Oh, I kid.
(Well, kind of.)
But it’s true.
My parents are moving to Georgia.
Right now I am doing a great job of stuffing my feelings on the matter wayyyyy down deep.
I’m sure that sometime soon there will be a volcanic eruption of emotional chaos that might involve ugly crying, fist pounding, binge-eating… lots of fodder for a therapy session.
But for now I am trying to stay strong and civil for the sake of those around me (and because I can’t afford a therapist).
In light of their departure, I thought I would share a few things about these important and precious people in my life.
Last summer the hubs was away taking classes at a seminary in St. Louis for 2 weeks.
While he was gone, I managed to find myself in a state of utter panic because my head was abnormally itchy.
Of course I convinced myself over a period of several hours and frantic Google searching that I had lice and even found the ‘nits’ to prove it.
This is what happens when my level-headed, un-fearing husband is not around to help me tame my inner beast of anxiety.
I called my mom at 10 o’clock at night completely undone by the fact that I probably had a scalp full of bugs and was threatening to torch every surface in my house that had potentially come into contact with my infected head.
I may have even said things including (but not limited to),
“THIS WORLD IS TOO DANGEROUS FOR MEEE!”
“IF THE BOYS GET LICE I’LL JUST DIEEEEEE!!!!”
“I CAN’T GO ONNNNN!!!!!”
My mom somehow talked me off the ledge and offered to drive out with my dad to take a look through my hair.
At this point it was almost 10:30.
But they came anyway.
My mom wasn’t afraid to touch the bugs and my dad offered to run out and get me some dandruff reducing shampoo at the local 24-hour pharmacy.
Because that’s all it ended up being.
Just some dry, itchy scalp.
And for some reason this whole story has become one of my favorite memories of my parents.
Maybe it’s because it accurately sums up the whole Parenting gig:
Even when your child is 30 years old – you are still obligated to check their head for lice.
In all honesty, though, being a parent is a never-ending job that often calls on you at random times of the day or night to be there for your kids – especially when they’re adults.
Like maybe the Holy Spirit wakes you up for a middle of the night prayer session on behalf of your child.
Or maybe you know your daughter could use a therapy trip to Target to buy new underwear or shoes.
Or maybe when you stop by to see the grandkids you bring a roll of paper towels or toilet paper just because.
Or maybe you wash the dishes while your daughter and her hubby are on a date.
Or maybe you help them paint the nursery (and the master bedroom, and the porch, and the dining room…).
Or maybe you show up at your daughter’s speaking events even when you have a full time job.
Or maybe you take your daughter to see that new chick flick her hubby refuses to be subjected to.
Or maybe you pick up a Costco rotisserie for her whenever you’re there shopping.
Or maybe you take the kids for the day because you know your daughter needs to get some extra sleep (or simply stare at a wall for 3 hours without interruptions).
Or maybe you put an encouraging note on your daughter’s pillow one day when you are over.
Or maybe you mow the lawn for her when her husband is out of town.
Or maybe you drive down to the church at 10 pm to help your daughter finish decorating for an event.
Or maybe you accompany your daughter at the school’s talent show.
Or maybe you build closet shelves for her.
Or maybe you help tighten the teeny tiny screws on your daughter’s glasses whenever she comes over.
Or maybe you host sleepovers for them when her hubby is on the church men’s retreat.
Or maybe you replace the burned out light in the garage.
Or maybe you come over to clean the house and dust the ceiling fan blades when your daughter is 400 pounds and 42 weeks pregnant and can’t move.
Or maybe you go with her on a trip to Ikea just because it is safer for everyone involved that a 2nd adult be present.
Or maybe you give really great bear hugs when things are hard and there just aren’t any words.
Or maybe you arrange a trip to Disney for your daughter and her husband using your timeshare points and you watch their kids.
Or maybe you have an awesome paper shredder and offer to shred all of your daughter’s old documents that are taking up 13 bins in the garage.
Or maybe you’re there for birthdays, holidays, and Grandparent’s Day at the grandkids’ preschool.
Or maybe you drop off a new shirt from Macy’s on your daughter’s doorstep.
Or maybe there’s the Easter Dress Tradition.
Or maybe you take her to get a surprise manicure a few weeks after her NICU baby finally got to come home.
Or maybe you hear that the Toys R Us by her house is going out of business so you rush in time for the liquidation and buy 50 new things for the grandkids.
Or maybe you get tears in your eyes and tell your daughter how proud of her you are after she sang the solo at church.
Or maybe you brought a check by to help pay for your grandson’s swim lessons this month.
Or maybe you offer to babysit again.
And all the love and all the time and all the presents and presence you give your child gives her the strength and vision she needs to keep pressing forward in her own calling of parenthood.
That is what my parents do for me.
They show me how it’s done.
The feeling I get when they save the day – when they come to my house at 11 to check my hair for imaginary lice – that is the feeling I want to pass on to my own kids.
Even though you won’t be 15 minutes away anymore, I know that a 10-hour drive won’t stop the love and inspiration you pour out on me and my family on a forever basis.
And there’s always FaceTime for the scalp checks.
Georgia – our loss is your enormous gain. <3
Love you so much and miss you already.
“Let the Lord watch over us while we are separated from each other…” Genesis 31:49