Friday, April 11, 2014

Mom's Chauffeur and Courier Service (A Little Encouragement)

My day "off" started off not with a bang, but my teenager's gentle voice around 6:30 in the morning: "Mom, I missed the bus.  I tried to let you sleep as late as I could, but I need a ride to school."  Huh?  What?  Oh.  Up I go. Change into day clothes, keys in hand, we can do this.  Let's enjoy the beautiful sunrise and a little time spent with a very sweet son.  I'm a mom of 10 with seven still living at home, so one-on-one time is precious.

I got home in time to make sure my youngest daughter's hair was combed and that my youngest son was out of bed.  Keys in hand, off to the elementary school several blocks away.   Then home again in time to eat some breakfast and take another daughter and a neighbor to their middle school bus top several blocks away.  Done yet with driving?  I thought so...

But no.  Within minutes, I got a text from my daughter that she had left the Cheetos for a class party in the van.  Could I bring them to school for her at lunch time?  Sure, why not.  Not so far away, eh?

And then, and then, I got a call from one of my adult daughters asking for a "big favor, Mom."   Could I bring the set of her paint brushes she had left on her bed? As soon as possible, please?  I had to laugh.  Yep, got it.  I took a shower, threw some laundry in the washer, printed out my To Do list for the next few days.  Keys in hand, off to the college to bring my amazing artist her tools.  (I can't wait to go see the college's juried art show opening night next week.  She had six pieces accepted for display, out of the 60 total. Did I say she is an amazing artist?)

On the way back from from the college, I decided to take advantage of being in that end of town and stopped by an antique store I spotted.  The owner was just unlocking the door, a half hour past the regular opening time.  Chatting with her in the store, I discovered her morning had been much like mine, running around town taking care of stuff for her adult son's family since he was sick.  We both smiled and agreed: "We do for family."  Yes we do.

After sorting a huge laundry pile into baskets for the kids to fold, and then doing a little prep work for school (I teach three days a week), I crashed for a much needed nap in the afternoon.  My husband kindly offered to pick up two kids from school, and another from a bus stop.  But I still needed to take one son to work at Chick-Fil-A.  The two youngest each had a coupon for a free small pizza from Dominoes. Yes, we could stop by on the way home, couldn't we?  Sure, why not?  At least I didn't have to make dinner, right?  Except that when we got there, we found out they didn't take those "Student Reward" coupons, which were issued by a store several miles north.  Just as well, that would give me time to order ahead by phone so we wouldn't have to wait long.  Off we go again. Serendipitously, this Dominoes was right next to a used book store I had been wanting to visit since I had seen it on the way home from the college in the morning.  And even better, they take trades, and I just happened to have a bag of books in the van that I had intended to sell at a different bookstore closer to home.  I was able to find three very encouraging and timely books to apply my store credit from what they wanted from me.  Yes!  My son was also enthralled with their amazing manga collection.  And eating pizza in the van.  His very own pizza.  All for him, and all gone now!

So yeah, today I've been "Mom's Chauffeur and Courier Service."  Lest you think my kids are taking advantage of me, it's rare that one of them needs to be bailed out, and truth be told, they bail me out just as often by driving a sibling to work, picking up something at the store, making dinner when I'm rushed, baby sitting, helping the younger ones with homework...  It's all good.

It's been a day.  A good day. A Mom day.  But now, my keys are in my purse!

Oh yes, those books!  Here is such a relevant snippet from one of them, starting on the very first page.
"And it's not uncommon to find ourselves wondering, How does this whole crazy puzzle fit together?  Anne Morrow Lindbergh observed somewhere in her timeless little book, Gift from the Sea, that most of us don't really mind pouring our lives out for a reason.  What we do resent is the feeling that it is being dribbled away in small, meaningless drips for no good reason."  For me, one of the greatest frustrations of walking through the "dailiness" of my life is that I don't always get to see how the bits and pieces of who I am fit into the big picture of God's plan.  It's tempting to see my life as a meal here, a meeting there, a carpool, a phone call, a sack of groceries -- all disjointed fragments of nothing in particular.  Yet I know I am called, as God's child, to believe that they do add up.  That in some way every scrap of my life, every step and every struggle, is in the process of being fitted together into God's huge and perfect pattern for good (Romans 8:28).  As difficult as that is to "live into" daily, it had become for me a transforming truth, adding meaning to the mundane and purpose to the plodding."  (Kaleidscope: God's Pattern in the Bits & Pieces of a Woman's Life by Claire Cloninger)
(I picked up the book because the concept of the kaleidoscope is one I've been pondering lately.  You can see more here: Kaleidoscope.)

Grace and peace,

Virginia Knowles


  1. Anne Morrow Lindbergh observed ... that most of us don't really mind pouring our lives out for a reason. What we do resent is the feeling that it is being dribbled away in small, meaningless drips for no good reason." A-To-the-Men. :) Thanks for the reminder that it all does serve a purpose. :)

  2. What a cute post. I only have 4, but grew up in a family with 10 kids, and know the rush and hubub. I love that you see the good, and didn't resent any of it. I have a hard time feeling that way when the "busy" side of life hits. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. I really, really enjoyed this post. I have seven children.


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