Um...I think I forgot something. Yep, I'm almost sure of it.
Several weeks ago when I was finalizing plans to allow Beve to drive off without me early on the Sunday morning of parents' weekend at Whitworth, leaving me to bunk with SK and her four adorable roommates, I thought it was a great plan. A genius plan. Allowing me to spend more time with her, do the finishing touches on my retreat for next weekend, see some friends of my own, yep, what could be wrong with this plan? And all weekend, it continued to seem quite intelligent. Beve got to leave before the sun rose yesterday, while I was still deeply in REM mode. We met the other parents of the girls here, all of whom seemed great at first, second or third glance. And yesterday was quiet because the girls in this house were studying--I mean, seriously studying. It allowed me to sew costumes for SK, and study myself. And all this time, I was patting myself on the back for the wisdom of my decision to stay with these amazing young women.
But I'd forgotten something. I'd forgotten that in college, life doesn't really amp up until about 10:30 or 11PM. Yep, that's right. About the time I'm lying in bed next to a slumbering Beve, reading quietly--amping down!--the residents of this house, and a male visitor, were beginning to laugh, talk loudly, stare at silly pictures on the computer. There was a karate demonstration by one of them with her guy friend, during which she told him (who was the 'assailant'), "You're doing it wrong," as if in a dark alley, there's a particular way to attack a female so she can do the proper defensive move. And, when I asked this young man if he'd watched the football games of the day, two of the non-athletic types (including my daughter) got online and decided that they'd become fans of an NFL team, based on the following criteria: cuteness of the mascot, color of the uniforms, and looks of a designated 'favorite' player. They chose the Carolina Panthers, for their darling panther, and the black, white and teal combination--always a good fashion choice. SK did a short dramatic prestentation, which she has to do in class today. And there may have been some conversation about whether Zach Efron is good looking or not. And there was laughter...unabated, burbling like a stream, laughter. The girls were all kind of lying on each other against one wall, and the boy was across the room, staring at them as if they were animals in the zoo.
I know all this because they were right outside SK's room. The room where I'd intended to go to sleep. The basement room with NO insulation, and VERY hollow walls. So I did what any reasonable person would do--'when you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Yep, I'd forgotten that life just gets going around midnight, that these young adults needed to let off steam after a whole weekend of being on their best behavior, around parents, friends' parents; and after having spent most of the day doing the studying college kids tend to put off until Sunday night.
And I'd forgotten what it's like to live in a house with peers who are going through the same things, who need to study but don't want to, who have similar senses of humor, who eat the same ways (mostly!), and--even though it's only October--finish each other's sentences, speak in the same vernacular, "I'm doing it like a job," "I know, right?" and the like. I'd forgotten how it feels to have friends who are your family, who care about the big and little things of life, who will stare at the ceiling with you, or curl up against your bloated stomach and laugh when you belch. And you know what? They welcomed me in. They allowed this flabby old, wrinkled-faced mom to laugh with them. And it was great (for a while...I ran out of steam far before they did!).
I'm a grown-up. My friends are also grown-ups. We talk and pray and share a lot--a lot about our kids, too. But we don't play together. We aren't silly together. And somehow, even though it kept me from sleep, I think it was a good lesson to learn. We're called children of God, after all. And maybe, just maybe, we need to play like children, to be silly enough that we let off steam. And come to Him with the honesty, the earnestness--about big and little things--and allow ourselves to curl up against Him and laugh.