Monday, September 01, 2008

Swimming Lesson

I have become a pen pal with a person I met when we went to volunteer at Kingdom meal ministries at the Salvation Army, with Jon and Ang about a month or so ago. His name is Stephen and he kept saying, "boy I wish someone would write to me"-and I thought, I love to write letters. I always tell my friends how much I love paper, special pens and how I see "snail mail" correspondence as a dying art. So, I thought, what better thing to offer than to be someones pen pal? Over the last several weeks Stephen and I have written about 8 letters between the two of us. His handwriting and verbiage is that of a young child, he seems to be mentally at that level, according to the style and content of his letters. It is endearing, and very innocent. He always tells me that he loves getting my letters. I am very clear when I write to him that I am happily married, and have three children. In the last letter he told me that I was his best friend, his special friend, forever and always. As I read that over I thought "Oh boy, have I got in over my head?" . I wonder what imposes such a fear within us? All the sudden I came to the realization that I cannot stop writing to him because he has put me in a role of being very important to him. I also had a bit of fear , because he wants to know where I work, and where the kids go to school and where John works, and i keep thinking what if he stalks me?
Last night, as I went to bed and tried to saturate a very long emotional weekend, I kept thinking about people that depend on me. I had quite a tough "mom of a teenager" weekend, and having her tell me that she is almost 18, and I shouldn't worry, and I should just let her make her own curfew, and then having her very ill the next day with a high fever, painful ears and throat, and asking if she could sleep in my bed, and wanted me to hold her head against my shoulder to ease the pain, and also to comfort her, I am sure. She also apologized for the night before, and I think she realizes she depends on me. She committed to trying to show John and I more respect than she had this weekend, hopefully it wasn't the fever talking.
Putting the two together I am starting to realize that the way I can be a support to others is just to be "ME". I love to write, so put all my fears aside and keep on writing, joyfully to Stephen(using common sense, and not giving him all my personal info) yet offering what I have, and that is my love to write, and read letters.
I can show love to Leah, by continuing to pray for her , and offering her my shoulder, and my love, even when I am angry at her, even when she makes me think, "boy I'm in over my head!"

Well, I can swim, pretty well, and I love to swim.

I need to remind myself that when I think that I am "in over my head", that I don't need to be afraid.

I know how to "swim", I won't drown.


*Austin Mommy* said...

I love this post, Chel. Thanks for sharing it. I know that while Stephen may seem a bit over the top, he really just cares and sees you as a friend. Through you, he is learning what that means, what boundaries are, what priorities are, etc. You are being a good friend to him - I do think it would be cool to have John or Luke write sometime! You're a fantastic mom, too! Kids will be kids, and I think you've concluded the right things - just pray, love and be there for them. You're fabulous, Chel!

ChelChel said...

I love that advice, Ang... I think I will have the guys write him next time. You are brilliant!

Dave said...

When I first saw that picture I thought it was Luke! He knows how to swim too doesn't he?

Birdie said...

Hi, Chel. Loved the post. I also thought that the picture was Luke. It looked like something he would do. (let you take a picture of him with his head under water while looking up at you). But, I gotta tell you, it just creeps me out a bit. Remember that movie with Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford? Yikes!

Paul Dazet said...

Great post - thanks for sharing your honesty.

I am thankful that you got out of the boat to go swimming!

I agree with Ang's advice.

Keep swimming!

Dave and Betsy: said...

Gosh Chel - I absolutely love this post. Being "friends" with Stephen will certainly be a ride. I think you're the perfect person to do it, however it will take a lot of caution and setting boundaries. The only problem is sometimes when you set boundaries the other party doesn't really understand it and might take it as rejection. Wow, who invited the party pooper!?!?! Anyway, I think you're amazing for writing to him - it certainly seems to make him smile! So you're telling me that parenting doesn't get easier???? WHAT THE HECK!!!

ChelChel said...

I have already thought of that! So, don't feel bad!

Yeah, rest up for the teenage years... hopefully JJ will like to hang out with you guys still!

Thanks for all the comments and posting-

Now I think I will try to take Luke's picture like that , good ideA!