He always has a line like that! I can be so much in reflection before a “big event” in one of our kids lives and by “big event” I’m including everything….even birthdays. It is the night before graduation and I put off the reflection and tried to not think about what would be happening by just enjoying it all. I remember going shopping with her for graduation clothes to find the perfect dress to go under the gown! Oh I fought those tears all night. Then later to Keith…
I cracked. I remember telling him I do not know how we are going to make it through this. (I know he is thinking that is a “me” we!) He simply said, “What, Graduation? Isn’t it what we put her in school for? To graduate?” Oh my, but of course we did! I always need his outlook to reel me in from almost going over the edge emotionally! Anyway hadn’t I already summed those feelings up in a homework assignment Tiff’s English teacher gave us mid year!? Of all things she had us write a letter to our senior since they were reading Hamlet and wanted us to give her any advice we might not have given her yet as well as explain how we were feeling at this moment in our parental lives. Trust me now is the time to learn that blog insert “to read more”
First of all…I found myself after reading the letter from your teacher walking around the house with this in my head…bbbwwwwhhhhaaauuuaahhhahahahhahahahahahahahhah! In other words the biggest LOL you ever heard! Oh my goodness do we ever have something to say but…haven’t we already said it! Poor you…I know you are thinking…don’t make them do it again, Mrs. Ferguson, you just don’t know my parents!!! So, Tiffany, tiff, tippy, yidd, sweetest, most precious and first born in the family…just close your eyes and let your mind replay all the many many many many talks we’ve had in our room, your room, the car, the driveway, the random places! I’m sorry I think that is so funny but it is to this wacky, beyond tired mom and dad! So if you didn’t get it yet…but even more important if what you are hearing in your head is not genuine we promise that we meant them all to be. And here is what we really meant!
We Love You Tiffany! And that is why as we’ve said in so many of our talks that we’ve said and done the things we’ve done. Not as you may think, to make your life miserable! We stayed up those extra hours and prayed all those group hug prayers because We Love You! If there is anything we could ever say more important than that I cannot know it. It hit me this week in a random moment and I even sent you a text…I Will Always Love You. I know in your eyes and heart you’ve experienced love in many ways but I think what I meant in the five words I sent in that text you may not yet have experienced. It is the love God gives moms and dads for their kids. It is that love we have for you and it will always be there. Oh how we want you to really know just that. I know you know the Lord as we do, and know that no matter what we do He can be trusted and He is faithful. We are not perfect and He gave us you first out of our four children for a reason. We know there are tremendous paths trodden on with you that your siblings may never step. Yet, we’ve also set up boundaries with you that your siblings will run into as well. So in that we are also asking you to forgive us for those times we just didn’t know what we were doing because we truly had not been that way before. (Tears are just streaming down my cheeks and my wailing laughter is turning on me!) Goodness…to get on with the assignment!
How do I feel about this moment? Let me just tell you! It is the exact same way I felt when you were a three month old, and I was standing in the Mervyn’s baby section. I had always bought you the cutest three month size clothes. It was so much fun just picking the cutest outfits and putting you in fun things. And then…you were six months old, and I was just numb as I stood in the baby section looking at outfits and sizes you could never fit in again. How can this be!? And then you were a year old…NO One Really Ever Told me how much that would hurt. That moment for me put reality into place. I really didn’t care so much about the clothes as I did what was happening in the big picture. You may as well have been graduating then! Cause I got it! I needed to get it! I don’t do change…daddy doesn’t do change…but each of us doesn’t do change in different ways! But change happens every day raising kids! Of the two of us I was the one to proclaim the moment and get emotional, but your daddy had the everyday outlook. I needed that. It dried up my tears. He would just say she is no different than she was yesterday. But then his yesterday is not holding a three month old in Mervyns! I will be just driving in the car when my mind goes to a place or time and, maybe all parents of seniors are doing this, I don’t know, but next thing you know I am getting teary eyed and lost in a moment. Tears have been just happening. Not tears of regret, and I can’t say they are exactly happy tears. I guess to me they are more like “remembering tears”…the kind you get when life’s scenes pop in your head like in the movie Up or my all time favorite movie ending of Sense and Sensibility! So I cry! Remembering tears…
That’s why I know you know how I feel about this moment…I just don’t want my remembering tears to interfere with your happy ones! Because my remembering tears are really just happy tears for you! Really! We are so happy for you! This is such an exciting time in your life. We have such favorite moments and reflections of our high school days and college life that we want you to have the best ones too! You Get to go to Baylor next year! Kim Mulkey is the basketball coach there!!! You are just gonna love your roomie and being on your own and all the fun cute dorm things we can decorate with! You will be an excellent college student. I know for now you have the heart of a nurse. I see you with that special calling in one way that I know you are so good with people. You abound with people skills! Your energy is contagious as well as your smile! You were made to help people…you are genuinely compassionate and caring. It is our prayer that you stay on the path that God has for you…right now it seems like it’ll be nursing but let Him direct you. Stay in touch with Him. I truly grew closer to God in college. His word got me across the campus each day…I was so overwhelmed until I took steps with His words silently stepping beside me: be not faithless but believing…you can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you…all things happen for good for those who are called according to His purpose…trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own understanding and in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.
We want you to “choose life.” Choose to make your life the best it can be by making wise choices…let the mistakes you make be over stupid things like spending too much at Starbucks not life changing ones! Never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate. Keep in mind how very social you are and ask yourself before getting ready to go “hang” is it the best use of your time. Will I regret this when I am staying up to finish an assignment, or even getting the little things in life done that are needed but have their place on the priority chart! Laundry, putting gas in the car, homework,..and please remember to ask yourself often if you know what your balance is in your checkbook?J
Dad wanted me to tell you that this is just part one! I sent him my rough thoughts earlier this week and he too has so much he wants to share with you. At our couples retreat in Galveston he said after we won a journal that he wanted it to be filled with things he wants you to know that we haven’t touched on yet…he chuckeled and that cute dimple came in his check with the bright blue eyes just gleaming as he said I know you think after all the conversations we’ve had with her that we couldn’t possibly have anything else to write. And I cried…I tried not to but there we were in some beachside lunch stand and I’m wiping tears! But the man has a plan. He just needs basketball season to be over so we have some free nights…but wait…I don’t want basketball season to be over!
And lastly, I want to leave you with this memory. I do laugh telling people about it now, but you had always wanted to sit up in the youth group at church and people just begged us to let you. But we said nope…she is not in high school. And then Rebekah tapped me on the shoulder one Sunday morning, and I was expecting her to ask can y’all have a sleepover, so I happily turned around only to hear her say…now that you were in high school could you sit with the youth? Emma Thompson didn’t have nothing on me! The crying and tears just consumed me! Goodness! It is so funny thinking back…kind of … but, now, what keeps me having those stinking remembering tears is how you responded to me. I did tell you to go ahead if you could even make it out between sobs, then I went to clean up my face while you walked away. When I went to our pew there you were sitting. I remember you leaning over and telling me…I’ll start sitting up there next week and our arms enveloped.
We know you love us…but…”We Love You More!”