Yesterday I was driving to pick up Elijah from football practice. He has been playing for a private school which allows homeschoolers to play. In fact he told me on the way home yesterday that some of his friends on the team commented, “If you know any other homeschoolers who want to play football, recruit them!” They love him and he is very talented.
Jubilee had ridden along with me to pick him up. I love when I have a chance to just talk with one of the kids one on one. The thing is Jubilee has had many struggles with her memory. Personally, I think it’s the trauma she experienced pre-coming home coupled with her rare chromosomal anomaly. When Emma and I brought her home she was eight years old and weighed just 27 pounds. Unconscionable! Many babies, at a year old, weigh 27 pounds!
No doubt weighing 27 pounds at eight years old meant she had been nearly starved. She showed evidence of suffering much abuse as well. It was painful to imagine the hellish life she endured before coming home. Her speech took years to come, in fact we weren’t sure it would ever come, but by God’s grace, it did. Usually she speaks in single words, but there are occasional sentences (and my heart throws a party!). She actually has a great sense of humor and she cracks us up often.
Anyway, while driving yesterday I was mentioning to her about when we used to pastor in Durango, Colorado. (This is where she came home to.) I questioned her, “Do you remember living in Durango?” She said she did – which actually shocked me. So I asked her what she remembered. Without hesitation she spoke, “Hot tub!” I was stunned – she really remembered! It was pretty miraculous to me and I was so tickled.
Then she said, “Snowing!” Oh my word! I was overjoyed. What she was remembering were the days it would snow and we would sit in the hot tub. We would be doing our homeschooling and I would stoke the fire in the family room to make sure it was good and hot. Then I would suddenly tell the kids, “Get your swim suits on – we are having class in the hot tub!” And they would scramble to get their suits on and we would sit in the hot tub doing a lesson as the snow fell around us. Later we’d have hot chocolate around the fire as we warmed up.
I have looked back fondly over the years remembering the times in the hot tub while it was snowing and we were doing school. And clearly, Jubilee has too!
So friends, here’s my encouragement…make spontaneous memories! Do the unexpected! Life speeds by, but the moments our treasures or grands will remember are the joyous unscripted surprises – like having history lessons in the hot tub while the snow falls!