Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting for the Script: Today Could be the Day

Test results were supposed to be in first thing this morning and then Salinda could be told a time they will induce today. If that is the case things will move into high speed mode as we get ready to drive 75 miles to the hospital. Instead of frantically attempting to prepare, I am choosing to calm myself at Dunn Brothers (where I accidentally just let out a very large belch moments ago, much to the dismay, I am sure, of those around me, but it truly was unintentional and I'm sure related to my lapband. Not that I can tell anyone who just heard me would believe it or care.)

This morning I did one of those mom things when I brought the trashcans in after I ran into them. Later I laughed at myself as I realized that my body language and attitude, thought no words were spoken, would have been clear to anyone who saw me. It's a very familiar mantra in the world of mothers "AM I THE ONLY ONE AROUND HERE WHO CAN DO ANYTHING????"

Anyway, I'm here in my booth reflecting on how my status in life could change today and in the midst of all the chaos finding a certain satisfaction. As Bart said in his post last night, raising teenagers and adults is a bit different. It's a lot like being in your own TV show, acting the part, but not writing the script. If you look at a lot of TV dramas the actors are interviewed and they really do not know ahead of time what is going to happen with their own characters. They get the script, one show at a time, and live out the drama being created for them. If you mistakingly believe you are the author of the drama and can influence it, frustration awaits. In fact, you aren't really even a main character in their lives who is listened to very much.

To illustrate, I will refer to one of my favorite shows that I haven't watched much this season, Grey's Anatomy. Now, with technology, I can just buy an episode for $3 any time I feel like watching it, so I don't feel the pressure of trying to keep up. But using that example, if Patrick Dempsey offered an opinion to the writers of the show, they (the writers) might briefly listen and consider his input. But in the lives of my teenagers, I'm one of the extras, probably a nurse that stands behind the desk every episode but never has a speaking part, and if I offered ideas they would scoff in my face.

And so this morning, I can sit back and be really happy about some of the things that are going on in our "show" that offers too much reality to be entertainment. I am happy that Tony has developed a passion for something -- he is learning guitar -- and that this motivates him. I couldn't be more proud of Ricardo whose self-discipline and passion and competitive spirit have him 12-1 this season as a 9th grade wrestler. He is headed for a very successful high school career even though he started his career as a wrestler a few weeks before his 14th birthday, while most of his competitors have been wrestling since they were three. He gets up and goes to lift weights 3 times a week at 6:30, he disciplines himself in order to make weight, and he is a fierce competitor. Very few of our kids are as competitive as I and so I understand his heart -- even though the things we exceed in are quite different. I'm also very proud of Leon who is unplussed by Ricardo's huge success. He remains good natured, tries his best, and does very well even in his shadow. Last night there was no doubt in anyone's mind that there were two Fletchers competing on that team as he flipped his opponent over and pinned him quickly, catching everyone by surprise.

My mind wanders to other drama and while I am not happy that he is in jail, I am pleased with MIke's current attitude towards his family. Though selfish and attachment disordered, not nearly as close to us as we wish, I can't complain about Kyle's course in life -- college educated, employed as a teacher, giving back to society, and engaged to a wonderful girl. John's daily drama, frustrating because of little things, is a better story than he has had a in a long time. i could go on and talk of the other kids, but you are getting the picture.

And as we wait for the script for today's episode, the baby looms in the near distant future, either today or in a few days. And while as a writer, i would never have put a grandchild in the script for this season of our lives, i can't help but look forward to holding a baby in my arms, who especially because she will be born this time of year, will be a constant reminder of the Baby who over 2000 years ago entered the world to give me peace. And as Dominyk pointed out in church last week, the Angel had a name that is spelled kinda like Gabriella.

No, our lives are not ideal. From the outside looking in they probably appear chaotic, filled with stress and tragedy. But from the inside looking out, when that inside is calmed by the peace of Christ, it's a very good place to be. I truly love my life and I wouldn't want to be anyone else.

So writer of the drama of my life, hand me the script. I'm ready to live it out and see what today brings.

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