It's a weird but wonderful feeling to be so full of hope in the midst of living such a human life. But I do feel it. I've spent a long time waiting for life to work according to my plan, to be set in such a way that I can put my check mark on it before being happy. It feels good to see the futility of that. Notice I didn't say I've stopped doing it. But I am aware of it. I may be able to quote the Serenity Prayer with lightning quick speed but that doesn't mean I live it quite so fast.
My kids are all adults now and they only wish their mom would get with the program already. Having three kids close together made it so that they all became adults in what seemed to be a blink of the eye.
One of the reasons I am filled with such hope is happenings like the one I experienced yesterday. There is hope for me yet. My youngest son is a young adult with a steady girl. A girl and a relationship I would rather he didn't have. A relationship I can't quite seem to shut my mouth about. I have my reasons and they are pretty sound ones. It doesn't mean that he is obliged to see it my way though I keep trying to make him. What's the definition of insanity? Oh yes, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What an apt description of my behaviour.
I have pretty good intentions about keeping my mouth shut once and for all when I'm here alone, but the minute I see my son, intentions get replaced with actions, and we've all heard how actions speak loudly and good intentions pave the way to hell.
Sunday night my son came home from his girlfriend's house and I just couldn't leave it at "How was your weekend?" No polite, small talk from me, no sirree. Damn. I made my jaded little comment, his eyes registered the hurt and that was the end of our conversation. I could almost see him curl up into himself right before my eyes and close me out. It wouldn't be so bad if it was a one time occurence but it has happened more times than I care to admit. I've asked my son to bear with me as I learn but I seem to be traveling at less than a snail's pace. What I really meant was that he bear with until he could see it my way.
Yesterday I was talking to God about my mouth. About my inability to let go of the things I cannot change. About my relationship with this son. As I prayed the picture of a fencing sword came into my head. As I looked at the sword I knew I was using words to stab my son. I asked myself if I saw him with a sword in his hand stabbing back. A sinking feeling came into my gut when I realized that he held not a sword but a shield. As I carry my sword he walks with a shield ever ready to deflect my blows. The weight of both is getting too heavy to carry on the journey and it is up to me to lay mine down first.
So where is the hope in all this you ask? I never mentioned the picture of the sword and shield to anyone. I simply asked God for the grace to lay down my sword. Last night my husband went for a long walk with our son. In the midst of the conversation our son told him that he felt like I was jabbing at him all the time with words and that he had to constantly defend himself and that it was just easier not to talk to me at all about his girlfriend.
I know better than to think that I will spontaneously lay down my sword once and for all, as nice and spiritual as that sounds. But my grip is looser today than it was yesterday and I know for as many times as I may drop it and pick it up again my grip will become looser and looser until the need to carry the sword is gone. And that is such a good and hope filled picture.