I admire Pat.
Pat is my next door neighbor. She has lived in the same house since it was built in the early 60's. She has raised two boys and now enjoys a bevy of grandchildren and, I believe, may be starting on the great grandparent circuit.
Pat is a tiny woman with beautiful white hair and a sparkly smile.
She is a Christian woman in the very best way because she pushes Jesus like one pushes sunlight.
She soaks it up and leaves room for you to join her as you like.
There is no pressure with Pat.
It is hard to define all the things I admire most about my friend Pat.
I am going to try and illustrate two.
I admire and am forever indebted in my heart to her for befriending my youngest son, Ethan. Right after we moved here we received the beautiful gift of another baby girl. This meant that Ethan was no longer the baby.
Every middle child reading this just sighed the knowing sigh.
Ethan was in middle child pergatory.
Pat came to his rescue.
I simply cannot explain how good it felt to this overwhelmed mommy heart to have a perfect grandma right next door. She "got" my Ethan. God had ordained a beautiful companion for my
so-unique son. At a time when I was frequently full up with the clatter and chore 5 children bring, she would invite him into her quiet and listen to him chatter. She gave him space to be really heard. When his little heart needed nurture she would offer jelly beans (not too many) and slices of cake (which she always seemed to desperately need herself at just the time he came to see her) and undivided attention that filled him up and kept him going. I never knew of a time that she corrected him tho I believe that she guided him as necessary.
Mostly tho, she let him be. And she enjoyed his being.
And that has made all the difference.
One thing must be said for you to understand the depth of my admiration. She honored me. She praised me for the raising of my precious son. Her words encouraged me to keep doing the things that I sometimes felt were ineffectual. Her welcome for my son was felt and gratefully accepted because she reinforced the importance and relevance of my often overtaxed affection. She built me up by telling me what an amazing child I had. I thank her for that.
I admire Pat for the way she has raised her family. This is a judgement call on my part because I do not know her family really but I have seen them many times. What I see in them is freedom. This is where the judgement comes in because I could be looking at full on rebellion but if it is they wear it well.
When her family gathers, and here is also a source of my admiration, they gather in force and often. I watch them troop in and out and take note that by societies standard of "proper", well, they laughingly do not fit the requirements. I have stalked a few of them on social media and peek into their colorful lives and I admire from afar their weird beautiful takes on life.
She did that.
Started it anyway. I feel sure of it.
She may refuse to take the credit but I believe in her heart she knows what she did. I hope to stay close enough to her so that some of her wisdom rubs off on me.
I do not know how she raised her young sons. She might have been a strict mom then that made them tow the line and hop to on a regular basis. If she did, and they have busted out of all the regulations to forge their own crazy roads, well, I can only say more power to em. She still gets my admiration because on this end she accepts their freedom...I giggle when I say, she eats it up.
They fill her, those sons and their wives and their kaleidoscope of children. I can tell because her eyes light up when she talks of their adventures and misadventures. They are their own people.
Each aware of the power of the journey.
Empowered by this tiny woman that cheers them on whether they can hear her or not.
I admire Pat. Because she drinks in life. Because she smiles into my heart. Because she answers honestly but never makes me feel that I have to agree. Because she knows how to laugh. Because she knows how to be sad. Because she is not afraid to care deeply. Because she is brave enough to encourage those around her to live their lives face forward.
And she enjoys the journey with them.
I admire Pat and I love that our life paths have crossed and we have taken this part of the road together.
I have learned much.
30 day people challenge. Swing by and see what our other contributors are up to.
Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com
Tracy at countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com
It’s not too late to join us! Get the details here: