This morning Trevor and I played Frisbee in the backyard. I’m quite terrible at Frisbee, but compared to T, I’m like a world champion. We basically just chased a blue Frisbee around the yard. Trev’s favorite part was when the wind would intercept one of our tosses and send the Frisbee spinning straight up in the air. Once, it landed in the fort of the play set, which made Trevor’s day. He just laughed and laughed every time the Frisbee flew higher than his head, and he’d say, “Wind caught it!”
Playing this game with T made me think of some of the things in my life that the “wind has caught.” Pretty much every plan I’ve made for myself went awry…sometimes hitting the dirt with a thud, sometimes soaring higher and landing in a better place than I could’ve imagined. Just the fact that I’m here playing Frisbee in the middle of the day with my kid…that’s a plan that went awry. I never really wanted to be a stay at home mom. It sounded like the most mind-numbing, life-sucking, brain-atrophying job on earth (there’s still a debate to be made for that). I was perfectly content working and conversing with other adults eight hours a day. Then Matt threw a really big farm-shaped Frisbee to Sedan, and here we are, chasing after it.
Other Frisbees I’ve thrown that ventured off-course: where I went to college, marrying a 21-year-old when I was 22, becoming a teacher, being a coach’s wife, having wrinkles, living on the prairie …none of those things were part of my master plan, which mainly included making tons of money and retiring on the beach at a very young age. And it turns out, those are a few of the most rewarding Frisbees I’ve ever thrown. All of those circumstances resulted in the best things a person can have – really super great friends, the opportunity to spend tons of time with family, teaching kids from all over the country who still remember things they learned in 8th grade English, and two demanding great kids who depend on me every day for every. single. thing.
I’m not very good at change. Transitions are hard because I love routine and being settled, which enables impulsivity with low-risk. But how boring would it be if every toss we made stayed right on target? What would be the point of playing the game if we knew exactly what would happen every time we threw the Frisbee? Speaking of mind-numbing and brain-atrophying. We’d miss out on all kinds of people and places and stories that we didn’t plan on having. Today, what scares me is that we might-could-maybe live HERE forever. The idea of anything being permanent is frightening! Perhaps I’ll be driving a U-Haul away from Sedan as an 80 year old granny wondering what the heck happened and where’s the beach?
The hard thing about veering off your own ideal course is that sometimes you don’t see the purpose of where you’re at until you’re gone. Some days I lack serious motivation in the Mom Department, and I start thinking my education, skills, and experience are being wasted because I’m at home all day building block towers and refilling sippy cups. But my purpose here is evident: there’s NO ONE ELSE to help build block towers and refill sippies. That is my job and my privilege. No one else loves my family like I do, which makes this the most important purpose I’ve had yet. Even though I didn’t intend to stay home with my kids, the wind caught that Frisbee and planted me right here in New Mexico. All day, every day. And it’s better than I had planned.