Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gaining Fresh Perspective from a Ranting Twenty-Something

Don’t you love it when one of your offspring calls to chat about life? I know how busy they are with school and work, so when they take time to poke my picture on one of their iPhones to check in and share the activities of the day, I just get happy! On this particular day, as I rushed from work to my grayer-than-I care-to-ever-know monthly hair appointment, I see the face of my oldest cherub and although harried, it pleases me to spend a few moments while in transit to catch up with my girl. But her tone let me know quickly, like Santa’s visit in The Night Before Christmas, this call had a purpose.
My mind skipped from hassle to crisis like a stone across the lake… It’s too early in the semester to have failed a class…Is she out of cash? Did she have a wreck? Is her car broken down on the side of the road? Another ticket? How fast were you going? Wrong, wrong…none of those…whew!
“What can I help you with?” “I need to order checks!” she rants.  “Okay,” says I obviously not grasping the gravity of the situation, “Order some.” “I have been trying to for an hour and I can’t get it to work! What address did you give the bank for my account?! Whatever it is, I don’t know it because I have tried everything, and I can’t order checks without knowing my zip code!” declares my precious.
Well, this is not quite the “Hi, Mom, how are you? I am fine and I appreciate the free education,” kind of call I was expecting. I was slowly becoming aware that the purpose of the call was not for my banking expertise. None of my suggestions were welcome. “Do you need me to drive five hours from Nashville to Auburn to help you with this?” I finally offered, becoming agitated. “No thank you, I can handle it and bye,” were the final words to our friendly chat. Wow! So glad I could help! And, what did I do to deserve that? I declared to the sky as I drove on to my hair therapy.
On the way home, I thought about the call with my kid. She was my kid, for sure. She had items on her to do list and felt frustrated with the lack of progress. She should have been halfway down the list, not still stuck on top of the list. She needed to vent; I was safe. I get that. I do the same thing.
I have a mental to-do-prayer-list that I occasionally wave to my Father in frustration. “Why is this one so hard?” “Why is this one not working?” I rant to God in prayer. He smiles and says, “It’s good to hear from you. I was just thinking about you!” I let him know I have a specific purpose for our talk and I don’t have time just to chat. He listens patiently, unlike me the parent. He doesn't respond in agitation. I deserve it, but I do not make him mad. He is safe place for my ragged to-do-lists. He gets my frustration, because he knows me. I am his.
To be a Mom and to be a child. Such perspective.