Freak Out

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There is a ride at our church fair called the Freakout.

Its name suits it well. You are strapped into this swinging contraption. Feet dangling. Steel, over-the-shoulder harness. There’s upside down turning, twisting and lots of screaming involved. It’s really a great ride. You have to remove your shoes if you are wearing flip-flops or any other loose shoe that may take flights as you soar, spin and screech.

As a lover of all things carnival, I’m usually ready for the ride. I know I am (reasonably) safe and secure and will appreciate the outcome. Except that’s not where I am right now.  I can’t hop on the ride. I’m stuck at the scariest part.

I’m next in line.

That spot of anticipation. Can I handle it? Will I trust? How much of the 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the ride will be clouded by fear before I allow myself to relax and embrace what’s ahead?

Truth be told, I’m pretty sure my whole life could be analogous of something related to amusement parks. Maybe someday I’ll muse about elephant ears and caramel apples. That’s another post … because I’m still stuck in line at the Freakout.

As I approach the part of life that includes sending a child off to college while wiping teething drool off another, I’m forced to realize I can’t duck out of line. I can’t give my spot to someone else, and I eventually have to trust, relax and get on that darn ride. Which, by the way, I want to. After all, that’s why I’m standing here to begin with. I gave the guy my tickets, and I’m next.  Soon enough, he’ll open the gate, I’ll take my shoes off, get strapped in and be as ready as I can be.

I know I can’t focus on the past, I’ve already been at the back of the line. I’ve done my time and, rightfully so, I’ve taken my place at the front. It’s just that the seemingly long line has moved much more quickly than I anticipated.

I’m trying to take comfort in knowing that after I get off this first ride, I will again be getting back in the queue. I’m hopeful that maybe next time I’m at the front, I’ll remember the thrill of the ride, how much I’ve enjoyed my time in line and remind myself to trust that I’m being held in.

Mile markers


You know those mile markers on the freeway? Well, I’m whizzing past them. And I think I’ve just figured out, there aren’t any rest stops. Life just keeps speeding by.

I spent last Friday with our of dear Helen at her first university music audition. One down, three to go. Yep, just counting them down. Soon enough, the auditions will be over. Decisions will be made, bags will be packed and she’ll be home on weekends. Sometimes.

And those markers will just keep whizzing by.

I started the day in tears when I felt the little sharp teeth that finally poked their way through the baby’s swollen gums. I announced their presence, looked at my dear spouse and just cried. And not because Cilff will bite me now with a newly fortified jaw of torture when I nourish him, but because that’s it — no more toothless gummy grin.  Whiz. Past another one.

We packed lunches, snacks, diaper bags, music, tea, toddler, teenagers, baby and boy and headed out. Richard took the younger four with him to a museum by the university after dropping Helen and me off at our destination. Helen and I attended information sessions and listened to student rehearsals. We found a vacant practice room. She warmed up her voice, we ate peanut butter sandwiches and drank ginger tea. I hid my nervousness. She sang more and got sillier. My morning waterworks  continued, but they tears were from laughing. (Love that crazy girl!)

Like my singing? Call me.

Soon enough, the day was done. She sang for her supper (beautifully I might add — I stood outside the door) and was pleased with herself, regardless of the outcome. We piled back in the car and soon enough were home.  In a few days we’re off to number two. A farther trip — a longer ride, but then (fortunately) back home. For now.

New teeth. New adventures. New worries. New joys … are all just part of the journey. I used to feel like the driver on this adventure, but now realize I’m just grateful to be along for the ride. And I have faith enough to trust that the driver knows where He’s leading us.