Poignant. Especially as I sat, in my “new” church, watching my daughter participate actively in a “Family Friendly” service. They do those about every 6 weeks, in cycles, and I really enjoy them. This one, this week, focused on growing up.
So, as Meghan stood singing, in a small, multi age group, I thought about the backdrop behind her. Initially it still felt “wrong” to me. I somehow expected her to be in front of the church I grew up in; with the same smile, and the same voice. I imagined the picture behind the altar that became ingrained in my subconscious as a youth, and the striking stained glass windows. I was looking for the familiarity of my childhood, even as I myself, and with my family, am still, at almost 40, “growing up.”
Things did not work out. After 38 years that was initially so hard to swallow. I was angry. I was sad. I was generally heartbroken. But maybe it was time. Time for me to “grow.”
For years I prayed for a place where my family could worship together. We have spent 6 months now, almost every week, as a family of three in the pew. The motto of the Moravian Church, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things love,” speaks to my soul.
I looked at the cross, and the Moravian Star, and I smiled. The backdrop has changed, but not the meaning. ”It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” She was standing in a different place, but there was the same love, and acceptance I have come to equate with my faith.
Thoreau, along with other famous poets wisdom peppered this movie with all the perspective I needed as I high school student. And, now as I “grow up,” decades later, the meaning of the words changes a bit, but the movie “grows up” with me.
And the reality that…
The scene that spoke to the teacher and human in me, as Robin Williams hopped onto the desk…
The reminders that we are to always look at things from a different perspective.
These are the words that shaped my youth. These are the words that give me strength – decades later. I love words, especially straightforward ones that speak to my soul.
In 1989 I thought life was complicated. I had no idea that just shy of 25 years later I would be facing a rare genetic disease like Cowden’s Syndrome, with all its risks, and perils. I could not imagine in my worst nightmares that my beautiful girl would be facing it too. And yet, these words, that became part of me – help give me the strength to endure.
My faith is strong. My understanding of others, and the need to always look at things from a different perspective is a large part of how I define myself.
Growing up. Changing. Doesn’t mean ending, but rather new beginnings.
It may be a while before Meghan is old enough – or even interested in my favorite movie, but I will teach her – one step at a time.
Every day – we work in this house on new beginnings. We work on finding our voice, and moving forward.
We try to live a little, learn a little, and to keep God involved in it all.
We make a few denim ribbons, we raise awareness, and we keep the reality that we are fortunate.
All this from a “Family Friendly” Church service centered on ‘growing up.’
I consider myself successful as a Mother, if my girl grows up – Cowden’s or not – with these ideas helping shape who she becomes.