I had about a dozen intros in my head for a Mother's Day post. As life would have it, Mike was gone all last week. It has rained every day since this month. One would think that that would effectively cancel all sports commitments. It did not. Instead, the carefully constructed schedule became utterly soggy and I flew by the seat of my pants, getting children to turf fields so they could practice in driving rains. It left little time for writing and much time for thinking.
I'm still firmly entrenched in glad to be alive mode, counting blessings and singing praises of the Lord who bestowed them. Last night, Paddy played a State Cup game back in the town where Mike and I met and where we first set up house as a family. I called him from the bleachers and told him that I was standing in the same place where I stood all those years ago when he asked me to go to the homecoming dance with him our senior year. I was watching our oldest son, the coach, warm up our third son, the soccer star. Around me were six other small people, who all bear an uncanny resemblance to him. And I looked at Mike's dad--always with me it seems, when Mike can't be--and we agreed that it was a golden homecoming indeed.
There was a dark cloud over the game most of the time. At one point, it rained really hard. Nicholas started to freak out as he does when it rains, but I pointed out that all around the perimeter of the cloud the sun was shining. After the shower, we were treated to a rosy glow of sunset. I remembered the little girl I was in this town, marveled at the mother I had become, and wondered about the children who daily astound me. We've had our cloudy days, even some fierce storms, but that rosy sunlight has always been there, if I just stop long enough to appreciate it.
The game turned into a nailbiter and Paddy's team won in overtime. He and Michael were euphoric. We all were really. The excitement in that stadium far exceeded any I'd ever witnessed at any game in that town. Giddiness defined the early evening as it crept into the night. But the man who truly loves the game, the man who made this all possible for me and for these children, was 3,000 miles away in a TV truck, limited in his appreciation of the moment by my lame play-by-play into a cell phone while walking a baby.
Patrick went back to school with Michael last night. I took the children in my van to see our first house. We paused for a moment in the darkness and my mind swirled with a million memories of tow-headed boys and learning to be a family. I felt tears spring to my eyes when I remembered the dreams of the new bride there. Sarah was crying in earnest and Katie needed to go potty. Karoline was beyond tired and Nicholas was carsick. We drove west towards home into the dark and my thoughts were all of Mike. I was ready to roll these children into bed and sleep an exhausted sleep. He was just beginning his night's work. Then, he'd board plane and fly home through the sleeping hours.
He arrived this morning just before 8AM. It's Mother's Day. I'm so grateful to the man who makes it so.