Monday, January 30, 2012

Junior High


While setting my alarm the other night, "How Deep is your Love" by the Bee Gees came through the speakers of my clock radio. I instantly went back to seventh grade and let out a deep sigh.

Seventh grade.

Simplicity.

My day consisted of school, and sitting at the park sipping Icees and spitting out sunflower seed shells from the pile nestled in my cheek. Our homework load was minimal but our conversations were detailed, real, tangible, and centered on friends, and boys we thought were cute.

We wrote our friends letters which were folded in triangular, origami shapes, and signed each one with TTFN and BFF written in ball point pen. The letters were shoved into the ventilation slats on the locker doors and were a welcome surprise to the receiver. I loved getting letters.

If we needed a question answered, or had to decide on a place to meet, the landline telephone was our available source of communication. We sat on the phone for hours and talked incessantly.

Our teenagers have phones they rarely use for talking. Communication with friends is done via text messaging, and Facebook comments. They sometimes e-mail, they never write letters, and telephone conversations are on the go and only as a last resort when the text message appears too lengthy.

I hope that my children don't forget how to communicate with friends through verbal conversation. I hope they remember how to ask questions, and engage others in conversation. I hope they don't overlook the written word - using a pen.

That would be a travesty.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pedaling Downhill


Our 8 year old likes to pedal down hills. I think peddling downhill is scary, so each time he stands up on his pedals and begins his hasty decent I holler, “Why do you pedal downhill?” He hollers right back to me, “I like going fast!” Within seconds he is down the hill, around the corner, and out of sight. I listen for the crash, but the crash never comes. He’s a professional.

He waits for me at the bottom of the hill. His face is cool from the brisk wind, his heart is pumping, and his mood is high. The adrenaline rush is addictive so he cannot wait to return to the top of the hill, and once again, pedal hard and fast down the hill.

I like to coast down hills. The slow decent is the prize to the grueling climb. I prefer to soak in the success instead of rushing through it. In addition, I don’t like to crash, or hurt myself. Even if none of these were to take place, the fear that I would crash or injure myself keeps me from the escapade. I am not a professional, I don’t need an adrenaline rush, and I prefer using a fan to cool down my face.

Our son loves reckless abandon.

I love order and rules, justice, and all things planned and well thought.

I’m the one who tries to keep everything in neat little boxes, sitting on shelves, each properly labeled and color coded. Perhaps I need some reckless abandon.
I am grateful for the lessons that I learn from our children. They help me slow down and soak in the peace.

Since I don’t own a bike I will not be making any trips downhill as excessive speeds. I will however, learn to allow a smattering of reckless abandon to season my life and trust in God’s safety net.