Friday, July 26, 2013

Mission Memphis

This year Firstborn has really gotten involved in our church's youth group. It's hard to be the outsider, and the out-of-towner, but she made an effort to go to some events and make friends. She also signed up for Mission Memphis, where the youth group goes into the inner city of Memphis to serve. They eat and sleep at the church, enjoying a message and worship time together at the end of each day.

She had heard that she'd get pretty hot and sweaty each day, so we hit the Blues City Thrift Store to buy some 99cent t-shirts. She surprised her papa by finding t-shirts with his alma mater Samford, and even his fraternity Sigma Chi.

One big draw to do Mission Memphis was that her sweet cousin did it with her. It was nice to not only know her floor-mate already, but to also be family! I just don't think there were ever cuter girls!

We dropped her off and gave lots of hugs.

And then we left her for the week. I will admit to being slightly helicopter-ish. Part way through the week, I popped into the church, just to leave a little note on her mattress. "Are you ok? I miss you." and Big Ben had signed it with one "e" upside-down. I knew she'd love it. She and her cousin C saw me walking down the hall. They both ran to me and hugged me. Awww. It's nice when your kids are happy to see you, even when you might be doing something slightly uncool. I was dying to know what her work project was and if she was sleeping at night. She said the Benedryl I sent helped her ignore the giggles of the girls in her room. She also said the work project was to work on bicycles for inner city kids, but that she did not have a clue how to fix them and take them apart. She had also been assigned to lay and spread mulch with her hands. That she could do.

I hopped in the car and told CC that she had been assigned bikes, but didn't know how to fix them. He was horrified. Wanted to turn the car back around. Wanted to give her a lesson on fixing bikes. Wanted to help her fix the bikes. Wished he'd taught her more prior to the week about fixing bikes. But as in so many things these days, it is time to let her sink or swim. She and her cousin were all giggles, happy as they could be. So we didn't turn the car around.

But then I went to pick her up at the end of the week, she burst into tears. I wondered where the laughter had gone. Why was she crying? Had the week been a disaster after all? We pulled to the side, and I got the story. "Mama, I've made so many good friends, and now I have to leave them all." (The goodbyes on both ends...USA and Turkey...are the worst part, by far.) But those are good reasons to cry. It's good to have good friends and to miss them when we have to say goodbye.
And then I knew the week was a success.


Tara G. said...

Sara, she is just blossoming into a gorgeous young lady!!!

Anonymous said...

I read this thinking about the pains of growing up . . . My wise mother once told me that it did not matter how perfect my kids' lives ever were, there would always be something they could not do . . . It is part of growing up.

As for the helicopter parent thing . . . Oh my, that is such a pet peeve with me. I had a teacher tell me to my face I was a helicopter parent all because I was interested in the school my daughter was about to attend ....... I only have one thing to say about that . . . . HOGWASH.

It is probably the fiercely German side of me that does not succumb to politically correct pressures when it concerns my family/my kids.

Did I watch over my kids closely? Yes mam, and I say that without apology. Did I know when they were ready to fly on their own, when they were "safe" and when they were strong enough to face the world I knew they were going into? Yes, I did. God let me know when they were okay just like He lets every parent know, if the parents choose to listen to Him.

Your daughter is young and innocent and you were turning her loose in an environment she does not live in. I see nothing wrong with your checkups myself.

Can you tell this is a sore point? ha. Well, my kids have told me since growing up that their mother let them do far more, in the long run, than a lot of kids they knew and it was because I knew they when they were ready to go. They had been watched over and prepared. Kathleen lived overseas for two months when she was 18 years old, traveling by herself, navigating a foreign country and places that spoke no English . . . Helicopter parent? Really?

:). I'll hush my soap box. I was never the most popular mom, as you can guess, because I listened to my heart and let my principles guide me. My kids were too precious to me to throw to the wolves of this world. A lot of young moms don't like going against the flow so they wind up letting their kids do things they don't really want them to do. The best advice for any mother is to have the courage to follow her heart. Her children will be stronger adults because of it.


Site Meter