Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 14 - Weekend Sleepovers and A Life Celebrated

                Today was a busy day and not much play for this mama.  Fortunately Jeff was able to pick up and run with the kids, getting them plenty of outside time for play on this gorgeous day. 

                As I sit typing, I hear two children who should be asleep chattering and giggling upstairs.  Weekends are relaxed and they take turns having sleepovers in each other’s room.  There will be most likely be many more sleepovers throughout the next week as they are on April break.  I look forward to school breaks, probably more than the kids do.  I love the laid back pace, and the opportunity for them to just play.  No watching the clock, just child directed fun.  In reality we have very little planned, and we’ll see where the week takes us.  Jeff’s birthday is on Friday so I’m sure there will be some creative fun around that. 

                This afternoon I had the opportunity to celebrate the life of a really wonderful lady who passed unexpectedly and way too soon by almost all standards.  Patti had just celebrated her 54th birthday last weekend and was seemingly healthy.  She was full of life and loved people.  Patti gave Jeff and I, and all the parents of babies and toddlers at our church, a great gift.  Each Sunday she and her daughter or husband would play with our children for an hour at church so we could go to Sunday school.  This hour was such a lifesaver.  As a stay at home mom of two young children this time was precious and was often my only time during the week away from my children.  It was so great to know that Nate and Elli were well cared for, even if they had an occasional chocolate chip muffin, playing happily and learning about the love of Jesus.  Patti was actively demonstrating Jesus’ love for us, as parents; by providing time for us to rest and get some much needed adult face time.  This in fact was our play time during this stage of our lives; we were in survival mode as this stage of parenting was way harder than anything we had undertaken before.

                While Elli has not been in Patti’s class for over a year, I find myself profoundly affected by her death. I ran into Patti a couple of times last Fall and felt like I was starting to get to know her beyond passing her my kids and dashing away for some much needed down time.  I learned even more about her today.  She loved her family deeply, as well as skydiving, pugs, yardsales, yellow flowers, baking cookies, and the students and staff at the school she worked at. I will always remember her fondly as she created a place for my children to play, helping them to be excited to go to church each week.  She was a truly amazing person who led a life that was an encouragement to all.   Although she will be missed here on earth I can picture her up in Heaven happily surrounded by throngs of playing children. 

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