Did you ever watch the show My So Called Life? It was a most excellent, short-lived drama that aired in the mid ’90s. Why it was so short lived, I will never understand. (Can I get an Amen, Ashley?) There are lines from that show that I still remember. Like the episode when we heard the thoughts of the main character, Angela (Claire Danes), as she mused about the disgusting act of chewing. (I mean chewing food, not tobacco). I remember as she sat and watched her family eating dinner and marveled at the fact that people actually chew in public. Okay, maybe you had to see it to really get the humor, but trust me, it was funny. Another moment I remember occurs after Angela spends an evening with her new cool friends, Rayenne, Rickie, and Jordan Catalano (blue-eyed-hottie, Jared Leto). They were laughing, singing, and dancing in the streets late at night. As they parted ways Rayanne commented to Angela something like, “We had a time”.
I’ve never forgotten those words. “We had a time”. . . sometimes it just fits. That’s how I would describe our weekend. . . we had a time.
It began much like the last several weekends at Charlie’s soccer game. My little guy is getting a little bit more bold and is slightly less fearful of the ball.
If I’m being honest, though, I will tell you that I have one of the least aggressive little boys in the world. He smiles throughout the game and seems to have just as much fun on the sidelines as he does on the field. I’m okay with that. The smiles are worth it and either way he has definitely mastered the perfect soccer stance. And in all reality, what more does a Kindergartener need?
He has just one more game and I’m so thankful that we took this step out. I’ve watched my boy become more confident, comfortable, and willing to try new things. Or, maybe that was me? Truth is, all of my fears about letting him go have proven to be unfounded as I’ve watched him bloom out on the field. Being part of a team has begun to teach him what it means to be a part of something bigger and I think that’s pretty cool.
Speaking of being a part of something bigger. . . we had extended family visit this weekend.
Chad’s family from Tennessee were in town and stood on the sidelines with us as we cheered Charlie on Saturday morning.
Family. I write about it a lot. I adore my family and I have been blessed beyond measure with an extremely lovely and beautiful family. I know that you are lucky when you enjoy and get along well with the family you are born into. And it’s like hitting a jackpot when you marry into a family that opens their arms to you and accepts you as their own. But when the extended family that you married into is a joy to be with and treat you as if you have always been a part of their lives. . . it’s like winning the mega millions. That’s when you know you are in the presence of ‘good people’.
Chad’s Tennessee family are good people.
After Charlie’s game they toured the area with Charlie and Chanelle in tow and continued to cultivate a relationship that began several years ago. Despite the fact that we only see them once or twice a year, my kids remember them and count down the days until they get here. I stand back and watch in awe as they love on my kids in a way that is so unique and so special that words fail me.
I watch with joy as my kids are propped up on shoulders, walk hand in hand, and rest in the laps of these people who simply open themselves up to the love of little ones. I smile as I listen to Aunt Clara explain to Chanelle what it means when she says “oh, my dogs are barkin'” in the southern drawl that is beautifully intoxicating.
We all met up for the all important Fireman’s parade and stood witness as Charlie and Chanelle dove for candy that was being tossed from slowly passing vehicles.
They made out quite nicely, as you can see.
After the parade we made our way back to our house to complete the evening. An evening filled with dinner, football, and visiting culminated to the main event. . . the campfire.
It wasn’t just any campfire, though. This one was special. This campfire would include the introduction of Chad’s uncle Pete to his very first S’more. How one gets to be in his 60s without having this experience– I do not know. I suspect, though, that this may have been Uncle Pete’s first and last S’more. After several failed attempts to get the marshmallow from the stick to the graham cracker, he finally got it. . . only to have it stick to his hands like super glue.
Perhaps the effort wasn’t worth the result for Uncle Pete. For the rest of us, however, the smile on his face was worth every bit of it. Sitting around a fire on a moonlit night–laughing, being silly, and enjoying simply being family is one of the best ways to close an evening. In fact, I’m not sure that I can think of a better way.
Far too quickly, the time comes for see you later’s. Hugs are passed out, plans already in formation for “next times” and lumps are swallowed down as we see the bitter-sweetness of it all. Bitter becasue it’s over, but sweet becasue we know what we have is something spectacular.
Chad and I stood on the porch with my brother and sister in law and commented on how blessed we are to have such a family. To be surrounded by such good people. We waved good-bye and laughed as final good-byes are yelled out car windows and engine sounds fade in the distance. As I watch the taillights disappear, my heart echos the words of Angela to Rayanne. . . yep, we had a time.