Saturday, September 8, 2007
Being Present- Shelter from the Storm
I missed posting a Friday flick because after class it was a fast dash to get home and get the Chicks to the football field for the band prep and pregame show and I was working the concession stand. It was already a busy evening. Made busier by the text from the Chicks that D, one of LC#2's friends had come home from school with my girls and we were taking her to the game also. And our home congregation was having its first Fifth Quarter party after the game. All of our kids at church were bringing their friends for pizza and wings for about an hour. LC#1 informed me that she had invited two friends who may or may not be sleeping over after all of this and who would all need rides to 5th quarter if they did not walk as a group, and definitely rides home.
So off we go to the football field with 2 chicks and D. After the game, I learn from my wide-eyed younger daughter that D REALLY wants to spend the night. Her mom, who is divorced, and lives with a boyfriend who is the father of D's little brother, is at work. Mom and boyfriend had been fighting the day before and that morning. D gets caught in the middle and says that the boyfriend is " a mean drunk" and she does not want to go home. I suspect there is even more to this story but it is not shared. We track down Mom who says she is just getting home but a sleepover is fine. We arrange to stop by and pick up a few things. I send my beloved just in case.
Meanwhile, LC#1 has two friends, AC and AK who are having home issues as well. One had just had her mom leave this summer for another man, leaving Dad and the kids behind. Lots of ugly confrontations. The other tells me that her mom and stepdad have been fighting. He left for a day but is back. Her mom lost her drivers license some years ago for a series of DUI's. The girl thinks her mom is now eligible to get her license back, but her stepdad will not pay the fees necessary, because " then my Mom could leave. This is how he keeps her trapped and controls our lives." And both of these women have low paying jobs, and kids to care for and are dependent upon situations that perhaps they would rather not be in, but there is no way out. And these girls are smart enough to see that this is not healthy. I pray for them that they get the chance for different futures.
So lots of running around and lots of being there for these teenage girls who just need an adult without issues who lets them vent.
And we got home after 11 last night and some people were sleeping over and needed to be redistributed today. And in the midst of all of this, my girls made me proud, not just for being there for their friends, but for inviting one of the "outcast" boys in band to the party as well. And his mother rejoiced with me that he and she were thrilled that he got an "invite."
So I am tired, and all of my schoolwork is calling my name, but once again, being present for others, not to fix their world but to give them a haven, seemed like where we needed to be.