I promise, there will be the expected amount of Shank family hi-jinx and close calls, including a trip up 11 headed in the wrong direction. But first…
As a homeschooling Mom I get slightly paranoid that people will think my kids don’t do enough, or that I am not doing enough with them. No one else is in my home hearing them recite their catechism, or the six different forms that a Latin verb can take. When we do cool stuff, I try to post on Facebook, almost as a way of warding of the inevitable questions about whether my children are socialized, can read, or are really being well prepared for life.
This weekend was jam packed with photo worthy moments. First, the kids were in an end of the year musical with their homeschooling coop. It was really amazing performance. I missed most of it, and couldn’t get the video I took of the actual musical to load, but what I saw was well put together. Unfortunately, Annie, my youngest, puked all over my husband the moment I sat down. He was covered from head to toe. I helped he and Annie out to the car, and took some video of the 3 year olds and Kindergartners singing their pre show songs. I got to see the first couple of numbers from the play, then we left to take the baby home. We were up with her most of the night. What stuck with me the most was the fact that there were over 100 kids on stage, all making plain the gospel to their audience. It wasn’t a typical school performance.
Early Saturday morning, we attended the Move for Life, a 5K fundraiser to support Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center. We were really blessed by everyone who donated to the event. When we got there this morning, we were surrounded by families. Mothers, fathers, teens and many strollers filled with small children. It reminded me of the verse about “declaring his righteousness to a people yet to be born, that He has done this”.
Runners started their race, and we joined some other families walking in the rear. Gracie walked ahead of us a bit, then suddenly, I couldn’t see her anymore. I sprinted uphill with Millie in the stroller, leaving the Maggie and Emily with another family. At every turn we made, I called Gracie’s name. I twisted my ankle. I got up and ran faster. Some people thought I was racing, and some other parents pushing strollers began to jog. “Just trying to find my 7 year old,” I called breathlessly behind me. After the first mile, I got to where I could see the finish line, and cut across, hoping to stop Gracie before she made a second lap. She was no where to be found. I was slightly frantic. Finally, Emily and Maggie made it to the finish line with our friends. Gracie was with them. The other family had seen Gracie on her second lap, trying to keep pace behind one of the runners and gotten her to stay with them.
We left the race to join some wonderful friends for an Easter egg hunt. Only, gosh, there was no wireless connection for my GPS and I was having a hard time finding my way around the 5K walkers and back to 11. Finally, I saw 11 and made my left turn. Why was all the traffic coming toward me? Where was my lane? There was that stomach dropping moment when I realized I had turned onto 11 three streets after it split, and that I was on the WRONG SIDE. I pulled as far to the side of the road as I could, as people helpfully yelled out their windows “YOU’RE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!!” Some interesting words made their way through my mind, as I quickly decided to make a U turn in the middle of the road, and hoped oncoming traffic was paying attention well enough not to hit me. No one hit me! Don’t think I’ll share that story when the pastor asks the congregation for “Joys” on Sunday morning, but, gee, I’m really glad we made it out of that one alive.
So on to the Easter egg hunt, thanks to my Mom who was still watching the now fully recovered and boisterous baby Annie. I got to spend an afternoon with friends who dearly love their children and, like me, agonize over whether they are doing the best for them.
Given time to reflect on the past couple of days, one thing occurs to me. It’s something I knew on Thursday, before all of my adventures, because Gracie told it to me. It’s simple. They are not my children. They, both in life and in death, in body and soul, belong to their faithful Savior Jesus Christ. My measuring stick of my parenting is not cool activities, but that they know Him. It’s just that simple. They are part of a glorious Kingdom, a church that includes saints that have gone before and children yet to be born. They are His.