Greetings friends and family,
Words begin with "life" in them, but over time they change and have less power and meaning. In our hearing and repetition of them they have less impact from the receiver and the giver than what they began with. When I was first dating Kendra I remember the moment I said, "I love you" for the first time. Those words were connected with something real about how I felt and I really wanted her to know what I was feeling. Somewhere along the way I started to use the words differently. The same words that once had deep meaning changed to mean "I gotta go to work, i'll see you tonight." the words themselves changed meaning.
That is one of the reasons I find new and creative ways to say "I love you" without using that phrase. Lately my way of loving Kendra is to take on additional tasks around the house and with the kids so she can rest. The doctor says she needs another month or more before her back will be completely healed. In the mean time she is staying horizontal with lots of advil and ice packs. Being with the twins is never a chore or a burden I have to take on. I can't wait to hang out with them. My absence from Kendra and the house gives her a chance to rest and heal. Flowers, hugs, text messages, drawing on the bathroom mirror, and all kinds of other ways to say "I love you" with the same meaning and passion from when we were first dating. And to think, we have a few more decades ahead to explore new ways!
This Saturday I took the kids to a birthday party at the roller skating rink. It was like a time warp back to 1983. The twins have only been roller skating once before, many moons ago. I thought they would pick it up quickly because of their ice skating lessons... Not so much. Ice skates have a long blade that sticks out behind the heel. That makes it easier to keep from falling backwards. These old-school roller skates have nothing! one bobble towards your heels and you're toast! Easton and Layla had lots of crying and bruised buns, but overall we had a great time. Most of their friends had the PVC pipe skate assistant thingy. They never weened themselves of it either. I never let the twins touch it because I knew they would use it as a crutch the whole day.
The birthday party included 13 girls and Easton. I think Easton was invited because at school he hangs out with Layla sometimes and all her friends during recess. The cool thing I noticed was that Easton was totally comfortable with this situation. He didn't whine or complain that there were no other boys around. He hung out with me most of the time though.
Occasionally I would get the twins to skate a lap around the rink with just us three, but Layla was the social butterfly she's always been.
The DJ announced there was a guest appearance of a Minion. This was the highlight of the day for the twins. I really want this costume for Halloween.
I asked Easton, "What girl do you like to hang out at recess the most. He quickly answered, "Jordan". That's it. no further explanation or comment. I asked a few more questions and I could tell he never even thought about why he likes to be around her. I was perfectly happy to avoid the whole conversation about whether he LIKES her... you know... in that way.
From what the twins tell me there are plenty of kids in their first grade class who are interested in the opposite sex. They gasp and giggle when the word "kissing" comes up, but I can't figure out why that is even a part of their first grade conversations at school? Anyway, The roller skating experience was completely worth the time and effort to show up there.
We went from the rink to the birthday girl's house for the standard pizza and cupcake lunch. Easton and Layla had to share a chair because it was a little bit ghetto. Tiny area of a couple of small tables and a few chairs for 15 kids plus adults. No big deal though. Everyone was there for the same happy occasion and the kids didn't care about the accommodations.
The house also had an annoying parakeet and a guinea pig. Each child got to hold it in the blanket (to avoid getting peed on) and pet its soft fur. I was thrilled to have the twins get the experience of petting such a soft animal without us having to deal with a dead rat in our house. Thank God for birthday parties!
I showed off my daddy strength the other day. I told Easton and Layla to help pick lemons. They stood outside with their bucket and said, "but Dad, we can't reach all the way up there?" I grabbed one of the branches and shook the tree down as lemons fell to the ground. they were amazed and I became a legend of epic proportions. Easton said I was almost as strong as Oupa. I sighed and said, "yes, you're right. Oupa could push the tree over and let you pick the lemons off one-at-a-time."
It's hard to believe I'm one week away from turning 40 years old. Kendra keeps asking me what I want to do for my birthday. The truth is, all I want for my birthday is to be 25 years old again. Since I can't have that I'll settle for just a birthday song from the twins and an early bedtime so I can get on with the business of living life. I'm pretty sure there should be some sort of mid-life crisis attached to turning 40, but I don't know what that would look like. My car is 13 years old and I'm perfectly content with it. There are no plans for a shiny, red Corvette in my future. I have so much to be thankful for and I don't know of anything I would change or add to my life right now.
Maybe that is my second impossible wish. If I can't go back to age 25, then I choose to just freeze this moment in time and have nothing change at all, forever. Easton and Layla will stay seven-years-old. I'll stay in the position I have at work. We'll continue to have the finances necessary so Kendra can keep on being the wonderful wife, mother, friend, and ministry leader she is.
There isn't much that is guaranteed in this world, but change is one of them. I'm not worried about where life is headed. I'm just really content and fulfilled right now. I'm not looking for the next big thing or 15 minutes of fame to somehow propel me to stardom. This is an odd place to be when compared to the standard 40 year old birthday milestone that I've heard about all my life. All I can do is shrug my shoulders and thank God for the amazing amount of favor in my life that goes along with all the amazing people I get to share it with.
See you soon!