Between You & Me
My daughter and I are off to a college visit, and I cannot tell you how excited I am.
But I will tell you that when she finally told me she’d been accepted (by text–in the middle of the night–a WEEK after it had happened), I called my mom at 2 a.m. and talked for almost 3 hours to relieve the enormous emotional pressure I was feeling–from how hurt I was that she hadn’t told me sooner to how exciting the future *30* years would be–so that I wouldn’t explode on my daughter with that nonsense the minute she woke up.
Not only was that an epic display of adulthood on my part, but it was also simple obedience as the woman uniquely called to be Mozie’s mother.
I don’t know how you feel about hearing from God, but early-on I received a very distinct impression regarding Mozie’s future career: a loving but firm finger-wave and the words: “That’s between her and me.” Even so I’ve ridden an emotional rollercoaster of fear and elation over every single thing Mozie has ever said she wanted to be. Now that we’re finally getting down to the real nitty-gritty, it’s nice to see maybe I’ve been growing along with her through these years of fighting my compulsive, fear-based (and sometimes envy-based) urge for control.
With increasing success, I pray instead of commenting and trust instead of protecting.
For example, when 3rd grade Mozie wanted to be a comedian and I remembered a 30-floor tall LED advertisement of Kathy Griffin’s show in Las Vegas, obedience was simply biting my tongue and pretending she’d said she wanted to *write* comedy.
Two years later as I dropped her off at a “Red Carpet” themed birthday party, the assignment took a little more effort. At first my heart swelled with admiration as she got out of the car and bounded up the stairs in her leggings, crazy skirt, and T-shirt that announced, “This is what a feminist looks like.”
Then I watched in horror as the front door opened and six pint-sized starlets in silk, sparkles, and updo’s pulled Mozie into the house.
HOW could I have forgotten that the invitation had said to “Dress as your favorite star!”
I drove away and used the next couple of hours to alternately beat myself up (“You let her be humiliated in front of those other girls!”) and defend myself (“It’s her party, not mine—her responsibility to remember the details, not mine.”).
I wasn’t buying my defense, but would she? I braced myself for the tears and dirty looks that would surely meet me at pick-up. Instead I found Mozie with her wild hair loosed from its perpetual ponytail, loud, laughing, and brandishing about a long-stemmed flute of sparkling cider.
“I’m a comedian!”
Of course she was. I caught the look of concern on the face of the host mom who knew I was “in AA.”
On the outside I giggled nervously, but on the inside I thought of D-List Kathy and congratulated myself on calling that one.
Back in the car–in spite of myself–I began my apology but was interrupted. “I forgot, too, ” she said, “but then I thought about what I was wearing and realized I could say I was a comedian!”
On the outside I high-fived her with a sing-song “nailed it” but on the inside I thanked Jesus for a daughter who will surely always land on her feet.
…and if I’m completely honest took the moment to remind Him–to beg Him really–to please not let those precious feet travel down all the dead-end paths her mother’s have been down.
That’s the heart of the matter, isn’t it? Jesus hears the prayer inside the prayer.
On the outside, I am praying about Mozie’s future. But on the inside–the most inside there is–I am asking Him about me.
He hears my question; sees my past, present and future smooshed into the one eternal Me. I feel His yes and His words, loving and firm: “That’s between you and me.”