Have you ever met a story that made you cry and laugh all at the same time?
I am sitting here right now with tears in my eyes and a heart with all the emotions that a heart could ever experience.
This morning I was looking through old posts trying to find a furniture project that I created years ago. Going back through the pages of this blog is a little like going up into the attic and finding a box of things you tucked away for another day. You open the box and there are faded flowers from showers and old pictures and little mittens and wooden blocks and tiny dinosaur shoes.
Things you didn’t even remember.
Things you put away and forgot about.
Things that were such a part of another chapter of life.
And when you open the box and pull out all the things—those chapters come flooding back with such emotion and you find yourself in the middle of an attic with tears running down your face.
Just like this story that I found.
Truth? I don’t even remember writing it.
But when I read it on a cloudy Friday morning with the perspective of a mother who is in a new chapter right now full of highschool drama and highschool crushes and highschool hearts that are so tender and sweet…
…the poignancy of this story made my heart overflow with longing for the pages of that simple chapter from long ago.
Here’s to all the chapters that have gone before.
I love them each and every one.
Afternoons at our house are full of conversations about the bold and daring feats of the fifth-grade boys.
What they did and what they said and how they wrote on the bathroom walls and talked in class and stood on a chair and took a pencil from a desk and covered a piece of pizza with peanut butter…..
…and ate it.
And double yuck.
I listen with an air of sympathy and an ear of understanding.
You see–there are two boys that live here—and when they were in fifth grade they would come home every day with story after story about those fifth-grade girls.
Stories about how they wrote on their notebooks and braided each other’s hair at recess instead of playing basketball and how they rolled their eyes and whispered behind their hands and put on extra lip gloss…..
…..that smelled just like jolly ranchers.
And double yuck.
But yesterday was different.
Yesterday the twins ran in through the front door full of jolly rancher lip gloss and righteous indignation.
“Moooooooom,” they sighed in unison. “You are not even going to believe what they told us today. Seriously….Mom….you won’t even believe it.”
I was pretty sure that I would believe it and that, in fact, I had probably heard it all before and even more.
But I know a good fifth-grade story when I hear it, so I sat down to listen attentively to what I would never believe…..
….with all ears.
They looked at me……exchanged glances and sighed.
“Mom….next year we have to learn to dance the Salsa,” one of the twins said dramatically.
“Salsa? The dance?” I said. “That sounds like fun.”
“With boys…..Mom,” she said rolling her eyes. “ Do you understand? We have to dance the Salsa…….
“Oh no,” I replied sympathetically. “Salsa with boys….that sounds terrible.”
“Exactly,” her sister said. “I can’t believe they are making us dance with boys. Have you seen the boys in our grade? I mean….Moooooooom….they are….well….they are……”
And she twisted her face and wrinkled her nose and stared at me.
As if she was at a loss for words.
As if this absolutely positively was the worst thing ever….in the history of ever.
As if the thought of dancing with a fifth-grade boy was such a momentous event…..
…..that it completely and utterly defied description.
Her sister patted her back in the way that only one fifth-grader can console another.
“Don’t worry,” she said. “At least there’s the hand scarves.”
They were dancing the Salsa with hand scarves?
I couldn’t help it…..I had to ask.
“Why? Hand scarves? Why are you using hand scarves?” I said.
They looked at me with a look that said so much without ever saying a word and rolled their eyes in unison.
“We have to use the hand scarves, Mom. It’s the only way we can make sure…..
….that we don’t get cooties.”
I should have remembered …..I mean after all…. fifth-grade boys used to live here.
I just wish those cooties would hang around…
…..until those twins graduated from high school. 🙂
PS The cooties have long since left the building.
PSS I’m reading this story at their weddings one day.