Tanner’s tooth is currently hanging by an invisible thread. Every meal he half tears, half gulps down his food (we’re talking cave-man status) . Just.pull.it.OUT,” we cry. “Here- we’ll set the timer… to which we entice his tooth in exchange for a life-time supply of Gold Medal Ribbon ice cream, a Gameboy, a personal dinner with Michael Jordan. We’ll lasso the moon, dude. Just pull that darn tooth out. We can’t watch you gum your eggs for three hours straight. The opportunity? His choice, one we can’t make for him. And when the buzzer expires, the poor kid’s is in tears, he’s so frustrated at himself. It’s downright pitiful. It’s one of those parenting lessons for us, and a reality lesson for him- we can’t make decisions for him. In the meantime, he’s passed up a trip to Barbados. Pretty soon, he may only get a dime outta the deal. He can’t eat, and the whole thing is causing unnecessary stress. Why wait, bud?
Lil’ Mom plopped Regina Brett’s, God Never Blinks in my hands and, you guys, it’s my new.fave.read. She is witty and real and wise beyond. Her inspiring words reinforce don’t wait, for life is so tender and unpromised. She talks about her priorities until she got cancer. “Cancer is a great wake up call. A call to take the tag off new lingerie and wear that black lacy slip. To open the box of pearls and put them on. To use the fireplace. To crack open the bath oil beads before they shrivel up in a bowl on the toilet tank. To light the candles.”
A new Fall invites a mountain of choices.
Suddenly I have free hours and find myself asking, How do I choose to live?
My resolve? I choose coffee with wise mentors and sound advice-givers. I choose bright, berry lipstick, and undie therapy. Last year, we got down our wedding china, dusted off a decade of unused lint and put the dishes in the kitchen hutch to use today, because why wait? Dinner invites the You are Special plate nightly- not just for birthdays or Yay, you lost or tooth! – but for for no other reason that it’s Wednesday and we’re having chicken lettuce wraps.
Over margaritas and sizzling fajitas I lunched with a life-long friend. Our moms, both pregnant, were in a couple’s bible study together and we’ve been friends from day one. She is a new mama and so vulnerably transparent about the fear that kicks in during the early weeks of newborn stares and a tiny belly to nurse full. Is she getting enough food? Am I holding her enough? Is it bad to work out when she’s awake? I laughed and connected over how insecure-ridden I was with Tanner’s schedule, second-guessing everything. When is he supposed to do tummy time? Nap? Poop? Is he stimulated enough? Am I reading enough? Oh the questions that rattled around in my brain during those first mommy months. I looked across the chips and salsa and said to my friend, I can tell you this because I’m enough removed, but all that matters is that you love her. No one cares about the details. Don’t wait to hold her while she sleeps or nurse her when she cries. Enjoy her. Why wait?
It reminds me of when I worked at Hospice as an Intake Coordinator, talking with families about end-of-life care. An older gentleman comes to mind. He had cancer and little time to live. I remember how he clutched my hand as he signed paperwork and begged me, Don’t wait. My wife and I saved up our money for retirement, for that big vacation, and now? We won’t ever take it. I can still see his eyes when I close mine. Life, we all know, is so very unpredictable. We save for that dream vacation and life gets cut short with an illness.
Why wait to forgive? To invite? To hold that baby through their nap? To get on the ground and do puzzles? To put down the phone and read story after story. Why wait to start a book club? To attend that play? To try out that hip-hop class? To start cooking? To mend your marriage? To start counseling? To start over?
My resolve? Don’t wait.
Now, to lasso the moon.