
The other day, a friend of mine from my childhood church sent me a message to tell me our former youth pastor had died. He was about 65, she said. After I graduated from high school, he moved on from our church and I heard along the way that he’d become a college professor. Since I heard the news of his passing, I have looked up his family online and discovered some details about his now-grown children whom I used to babysit. The dark haired baby I used to take care of is a lawyer now.
My youth pastor was a significant figure in my adolescence. He taught our youth group as if we were all smart and as if the Bible were relevant to us, even explaining the original Greek to us at times. He was good-natured and kind and calm and smart. I remember in particular one night when our youth group held a fundraiser at the rest-stop near our town. We offered cookies and coffee to travelers in exchange for donations. At some point, I worked a shift behind the table and he was there, listening to me talk and discover ideas about God and fathers and theology. He probably didn’t remember that night but I never forgot.
(I am trying to find a conclusion to this rambling post but even though it’s 1:24 AM, my grown kids keep coming downstairs into the kitchen, then back up, then back down and I cannot fully express how annoying and irritating and distracting I find it that there are wandering awake people in this house at this hour.)
In conclusion, I was sad and stunned to hear of my youth pastor’s death. I imagine his family’s grief and shock and know a bit of how that feels since my own dad died when I was 24. I hate how time carries us along on its current, sweeping us into the future so quickly we can barely glance back at where we’ve been. The future is inevitable and irresistible. We cannot resist the current dragging us away from this moment and into tomorrow.
(ON MY GOSH, ANOTHER KID TRAIPSING DOWN THE STAIRS. Into the kitchen. Back up the stairs, closing the door loudly. I can’t take it.)
(Even the dog is sitting next to me, licking her lips, yawning, making weird dog noises and trying to catch my eye. PEOPLE! I am an introvert and need some time alone so keep my sanity. And by “PEOPLE”, I mean you, too, Dog!)
I give up. I’m going to bed.