One thing this pandemic has taught me is the joy and energy that novelty adds to life. After the monotony of 2020, I started to crave change and look for opportunities to break out of the daily routine. The ability to try something new is exciting, and experiencing those once-in-a-lifetime events or milestones is exhilarating! This is also one of the joys of parenthood, when you enjoy these new and exciting events through the lives of your children.
Fortunately, 2021 has ushered in more fun and novel experiences! Just this past weekend we enjoyed many fun things…
First, we joined many of the other Cambridge sixth graders and their families to hike Iron Mountain. We’ve been doing many hikes around San Diego County to get the students in shape for their Yosemite trip in late May. There’s no confirmation that the trip is still on, but the practice hikes have been fun! Iron Mountain was a great one and the first that our entire family, including our dog Claira, attended.
Less than a mile into the 6 mile hike, it occurred to me that my blood sugar may be dropping. I didn’t really feel low yet, but I tested and confirmed my suspicion: 66 mg/dl. I scarfed down a whole Clif bar and then started to feel low a few minutes later. Dennis, Claira and Teo hung back with me so I could slow down and allow the glucose a chance to get into my body. Sienna and her friends ran ahead and we trailed behind the group by several minutes.
After mentally drafting a few #diabetessucks posts in my mind, I decided to let go of those thoughts and just enjoy the peace and pace of hiking with my guys and our very energetic little dog. Claira looked like a Billy goat jumping between rocks as she climbed the mountain with enthusiasm!
The view at the top was spectacular! It was truly one of those days that make Southern California living worthwhile. There was a very friendly vibe among the many hikers out that morning. One lady offered to take our picture at the summit, after watching me try to get a selfie shot. As we passed other hikers, choruses of “Good morning!” rang out. You could tell some extroverts really missed socializing and wanted to chat!
After our hike, we were just home enjoying a relaxing afternoon when Sienna asked me, “Could I get my ears pierced today?”
“Sure, if you want to!” I replied with restrained enthusiasm. I’ve learned that my excitement can often have a subduing effect on Sienna.
“Well, does it hurt?” she asked. We went on to discuss the process and I confirmed that it does hurt, like an injection does. Sienna also wanted to know how likely it was to get infected and other very sensible concerns. Once I’d addressed them to her comfort, she said, “Yes, I want to do it.”
Just the two of us headed out to Claire’s in Carmel Mountain where we proceeded to stand in an “Ear Piercing Starts Here” line for about half an hour, while I recounted my experience of fainting when I was twelve and got my ears pierced at the Claire’s in Bayshore Mall. Ah, memories! When we made it inside, we learned that appointments were needed or they could “fit us in” as time permitted. A little 5 or 6 year old was being coaxed back into the chair by her mom, so fitting us in didn’t look very promising.
Sienna opted to make an appointment for the next day after church and we headed to the car. Watching her face as we drove away, I said, “Honey, are you sure you don’t want to get it done today? We could go back and take the 6:00 p.m. appointment or maybe they’ll fit us in sooner.” Sienna wrestled with the choice and I told her, “It’s really fine, we can go back.”
“Okay, yeah, let’s do that,” she said. I could so relate to the anticipating of the event (including tackling a fear) and then the disappointment of having to wait.
Sienna was so brave and mature! I watched her brace herself for the first piercing. “Breathe, breathe, breathe…” I coached her after the first earring was in. She took a couple deep breaths and was fine for the second ear. When she looked in the mirror she exclaimed, “Oh, I love it! That was so worth it!”
We had fun picking out earrings and taking pictures of her adorable ears! What a fun and unexpected way to spend the afternoon. Sienna’s growing up so much this year and I’m savoring these sweet moments with my girl.
After a wonderful Lenten divine service and a powerful sermon about the love and grace in God’s perfect law, Dennis and I went for a coffee date while the kids were in Sunday school. I told Dennis I was making pork chops, his favorite, for dinner. I’ve recently started making a “fancier” meal for Sunday Night Dinner and I’m really enjoying the intentionality of a special meal for the Sabbath Day.
“I’ll just have my pork chop with beans, tortillas, and hot sauce” my loving husband informed me.
It took me a second to recover from the disappointment, then I said, “Love, I was planning on making a mushroom gravy, beans, and asparagus with the pork chops.” He loves asparagus, so I teasingly asked, “Do you think asparagus will go well with your tortillas and hot sauce?”
Dennis laughed, and I thanked God for the millionth time for blessing me with a man who finds me so funny! I also reassured him that a meal including beans, tortillas and hot sauce was most definitely on the menu this week, so could he please try my mushroom gravy? Indeed, he could.
If I do say so myself, dinner turned out great! Our oven was having heating issues so I totally guessed at the cooking time, which actually did my pork chops a favor because they weren’t overdone and dry! The mushroom gravy was rich and delicious! I felt like a real cook because I made up the recipe as I went. Novelty again… so fun!
Dennis raved about the meal and I couldn’t resist asking him, “Are you glad you forfeited your tortillas and hot sauce tonight?!” “Yes, definitely!” he agreed.
Finally, Teo lost a tooth today at school! It’s been a long time since a child lost a tooth in our household. When he came home with it today, we joked with him (who understands how the tooth fairy works), “I hope the tooth fairy has some cash!”
For many reasons, I’ve felt in an “in between” place in life recently. Which, perhaps ironically, has helped me embrace being present in the moment. I’m not planning ahead or trying to control my emotions. Instead, I’m feeling deeply and allowing each day to unfold in God’s perfect timing. It is such a beautiful and exciting place to be! Letting go also allows me to appreciate the enjoyment that novelty brings, whether in the form of mountain views, ear piercings, fancy meals, or lost teeth.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8