(Andy, it might get a little bit esoteric here. Maybe.)
Two things happened this weekend. (Well, two interesting things. “Interesting”. I did brush my teeth and obsessively try to pluck my gray hair and put on socks, and I’m sure I could wax about this for hours, but I’ll spare you the pain.)
The first is that a friend of mine got some extraordinarily awesome news about a tiny blessing waiting for her across an ocean and a large continent. We anxiously await further details. And people like me do NOT like the unknown. We plan for contingencies. We need to know precisely where things are going and what’s going to happen when we get there. But right now? This is a giant, looming unknown. I sincerely hope my friend is better with surprises than I am. (She’s a mama, so I’m betting that she is.)
And for the second time in my life (details on the first time coming in two weeks, when daddy celebrates a milestone that fills me with joy and with worry) I find myself thinking a LOT about people I don’t know. (My friend has been thinking about this for a very long time, I’m sure.) I pray that the arms that hold this blessing right now are loving arms. I pray that the hands that care for this blessing right now are gentle and Graceful. I pray that those that know her over there are beacons, I pray this blessing trusts them and loves them. I pray that this blessing has not witnessed the fallenness of this world first-hand. I pray that she gets to observe that with loving people around her to reassure her that we are not lost.
The second thing that happened was we had a bridal shower for my soon-to-be cousin M. I was surrounded by those that I call my family, even though I shared DNA with nobody at the shower. I’m pretty sure you know it by now, but my daddy’s family is gigantic. As a bunch, we can overwhelm people unaccustomed to our energy and zest. And I love us. They (and my mama’s side of the family which is a solid medium size right now and isn’t quite as overwhelming if you just learn to go along with the “call everybody your cousin” trick and don’t think too hard about the family tree) are my loving arms and Graceful hands. I am extremely lucky.
So all of this to say, I’ve been thinking hard about the nature of family this weekend. The amazing bond, which flexes when tested, but doesn’t break (hopefully). The love that reaches across oceans. The belonging even when you are in your own wilderness.
What I do for a living? I come in after families are shattered. I come in to the hurt and the anger and the want. At the end of the day, even if I have done my job PERFECTLY (which, nope, not yet) the cataclysm necessitating my involvement still happened, and nothing will undo that. So family and security and love are things that are beyond sacred to me. And unlike so many, these have never been denied for me. I am extremely grateful.
Plus, at the shower, Troy Aikman was at the next table over.
(We were TOTALLY discreet about snapping photos. It just so happened that 25 women and teenaged girls needed to take a phone call simultaneously and pointed right at his table.)
(No, he did not come over and check out M’s suh-WEET new frittata pan. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why. But don’t worry, M, I’ll still let you make me a frittata at your reception.) (Maybe with some nice spinach and mushrooms? I’ll leave it to you to decide.)
But not even Mr. Aikman could compete with The Sophia Show. (I LOVE The Sophia Show. This kid? Quality entertainment. And she’s not at all like me whatsoever.)
Here she is in an understated little frock that she whipped up while the presents were being opened. She’s like the MacGuyver of dresses. (I promise that she has a head and it’s a darn cute one, too. I just cropped that part out because mamas tend to get protective of their cute kiddos and their privacy.)
And that was my weekend.