A Mother's Dream
A Mother’s Dream
It was a mother’s dream. My 29-year-old son was meeting me in California to spend a couple of days with me. I am blessed to be able to spend lots of time with my adult children, Kelley, and Chris. Kelley and I spend many of our days alone together, doing girl stuff like shopping, nails, movies, and the occasional housework. It’s a rare treat indeed that I have my son all to my self and I planned to enjoy every minute.
I tried to remember the last time Chris and I had spent an entire day together. Oh yea, I thought. It was several years ago and that day cost me $55,000.
The lease had been up on my convertible and Bob and I had decided to get another Sebring. Never one to pass up an opportunity for time with my kids, I called Chris and said, “I’m going car shopping. I plan to get another Sebring but I thought I might as well test-drive some exotic convertibles. Want to come?”
As I predicted, Chris said enthusiastically, “Absolutely!” What a day that was. We test-drove convertibles like Beemers, Mercedes, and Jaguars. We even went to lunch together. It was a perfect day and a mother’s dream.
The only problem was, the Mercedes convertible hooked me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. On impulse, I went out the next day and bought a sleek shiny black Mercedes convertible. Just as I was about to sign the lease, I realized I hadn’t discussed it with Bob. I excused myself and made a call. “Michelle,” I said to his secretary urgently. “Please get Bob.”
“He’s in a meeting,” she said sweetly. “Is it urgent?”
“Trust me, Michelle, He’ll want to take this call.” Bob was so stunned that he couldn’t speak. I made my case, told him what I was buying, and hung up with him beginning to stutter. So much for that wifely submission thing.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. KJV
God didn’t let me get away with my foolishness and we had trouble with that beautiful fun car the entire time we owned it. As soon as we could get out of the lease, we did and replaced it with a used Sebring, which ran perfectly until Bob left the oil cap off and it caught on fire—but that’s another story.
As I remembered that ill-fated car buying experience, I made God and Happy a promise. I’m not buying any cars today.
Chris’s plane was late but nothing was going to dampen my mood. I kept telling Belle, “Chris is coming! Chris is coming!” Belle knows our names and if I say one of us “is coming”, she runs to the door, cuts circles, and starts barking. I worried a little that we were going to get kicked out of the hotel because of the barking but we were having entirely too much fun to stop. When Chris finally arrived, Belle tackled him with joy. I had to get in line to hug him. Chris and I spent the evening talking and catching up.
I woke the next morning and looked over at my son, sleeping in the other bed. “Belle,” I whispered. “Go get Chris up. Get him.” Belle bounded off my bed and leapt on top of Chris. She then cuddled up on his shoulder, expecting him to rub her belly.
Not a morning person, Chris moaned sleepily, “Hi Belle.” As the 2 of them lay there playing, I let the memories of his childhood wash over me. I remembered him playing with his dog, Crystal, who was sable and white with a silky mane, just like Belle. For a second, I pretended he was eight again. What joy I felt!
We had to drag ourselves out of bed in order to get our free breakfast. We were extra tired because Chris’s cell phone had begun ringing at 5:00 AM. Many of his customers and co-workers were in the East Coast time zone and they called him about every 30 minutes from 5 until we got up at 8:30 AM. I enjoyed listening to him handling his business so professionally, but when the 3rd call woke me, I groaned, “I’m going to flush that phone down the toilet.” He ignored me and went back to sleep until the phone rang again.
As we stood in line for breakfast, Chris got another call. Before you think he’s terrible for talking on the phone when he was with his mom, remember, he was there on business. Any time I got to spend with him was a free gift. We got our omelets and sat down. I asked him about his calls and he shared about his job. Together, we plotted ways to sell my books and solutions to rising gas prices. He bragged on our perfect Noah and I beamed.
After breakfast, Chris and I spent the morning quietly working side by side, on our computers. At noon, I drove him to his customer meeting. Chris was understandably hesitant about arriving at his meeting in Happy but I convinced him it was silly to rent a car. Usually when Chris and I ride together, he drives so I offered. “You’re welcome to drive but I warn you, driving in Los Angeles is tricky enough without getting used to this big van and using the mirrors.”
With that recommendation, Chris wasn’t eager to drive so I sat behind the wheel. When we arrived at the guard station for his meeting, the guard asked, “Who are you here to see?”
“Actually it’s my son who has the appointment. I’m just the transportation.”
The guard slowly looked over the van and asked Chris, “Are you here for an interview?” Poor Chris. It was his turn to relive being 8-years-old and he obviously wasn’t enjoying it. As the guard looked at Happy, I realized how it must feel to be arriving at a business meeting in a RV with the words Pocket Full of Quarters on the side and your mother driving.
