Twice a week, Gman and I drive to the middle school to pick Lolo up from an after school activity. I love this time together in the car. It’s like a 4-wheeled confessional where I get to hear his heart. Even though he’s still young, he’s already started to clam up and share less and less about his day with me, so I’m grateful for the 15-minute drive where he chatters away in the back seat.
Yesterday we were talking about our home. I was telling him about a new screen door I purchased. Poor kid. Since Mark is gone he sometimes has to endure boring conversations about screen doors and Instapots because I need to share my excitement with someone. Suddenly there was silence in the back. And then he said, “I don’t want you to be all alone when I grow up and go to college.”
Wow. I didn’t see that one coming. You know, I think about that sometimes too. Usually I try to focus on the details of the day at hand, but my mind does wander to the future – the future that was supposed to include growing old with my husband. I start worrying about things like finding a ride home from my colonoscopy when I turn 50 (a handful of years away). I worry about when the kids are grown and I only have to cook for one. Will I push the miniature old lady cart at the grocery store and fill it with a half-gallon of milk and a few Smart Ones frozen meals? Our dog, Maggie will likely not be alive by then, so will I get a new dog and talk to it like it’s a real person? Will I walk around in a house dress and slippers because who’s going to see me anyway? Will I even bother with a bra? (Add that to the plus column maybe). What will my life look like when there aren’t kids to raise anymore? As much as I don’t want them to grow up, I also don’t want Gman living in my basement when he’s an adult. No Cliff Claven here, thanks.
Those thoughts feel so scary and pathetically lonely. I have an army of friends, and that surely can fill some of the void, but not all of it. In fact, sometimes social settings are even worse. Soon my friend’s children will be getting married and I’ll be staring at the plus-one invite. And don’t even get me started about weddings. Who will walk my girls down the aisle?!
I mean, I don’t want to be lonely and alone (different things) when the kids are grown, but it does seem less sucky than dating. Gross – no – just no – stop it. I can’t even write about that idea yet – or ever.
All of that and more floated through my mind in about 30 seconds. I took a deep breath, shook the crazy out of my head and responded to Gman. “It is almost ten years before you go to college. How about we don’t worry about that today. Today is enough, don’t you think? I’ll be just fine, sweetheart. But you will call me and visit a lot, ok?”
I didn’t really believe my own advice in that moment, but I should have. Because it isn’t really my advice, it’s God’s.
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
God is really smart, isn’t He? Whatever you’re worrying about, I hope you can find peace in His words for us. Let’s just focus on what today brings and leave tomorrow where it belongs. Let’s tackle this day. And tomorrow we’ll tackle tomorrow. One day at a time.
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