So far so good on the moving front. No big issues with the home inspection, and now we're waiting on the results of the appraisal from yesterday. That will determine how serious I get about the moving process.
In the meantime, I've been working on clearing out things that aren't currently in use - like most of what's in the attic. Namely, Christmas decorations, hand-me-down clothes waiting to be worn, and a few other odds and ends. As I do this, the yard sale pile is expanding, and the garage is beginning to be filled with boxes.
As I was just about finished with the attic on Tuesday evening, I made my way to a big tall cardboard box in the back corner. I brought it down to the living room to go through and see if there was anything worth keeping.
It's kind of comical what has been living in this box, which is mostly toys. No, not my children's toys, but mine and Brad's. Apparently Brad was a lover of Looney Tunes as a child, and the whole gang has been living contentedly in the attic for the past 16 years. As I kept digging, I found a few things that did belong to my children, like first shoes for Madison. I also found some things that I had no idea why they were there or who they belonged to, so out they went.
As I was going through this box, all four of my children were in the room, and I was telling the stories that went with each item. As I got to the bottom of the box, I found two little bears from my childhood. As I pulled out a completely squashed pink and white bear, I looked him over for a second and then it came to me. I tried so hard not to cry but there was no stopping those tears. My children were confused of course and concerned and started asking what was wrong. I gained my composure as quickly as possible and then shared the story.
I'm guessing I was around 10 years old or so, and our church had taken a group trip to Six Flags. I loved Six Flags and I'm sure I was having a great time with my friend, Janet. As we were walking around the park, there was a teenager nearby with one of those HUGE bears that you can win when you play those crazy games. And I mean huge. One of those that you wonder if it will fit in the car later. Apparently this teenager didn't want to lug it around the park, so he came up to Janet and asked if she wanted it. Well, of course she wanted it! And as a 10 year old who loved teddy bears, especially a huge bear like that, my park experience for the day was pretty much shot.
Apparently my mother caught on pretty quickly that I was heartbroken. As it was nearing time for us to leave and go home, I saw my mother take out a $20 bill from her wallet and walk over to someone who was holding a not-so-huge bear, more like small to medium. (But I'm betting she had been trying to spy out one of those rare HUGE ones.) Next thing I know, she's handing the bear to me. Even as a young child, I remember feeling overwhelmed that my mom would do that.
When the story was finished on Tuesday evening, there wasn't a dry eye in my living room. What an awesome memory of my mother - a memory that pretty much sums her up.
Later that night, I was thinking to myself and wondering if I would have done something like that. I'm sure a lot of "parenting experts" might disagree with how that played out. This might make a good case study as a matter of fact. I can just hear, "Well, the mom should have let the child work through her feelings and in so doing, this could have been a character-building situation." And let's face it, I know I can always use a lesson in character (and most assuredly could have at that time), but my mother's love, care, and compassion won out on that one.
And I am so grateful. There would be other opportunities for "character building" throughout my childhood, and I'm glad that she chose a different route that day. Had she not, there would be no story. I probably wouldn't even remember that incident. There would be no bear who had sat in the middle of the top shelf of my closet until the day I left home and who has continued to be in my possession (even if it's been in a box in the attic). And there would have been no opportunity to stand in my living room and cry with my children as we remembered what a loving and fantastic woman my mom was.
And I'm also grateful for the reminder of how I need to love on my children and sometimes ignore the "parenting expert rules." My mother certainly wasn't a rule follower in that regard. She did what her heart told her to do. What a wonderful example.
I Corinthians 13:13 ~ So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.