In his best adult voice, Chris dropped his voice 2 tones and said, “No, I’m here for a business meeting.” The guard looked hesitant but Chris firmly gave his name and the name of the person he was meeting.
The guard made a phone call and waved us in. “Are you going to wait?” he asked me.
“Yes,” I said. “Right here in the van. As you can see, I have everything I need.” He directed me to the car pool area, where the other vans were parked. I turned on the generator and worked while Chris went inside and pretended to be an adult. Happy, generator humming, and I, inside having lunch and typing, drew the attention of everyone who walked by.
When Chris finally came back, I asked, “Don’t you want to change into jeans? There’s a way to open the middle doors and make a private changing room. I could also make you lunch.”
“Mom, just crank the car and drive off. We’re leaving now. I’ll change later, when we are far from here.”
“Stop sounding like a son,” I complained while laughing.
“Stop sounding a mother,” he quipped back. I turned off the generator, cranked Happy, and headed the car towards Laguna Beach.
California is my favorite state. I used to work out of Los Angeles and am familiar with the area. Since Chris hadn’t been back since our family trip when he was a child, he let me pick our activities. Chris and I walked and talked along the rugged shore of Laguna Beach, watching the waves crash against the rocks. “Every turn is a new adventure that God has waiting for us,” I said in awe.
“That’s deep Mom,” Chris teased. “Did you see how those surfers avoided those rocks?”
“Chris, look at how the water is swirling under those rocks! Doesn’t this make you have trouble catching your breath?” I said excitedly.
“There he goes again,” Chris said. “He’s paddling against the currents to get around those rocks. How does he do that?”
“Are we having the same conversation?” I complained. Chris just smiled and continued watching the surfers.
“Do you want to go in the shops?” I asked.
“You’re the tour guide,” Chris said. “You just tell me where to go and I’ll go.” Could this day get any better?
We walked through the elite art galleries and shops. Everywhere we went, art curators assumed I was their “mark” and tried to sell me statues worth thousands of dollars. Mostly, they ignored Chris as they explained how much the value of the art was going to jump.
When we got outside one particular gallery that I knew Chris had enjoyed, I went to laughing. “If they only knew how much money you made compared to what I make. They have no idea they’re selling to the wrong person.”
“I actually thought about buying that last piece,” Chris commented. “The price is going to jump quickly. I’d hold it about 5 years and sell it.” That’s the difference between Chris and me. Art is never an investment for me because I get too attached.
Chris and I were celebrating my birthday and he let me pick the restaurant. I took him to one of my favorites, Las Brisas. “I’m paying tonight, Mom,” he said. “It’s for your birthday. I have your gift at home but it was too big to bring.” Chris requested a table on the ocean where we sat high above foaming white water.
After dinner, we ended the evening with him treating me to a movie. I hadn’t been to movie for almost 3 months, had no idea what was playing, so Chris picked the movie. Red Eye was a thriller that reminded me of Hitchcock, scary without being a “slasher” movie. How well he knows me! I thought appreciatively.
“Mom, try not to scream,” he said, remembering our past thrillers together.
“I make no promises,” I said. I didn’t scream but I do remember hiding my eyes on his shoulder and digging my fingers in his arm.
“This was the best movie I’ve seen in a long time,” I said after it was over. “Thanks. You picked well.”
“When I read the write up, I knew you’d enjoy it,” he said.
The next morning, we had breakfast together and I drove him to the airport. As I hugged him good-bye, I said, “Thanks for the attention. It was perfect and a mother’s dream. I love you. ”
“I had a good time, Mom,” he said as he hugged me back. “Have fun and be safe. I love you too.”
My children are precious to me and I would do anything for them. They both know it and yet would never take advantage of it. As I thought about how much I appreciated the time Chris and Kelley spent with me this summer, I thought, It’s almost pathetic. They probably have no idea how much this kind of stuff means to me.
Then I thought about how my Heavenly Father felt about me. When I spend a day walking and talking with You, do you really enjoy it that much? Are you as delighted as I am? I asked.
“More,” I felt the Still, Small Voice answer. “I enjoy it more than you can possibly imagine. I would do anything for you. Ask and it will be given. Knock and it will be opened.” I couldn’t imagine loving someone more than I love my children and yet, that’s how my Father feels about me.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. NASUM.
I drove away from the airport talking to God, honored to know I was delighting Him. By spending time with Him, I was offering Him a “Father’s dream.”