Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bookends (in a manner)

I had the most wonderful experience tonight and I wanted to document it mostly for my own happiness.
In other words, this is a post you can feel confident that by skipping you will have effectively used your time doing something besides listening to this girl talk to herself.

Tonight Sam and Buddy and I went to Buddy's baptism preview.
(For those who aren't in the "Mo"--heh heh-- when kids in our church are turning eight they can choose to be baptized. Baptism is pretty simple, we fill a pool and dunk them, party time. It is a special year for a kiddo and parents. At the beginning of each year where we live and many other areas where the church is, members hold something they call a baptism preview. It is an event where all the parents and kids who are turning eight come and get walked through what their baptism will be like. An orientation if you will. There you go, simplified version of what we were going to. Enjoy.)

This was a HUGE deal for us for several reasons.

First off, Buddy was really excited to go. His good friend Lane is being baptized this year also so that was awesome for him and Buddy is really excited about being baptized. He is my kid who wants to be an adult now, sigh. He spent a few hours today getting ready. He showered and even washed his hair ON PURPOSE and he selected a nice outfit and everything. Then I made him take off the outfit because he had two hours before we had to go and I knew he was going to get it dirty. It was pretty awesome to see how excited he was.

The other reason this was a huge deal was really a personal one for me.

We have never been to a baptism preview. I know. Belle was baptized, so we should have gone to hers, right? Well, no. I don't like to talk much about it, but around the year Belle was turning 8 we were dealing with some really unfortunate things involving members of our then congregation and the people in charge of inviting (or even informing) us of the preview chose not to. When she found out she had missed it, she was so heart broken. The girl cried and cried and I cried with her. I don't want to say more about it, I hope you'll understand.
We have been blessed since then to have a new congregation and it has been one of the greatest blessings in our lives these past years.

Now, I'm a bit of a superstitious person. Stop laughing. When someone goes horribly wrong I sometimes see it as a jinx and I get all funny about it.

For example, showers. Not the kind where you hose yourself off, the gift kind. Like bridal and baby showers. It all started when I was engaged to Sambo. One of my friends went to throw me a shower but she forgot to send out invites in time and there was a holiday that slowed the mail so people didn't get their invites until after the shower. The shower was also the weekend of my birthday. NO ONE CAME. It was a low moment for me and I took it really hard. My mother in law tried to make up for it after we were married with a low key party thing and it was really sweet of her, but the sting of that party that no one came to never went away. Yes, I understood later that they didn't know to come, but still. The worst part wasn't just the shower fiasco, it was that one of my bridesmaids backed out of the wedding due to some religious differences and after my total melt down/cry fest over the shower, Sam called off the wedding for the first time.

JINX.

I have not had a shower for anything since. Not one single baby shower, nope. I will go to showers and I will throw them for others. But, they are bad luck for me and I never want one, ever ever ever.I'm too afraid of what could go wrong.

Here's another fun quirk. When I was pregnant right before Xander, I was having a rough pregnancy as usual. I would watch this one episode of Scrubs night after night as a form of a daily affirmation. It relaxed me and made me feel like it would all be okay. Well, I miscarried. Shortly after I was pregnant with Xander and I watched that same episode one night and within hours I was rushing to the doctor with a threatened miscarriage and ended up on modified bedrest for a few weeks. Now whenever that episode is on I change the channel because I'm afraid something bad will happen to Xander.

I know, I'm crazy. But, it works for me.

Back to the baptism preview. I was shocked that I wanted to go. After the really horrible circumstances that came to a head around the time of the last preview,  you would think I would hide from that event like crazy. But I didn't and I couldn't quite figure out why.

Until tonight.

So, tonight. Well, today. I had a decent day. the kids were good after the night before when Love and Logic parenting kicked them in the pants (if I feel like it I'll blog that story later) and I have felt really decent today. I didn't need the cane (unlike the last two days), but I was morning sick (again) enough that I didn't take Xander to preschool so I could just rest. My piano kids were good, but I had one lesson right before we had to go and that made us late to the preview. Ah, the walk of shame when you get there and you have to sit in the front because the other seats are taken. Loved it.

There were a lot of familiar faces and some of my sweet primary kids waved at me. Oh, how I miss them! We lucked into sitting close to Buddy's friend Lane and his family (can I tell you, the more I get to know Lane's mom the more I like her? She is awesomesauce, way prettier than me, but we can still be friends, hee hee). We settled in to listen and... of course that batphone went off again and again and again. Poor Sam finally gave up and stayed in the foyer of the chapel so he wouldn't disrupt with his ins and outs anymore. I love that guy.So, we get through the entire thing and at the end we have treats and mingling time.

This is where I figured things out.

There were people there from our old congregation. It used to take a lot of bravery on my part to be in the same airspace with some of these people, but time heals all wounds and now it doesn't really matter too much. Besides, some of them were and still are our friends so they are always nice.

But, that isn't the figuring out part. Well not all of it. Just an affirmation that time does heal all wounds and I've grown up a lot. (But I could stand to grow up more, couldn't we all?)

This is.

There were people from our current congregation. People who welcomed us with open arms those years back when we needed a new church family. People who have seen me at my absolute worst this past year, both physically and emotionally and I wouldn't blame them if they steered clear of me. I steer clear of me when I'm this not fun.

But, these people, people who are all really different from each other, people who really have so many more important things to do... they came over to our family and mussed Buddy's  hair and talked to him and made him feel so special (thank you Bishop, we love you and your family so much), they visited with us and made jokes. Some of them told me I looked great, which makes them liars, but liars that I love so much. These people went out of their way to show love to our family, just like they do on a weekly basis. These people prove to me on a weekly and sometimes daily basis that the experience we had those years ago was not what our faith is all about, it is about taking people where they are and just loving them, sometimes in spite of them. The horrible experiences we had were truly awful, but this past year I had some really awful experiences again (not at church, just with life in general) and instead of being shunned or judged for being a hormonal wackadoodle, my church family has accepted, forgiven, understood and supported me and mine.

They are quite possibly the best people on the planet.

I needed this experience tonight. I needed to be reminded this month, the anniversary of when we found our new church family, that our life is really wonderful. We are surrounded by people who continually teach us, especially me, to be better and kinder. We have friends, even when we aren't feeling friendly. I needed to see that God makes things right in His own special way and He will always wink at me, even when I don't know I need it.

Tonight healed a wound I didn't realize I still had. It answered an unspoken prayer in my heart. It took a painful experience and while it couldn't replace it (and that is okay, we need the bad to appreciate the good) it paired it with an uplifting and peaceful experience that I will just treasure forever.

Like I said, this is a post that won't really mean much to anyone but me. But it means a lot to me and I'm grateful. I'm feeling ready to close this particular book about this part of my life. Ready to start a new book and see where the author takes me.

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