Tuesday, December 17, 2013

this season

An eighteen year old girl came over for help tonight. Help with math. I love math. {{I'm a nerd that way.}} But as we got to talking, I realized how much more she needed than math. Her fiancé just dumped her {{Which I was pretty happy about because HEL-LO! 18!!!}} But to see her sad eyes and hear her talk about him. Bless her. Heartbreak stinks. I remember it well and oh my. It just plain stinks. And of course I said the things we all say, "You deserve better!" "This too shall pass!" But I felt so cliché as I said it. As I stood with my baby girl washing dishes and cooking dinner for my family of five. I knew as I said it that it wasn't helpful. Even though she smiled and nodded and said all the appropriate things back. Poor kid.
You see I taught this girl a few years back and I've seen her grow up in my church. Her parents split right about the time that she left my classroom and to say it was messy is an understatement. Her oldest sister sorta took her to raise, although to hear her tell it she doesn't need any of that. Her momma is "finding herself" with her new husband and her dad just recently married a nice lady who has a family of her own. She is in her first semester of college and is doing just fine. Except that somehow her apartment was subletted so she has to be out in a week and she has no idea where to go. She was welcomed to her dad's house, but even though it's her home, she doesn't feel like it's home anymore what with all the "new" family. Her mom doesn't have room for her and the boy she was planning on marrying in a few months just decided he wasn't mature enough for her (which is the truth!) but still a rough pill to swallow at this exact moment. I swear if I had turned my back and just listened, I would have sworn it was my eighteen year old self standing there with a similar bag of issues and all the loneliness. Bless her. As I was recapping our conversation with my husband when he came in from ball practice with our oldest, I gladly admitted that I didn't envy her one bit. "I've been where she is," I said, "and while I know now how it all works out, I was not convinced back then that it'd ever all work out." Families are hard. At any age. Life is hard. At any age. I'll admit I've been more than frustrated over the last couple of months with the waiting season that we are in right now. But talking with that sweet girl in my rental kitchen with the holey linoleum and the subfloor in the dining room while holding my sweet healthy girl on my hip and sinking my hands into scalding hot dishwater, I have never been more thankful for this season.

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