Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Today is the last day of school (yes!) for my two kids. And, Cole is leaving as soon as school is out on a trip with the other twenty-nine top FFA participants. They are headed to Rapid City, South Dakota. They will stay in Sioux Falls tonight. Tomorrow they head for Badlands National Park, then on to Bear Country USA (which looked really cool on the website) and then to Rapid City. Friday they will go to Mount Rushmore National Park and Crazy Horse National Park & Indian Museum. Then Saturday they're up early and headed back home. So this morning I'm rushing around trying to make certain he's all packed. I hear myself ask him if he packed extra socks and underwear, he rolled his eyes and said "yes mama." I hear myself ask him if he has everything he needs and he again replies "yes mama." Then I go into my "speech." The kids have heard the "speech" a thousand times, but for some reason I feel compelled to launch into it at every opportunity when the kids are not going to be with me. Here is a synopsis of the "speech," "stay with the group -- keep an eye on your money -- stay with the group -- don't leave the hotel with anyone -- stay with the group -- don't wander off on your own -- stay with the group -- don't do anything you wouldn't do if I were standing right there beside you -- stay with the group." Are you getting the "speech" here? Well, I'm really going on and on with the "speech," and then, I had a flashback. It was June, 1980. The summer after my sophomore year the Eldon Marching Mustangs (I played the clarinet) headed to Rapid City, South Dakota to march in the Dakota Days parade. I was 15 years old and had NEVER been away from home, other than a few nights at my grandma's or at my cousin's. And in my mind, right there in my kitchen this morning, I hear my mother saying the same things to me on that day 29 years ago that I was saying to Cole -- "stay with the group, keep an eye on your money, don't wander off on your own, stay with the group." Yep, there was my mom, right there with me. And I tried to remember, as she said those same things to me, did I roll my eyes? Did I think she was crazy? Did I think she didn't trust me? But now, today, I understood, again. And I hope that one day Cole and Alex are giving the "speech" to my grandkids, just like my mom gave the "speech" to me, and I give the "speech" to them. Because the "speech" means love. So, mom, if you're reading this, I sure hope I didn't roll my eyes, and even if I did, you need to know that I heard every word you said. I still keep an eye on my money, I still don't wander off on my own, and I still stay with the group. Thanks for the "speech" mom. I heard every word.