There are moments when everything you have scheduled for the week just cumlinates in one big blob where you either sink or swim. The last week of school can be a challenge with all the parties, graduations, teacher gifts, thank yous, snacks, goodies, mix all that up with your son's 11th birthday party and it makes one want to cower in a corner and just cry. But its amazing at what happens when you have an extra pair of hands, or mouth (as the case may be) which totally turns a crisis situation into something enjoyable and pleasant. Those extra hands were the hands of my parents who have been visiting from Texas.
Their life is much different than mine. They have quiet mornings with coffee on their front porch; I have five children begging for breakfast and backpacks. They have a slow walk; mine is fast with a purpose. They have a smile and a kind word for all they meet here in North Carolina; I have a rushed "hello" and a pathetic "How have you been?" as I walk away moving toward the next thing. They have a schedule; I have, well, scheduled chaos. But it is all so much more pleasant when they are around. They don't intrude or question my behavior. They mostly lend a listening ear and an encouraging word...and the best part is when they say, "You look like you need a nap. We'll watch the baby." They've done what I have done. They have walked in these worn shoes and smile knowingly. I know it must be hard for them to enter my home of craziness...pulled from the quiet of their world, but their presence gives me confidence that I can "swim" on the crazy days and sink when I need to. They quietly remind me that I am allowed to sink every now and then...it feels good NOT to get those brownies baked for graduation, or wrap that gift in time for the birthday party. They remind me that what is important is to make TIME for others, for family, for good food and drink, for stories, for games, for a slow walk in the neighborhood, for a kind message to a friend or child, for love and being loved.
My blessings are many in this life and my parents presence is surely one of the best!