I don’t think there’s ever really been a time, I didn’t manage to change my clothes for a celebration event – or, like the new country song says, ‘get my shine on’ – well – this weekend, for the big event – I wasn’t able to get my outside shine on – but I really hope the inside shine driving everything came through and blessed – this team of women and this team of young men and women we were wanting to bless.
The senior has been playing district games, woven in with the middle school soccer games. We do our senior pictures right before Prom because I have it in my head they need a black and white tux to go with a black and white soccer ball. They also have lost their junior awkwardness and look like real men by then – and so we did that Thursday right before a soccer game they moved up an hour earlier that day.
Did I mention that I lose grace when I’m running behind? Though I apologize while stressing out because I become graceless?
The tux was too short – but that was o.k. for the photo shoot. However, Michael Jackson-short pants just won’t fly with a 6 ft-4-inch boy with a 29-inch waist who doesn’t like to dance – but is going to prom – so correcting that was added to Friday and Saturday’s schedule.
Much breathing in and breathing out, telling myself that I cannot change the schedule, that my car will arrive at the appropriate destination as is feasible going the speed limit over so many miles in a particular time span!
Early Saturday, I made buttercream icing to decorate the 48 Buttermilk and Chocolate Celebration Cupcakes (made earlier in the week and frozen). Later in the morning, the moms of sons came over – and we trimmed candles, fitting them into bottles, dipped strawberries – and arranged, organized and prepared.
“Do you think they’re really having more fun than us,” I asked – these moms of sons about the moms of daughters – sitting in chairs watching their daughters get their hair and make-up done.
“Yes,” they said in unison – and we laughed. Moms of sons need this kind of gathering, to share these woman gifts we have with someone – because we don’t have daughters to pass them to, to share them with. Being a mom-of-sons-only risks being an isolating thing. It is a beautiful gift to be able to share words over kitchen tables with another girl, to work together to create a celebration with someone who gets it – which is another girl – a friend, a mom, and, if one is particularly blessed, a daughter-in-law who will join you – all because they want to create something that encourages and blesses.
Juggling a 2.5 month old puppy who went outside and came back with, ummmm, a rabbit head – can I say here, how utterly speechless I was, how I wanted to throw my hands up, jump on a chair and scream, “EEEOOOOWWWW” – but all the real men were gone to soccer – and that left just me at that particular moment, and so I did – handle it, dispose of it – wash my hands and put my puppy in her crate, called the 20 year old to come and fetch her for the evening (he promptly returned her at 8:30 – He’s not ready for full-time Sadie Duty!)
I was on schedule, until suddenly, I was behind schedule – so no change of clothes – no make-up – no chance to get my shine on – just live off my inside shine. How do I do that – have a time surplus – and then 1 hour later – have a time deficit?
I didn’t lose my grace, though – just my outside shine!
But these women and I, we created an evening of shine – because we just loved these young people so much:
The dinner, the photos, the Guessing-Game of how Many-Candies-in-a-Jar, photos of prom dates, moms/dads and their sons and daughters – and some sons and daughters didn’t have moms and dads to participate – and that is what community is all about – drawing people into home, treating them like sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters – friends – and just plain loving through serving plates, photos, gift cards for silly games.
The moms – we needed this – to smile, to laugh, to create celebration moments, to live through just pure good moments – because raising teens can be hard, can hurt – us and these offspring we love so much, that are growing tall and strong inside and out – and in the process, love the other teens they bring through the doors, that need to experience a God-kind of love that pulls them into home and welcomes.
Later that night, after I’d cleaned, put much away, I prepared a safe place for them to come and hang out after prom, when so many youth are torn between good and bad choices.
I did it because I love my son – and because God calls me to love every person they bring through the door – because the love He gives me isn’t just to be hoarded for my own – He didn’t hoard His love for just His son – He wants us to share it with everyone – like He does.
I can’t express what it meant to see smiles and hugs, evidence of His restoration, of faith parents with redeemed kids, of young people – having the courage to come someplace they haven’t been – and finding welcome, of works in progress trying to make good choices – outward shine and dazzle in tuxes and sparkle – but lots of beautiful inside stuff growing and going on.
I stayed up till 5 a.m., my husband till 2:30 – some went home at dawn, some went home at lunch time.
My 8th grader, who has missed my attention this past week – has been waiting patiently to go buy shorts that fit – we found time for that today.
It really bothers me that I didn’t get my shine on – I took photos of all the dates, the moms and sons, the moms and daughters – and the dads and daughters. Everyone had some shine on – but me. Someone took mine – not beautiful – not sparkly – but I did it anyway – mine shines just on the inside right now!