“Listen Lady, I mean what I said!”
Sometimes the universe sends angels into our path to gently nudge us in the right direction, and other times the angel placed before us is an outspoken, grey haired, bright blue-eyed grandmother.
I was standing in the check out line at Hobby Lobby to get the last few items on my list for girls camp when the woman behind me spoke up.
“Let me see that feather there, dear…” she said, and Ella showed it to her. As she leaned down to see the sparkled detail on the side, she asked where we had found it. She wanted to claim one for herself, and so we began counting rows and describing where she might trace our steps to find a white feather of her own.
After we got her pointed in the right direction, she mentioned how pretty the feather was again. At that point I couldn’t help but tell her that she was beautiful. And she was. Bright blue eyes, wise wrinkled and tanned skin, and carefully curled ashen locks. I could tell that she had many stories to tell, and so I encouraged our conversation as we stood in line waiting for a price check on the beautiful feather.
“Well…!” She said, surprised at the compliment I’d given her. “I was about to say the same about you and your daughters!” I smiled and laughed, and told her that I had six daughters and that they kept me plenty busy. Her face fell for a moment and she said, “My daughter committed suicide.” I was taken back and our conversation took a turn into the very serious. I told her I was very sorry and that I could somewhat relate, as one of my daughters had struggled with self harm. It was her turn to look shocked, and she looked me square in the eyes and let it all out….
“Follow her! Watch her with everything you have! My daughter would have been fifty-seven if she were still alive, and I wish I would have taken her warning signs more serious than I did.” My heart broke for the elderly woman and I promised to keep an eye on all of my beautiful daughters, as she began again. “You have your hands full with all of them, don’t you?! Girls, don’t you see how that can be Hell for your mother? Be nice to her.”
My girls were giggling a bit because she was funny, but as she walked off to find the treasure she’d come for, she turned around and yelled across the store, “Listen lady! I meant what I said!” And although we found humor in her outspoken, raw comments and her impeccable crazy old lady style, I really did hear her. I saw the pain and anguish in her eyes and I longed to comfort her, to lessen the sorrow I knew she’d been feeling for years. Daughters are a blessing, and they are most definitely not easy to raise. Just when I think I should start writing about how to raise daughters, or at least give some tips – I realize I’ve messed up again and the thing that worked wonderfully yesterday, didn’t work today. So I stop myself from advising, because really, many times it’s just a shot in the dark.
I have learned a lot – and I guess I should share what seems to work most of the time, because that’s all any of us can do, right?
We just celebrated the 4th of July, 2016!
True to tradition, we spent time at our cabin in Wyoming and filled it with some of our favorite things. Boating, four-wheeling, fireworks, food, and more. I could tell you all about it, but I’ll let some pictures from my iPhone do some of that for me.
Some of my favorite memories were visiting Yellowstone, taking the ferry across Jenny’s lake and hiking to inspiration point, playing on the razors, taking an early morning hike up Grey’s River road with Tiff, and boating on Palisades Reservoir with my parents. Whitney got up on one water-ski for the first time, and Brighton, and Ella got up on the wake board for the first time.
Going on trips with all the kids is never relaxing, but always worth the memories. Some other highlights were backing up in my two-week old car, onto a hidden stump, and cracking my new windshield while driving through Yellowstone.
And tonight I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from the week – brought to us by Jordan. We were at Zurchers picking us some things for girls camp when Jordan picked out his treat for being good; a plastic camera that squirts people in the face when they say “CHEESE”. He was overly excited to test out his latest contraption to torture his sister and he continually giggled to himself as we walked around the store. The visual of squirting them in the face was enough to bring pure exhilaration to his face! Finally after I was finished, we walked to the car and began to drive. After a few minutes I head Jordan yell in the back of the car…..
“MOM! I’M SO EXCITED TO SEE THE SISTERS’ ERECTIONS WHEN I SQUIRT THEM IN THE FACE!”
Yes… I about died… and nobody was there to pee their pants with me. What a difference a few letters can make.