I’m not proud to admit it, but this time every year, my mind harkens back to the Easter of 2007. Our boys were little, 4 and 7—adorable, yet trying. Mathematically, you’d think that adding one additional kid to the mix would just equal two. But, there’s this weird family multiplication that happens when you add that 1 extra kid! You’re all the sudden raising your first born, then your second born, then whatever that odd potion is that exists when the two of them cohabitate together—it has to count as 1 extra, in my opinion. This is why, when people ask, we would introduce Griffin as our first child and Dalton as our last child. We love them to the moon and back…and now that they are both adults, we can honestly say we really like them, too! But, in the spring of 2007…well, let’s just say we loved them.
Thankfully, my memory isn’t keen. I believe it’s a blessing that I don’t recall all the details. But, this I do recall with extreme clarity…the Customer Service desk at Walmart. After my husband and I had recently been to this supercenter to purchase all-things-Easter for Easter baskets…there was an incident. It was either a momomuntal (pun intended) incident or one that built over time, I don’t recall…but it happened—this momma ran out of rope! I had to do something to get their constant, fighting, bickering, and complaining to stop! And, the Easter Bunny was about to help me. I ran to the closet, gathered up nearly all the Easter goodies, grabbed my keys, and headed back to Walmart to return of all items. Easter candy. Easter grass. Easter bubbles. Easter jump ropes. Easter eggs. Easter everything. It was dark when I arrived…or maybe that was just my mood. I was the only one in line to be served by this unsuspecting customer service rep. I handed her my receipt and pushed the bags towards her as I said that I would like to return all these colorful Easter goodies. As they often do, she asked, “Is there anything wrong with these items?” And, the look on her face was priceless, as I said, “No. It’s just that my children are acting like brats and don’t’ deserve to be rewarded for that kind of behavior. The Easter Bunny and I have conspired, and this is what we agreed is fair and equitable.” I sort of feel like it was the first and last time that kind of return has ever taken place. And, now that I think about it, I wonder if my husband was happy to have stayed home to tuck the boys in while this crazy mom returned two entire Easter baskets worth of delights. I didn’t ask him then…I’m definitely not asking him now—he’s likely to be too honest!
I swear, I’m a good mom. This was just one of those tough love examples. But, I do believe there are many different ways to show our love. I remember when my mom would make sure we had lunch money on Friday’s, so we could enjoy that awesome rectangular-shaped cafeteria pizza. Wasn’t it the best?
Speaking of pizza, we got to show our love and gratitude via triangular-shaped pizza to about 25 Grant County students and their families this past week as we had a Kiderview Preview Party. If you don’t know about this new Love Where You Live video series, you’ve got to start tuning in! We had 25 future leaders (ages 5-11), interview about 45 community leaders (ages 25-something mumbled incoherently) asking questions about why they love where they live—plus a few other random questions about unicorns, smells, beards, and the bypass. We’ll be releasing a new Kiderview each Monday via our Facebook page, so like our page to be in the know. You can find the first four here, here, here, and here!
I absolutely love the way these current leaders treated these future leaders with such admiration and respect. Each and every person that left the building that day had an ear-to-ear smile on their face. Yeah, it could have been because these kids are so stinkin’ cute. Or maybe it’s because they were wearing their Sunday best—tights and vests and hats, oh my. Not to discount those two ideas—because they are both so true—but, I think seeing these two generations discuss together what they love about where they live just makes you feel good about Grant County. We were just celebrating what’s right in our world!
One of my favorite question/answer exchanges involved Katie asking, “Why is the bypass called the bypass?” This may be a question many of you have pondered for decades. Rachel, an administrator with Mississinewa Community Schools replied beautifully saying that she, too, had always wondered about that. She said that her family calls it the Pass-By…because you literally pass by so many things! Check out that snippet here…it’s one of my faves.
Bypass plainly means to avoid. And, with all that we pass by on Baldwin, we certainly aren’t avoiding much! Ultimately, in life, we do have these two choices. Do we want to avoid and ignore or pass by and participate? Are you sitting out or joining in? Are you in the stands or in the game? Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
It’s a new day in Grant County. It’s not about what you did (or didn’t do) 30 years ago, 10 years ago, or even last year. It’s about being generous today. Being collaborative today. Golden-ruling it today. Preaching it, practicing it, repeating it. As my new best friend, Prem Rewat, would ask, “What do you practice every day? What do you practice? Because when you practice, you will get good at it. Do you practice joy in your life? Do you practice peace in your life? Do you practice happiness in your life? Or do you practice a lot of complaining? Because if you complain, you will get very good at it.” Just ask my 5- and 8-year-old kids. They got so good at it, their Easter feast became an Easter famine.
I doubt that communities are altogether different. Grant County will get really good at what we practice. What do you practice?