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.
Ah I cried and they’re not even my parents lol! I love posts like this because I HOPE I remember what it was like at this stage of our lives so that when I’m a grandparent, I model after them. So sorry to hear they’re moving so far away and yet so thankful God gave someone the idea to create things like FaceTime and Skype (seriously, what would we do??).
What a precious testimony to your parents. They must be very proud of their sweet daughter!
Julie!! Oh I cried at this post (like nearly all of them). So moved by your adoration for your parents – just like mine. My dad left me after 6 weeks together. He flew me and the boys out after I spent 5 weeks in Arizona with all my family. He’s so awesome he didn’t want me to be alone on a plane with 2 boys! I identify with the love you and your family share. I know it will be so hard to see them go. Even though my family is 3,000 miles away we still make a way to connect and see each other. I am sure that 10 hour drive will be just a scenic road trip after awhile. Love you, your heart and the love of Christ your family shows. Your parents must be amazing if they made you! Love you and I feel your pain!
Beautiful Julie – made me cry. They are a wonderful example and will be missed so very much.
Please God, I hope that that is what I do for my daughters and their families…?I worry that I am interfering …but I hope they know that this is what I hope I am doing. Much love to you all xxxx
This post made me cry. You have great parents! As yours are moving away, mine have literally just decided to move back. We had the 10 hour car drive. I will not lie, it feels like 20 with 2 small children who think the car is a grocery store demanding snacks every 2 seconds and neeeeeding to pee every 30 minutes, but we made it work and you will too! God bless you and your family. Praying for you all during this time of transition.
Laura Lee Groves
Praying for you, Julie. Georgia’s gain is a loss for a bunch of us! You know, your mama sounds a lot like you — the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. YOU are an awesome mom, too!
this is lovely what a tribute to your mom & dad your too are a great mom love & prayers
I will be thinking of you all
Dianne, Winnipeg, Canada
*SOB* Just when you start to feel like you’re really making it, somebody goes and takes the training wheels off your bike. But you know what? I think it’s because they know you can do it. That’s what parents do.
P.S. You look just like your Mom, no, your Dad. No, wait…
I had tears in my eyes reading this as you almost perfectly described my parents. How blessed we are to have such wonderful parents in our lives who will do anything and everything for us. I recently spent three months in bed or hospital with three bulging, torn disc’s and two little ones to try and find helpers for. We were incredibly blessed to find so many people willing to help, but by the end of the second month, we were finding it harder to get someone in every day to help. My husband and I prayed to God for a solution and the very next day my Mum told me she was quitting her job to come and help us permanently until I was better. Our prayers were answered. We were so grateful. I am sorry your parents are moving so far away, but I have faith that God will be watching over all of you. Thank you for your continual, inspiring posts. Your friend from Down Under, Megan Oliver
Sent from Samsung Mobile
Dearest Julie, I’ve been blubbering away on and off after reading this, missing my own parents and thinking about your family. We, too, will miss your parents…tons! They are both the most genuinely gracias, kind and loving people and have that get-r-done attitude! They have been a tremendous blessing to all the lives they have touched and more!!! They are fabulous role models for us, not only as parents/grandparents, but as Christians! We will keep all of you in our prayers!
What a beautiful message about your parents! You have such a wonderful
family – blessed with so much talent, but most of all, so much love!
Love, Bev Wilson
Oh my Julie, you got me down in tears. I remembered how blessed I felt when my parents lived near me, you sure know how to express the blessings of having your parents around! I know it’s going to be hard but they will always be there for you! God bless you!!!
oh…JULIE… :0( this made me cry. If you need help duct taping them to the lamppost outside your house – I’m in! I think I take your Dad…you handle your Mommy. (I can bring the girls if necessary.)Seriously…this is not ok. And P.S. – I’ll come check your head for lice anytime, wash your dishes, …maybe mow the lawn – not sure if I’ve ever done that ( but how hard could it be?), my house is open for sleepovers and a good chick-flick. So, just know that you can put me on speed dial – but I think the duct tape is a valid idea. x0x0x0
this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! Parents make the world go round and I am soo happy to have mine, thank you for once again reminding me how important it is to tell them I love them, and to be there for them as they have been there for me. Thank you…
OMG I totally cried while reading this! My mom lives around the corner and I would be LOST without her!!! Im so sorry your mommy is leaving!!!
I live in Georgia. I can make sure your parents are well loved! If they need a church to plug in to, there are many here! Great pastors like Andy Stanley, Charles Stanley, Louie Giglio…just to name a few! Or, you could just move to GA with them, then we can become friends (I’m not like a stalker type…promise!) Honestly, I think I would die if my parents moved away.
I usually just read them and reply in my head. But this is why we as mothers keep moving forward even when we feel like there is nothing left. The precedence has been set for us to give it none more try. My mom passed this January…there has not been too many outlets to express how I feel about it but through her example not only did she offer the example of being a blessing to my only, but to reach out to !any children. I miss her so much. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Even though my mom has moved on…it is nice to see a daughter who is not afraid to share that this world is a scary place especially with the safety net of our parents is so far away. Again…thanks.
Happy Home Fairy
Love you, Raychelle… I am glad you wrote to me. I am so sorry about your mother, but so thankful for her precious legacy carried out in your life. You are a faithful servant, my friend!