The stranger in the room

The strange woman stood with her back to me, across the room, with long blonde hair cascading down her back in an enviable pre-baby-tugging fashion. My friend spoke to her with rapt attention and I cocked my head to get a better look, wondering who she was.

I assumed the woman, built solid enough to be fully woman but somewhat short –  so maybe not –(and me with my daily refusal to wear my glasses that would improve my distance vision significantly) was either pre-children or a new mom. Most of my friends sported shorter hair-dos and studs after only a couple years running after kids, getting their earrings pulled out and almost swallowed before the all-knowing eye connects with the child's hand and sweeps away the dangerous item once thought of as chic and beautiful. The world becomes a whole new array of scary things when a mom has to wade through it balancing the curiousity of a child – encouraging and discouraging – teaching limits, encouraging some risks and cautioning others.

I like to greet new guests on Sunday morning, so I figured I would make my way over eventually to say Hi, through the reception area of the school that doubled as our coffee hour before church, held in the school gym. We are still a fledgling church, created out of another church plant that came from a large church downtown Philly. Some churches like to grow big and others encourage smaller congregations to get the convenience of worshiping near home and to build a family-like atmosphere. The disadvantage, of course, is less pooled resources to buy one's own building or build. You also find yourself tapping the same women over and over to run events, to recruit for the committees that give us that coveted feeling of community and to bring a dish to the most recent potluck.

We Presbyterians seem to have a love-hate relationship with committees. None of us want to leave home on any given night to meet but without the meetings, how do we grow, encourage each other or get anything done that builds our small but growing body of believers? E-mail has brought us a long way but it only goes so far.

So, a new woman in the crowd, eh? Always a potential for recruiting. Someone to attend our small but powerful bible studies, someone to bake a meal, someone to set tableware or help clean up. Better be friendly. No, {slapping myself mentally} just be friendly for friendly's sake.

Ooops. Better wear my glasses. A second glance and I realized my mistake. This new woman was in fact a stranger to me – as a woman — but I knew her as a child. I knew her as a toddler standing in the kitchen surrounded by crumbs after pulling the remains of a pie tin off the counter. I knew her as a child who tore her knee at the campground and howled as we poured peroxide over it instead of water, worried as we were that the natural spring well might carry more contaminates and create a greater issue than the sting of the cleansing solution on a deep "campground knee" wound (a nick-name for the frequent injury known to children running and falling, unused to the uneven, hilly ancient barely paved sidewalks).

I knew her as the girl carrying HUGE stacks of books from the library that she had learned to reserve and order on her own through the online portal. I knew her when she was fitted for her first glasses – a light plastic purple frame that was quickly lost, followed by a purple metal Candies frame with hearts cut into the corners, followed by a couple more pairs as they were lost, scratched, sat on.

She turned, confirming my suspicion. Yes, this was a woman I would recruit to help at the church dinners. Yes, this was a woman whom, out of no sense of self-importance, I would teach many things, mentor and guide carefully through a crazy world filled with new dangers, joys, risks.

The woman? My eldest daughter, almost 13, with bigger shoes and definitely bigger boobs than me at that age.

She's growing up so fast. I'm not sure I AM ready to call her a woman yet but she's getting there. She's ready to be treated like one, think like one, stand like one, dress like one. She even likes cable knit sweaters better than the trendy teen t-shirts my younger daughter, only a year behind, enjoys. She's definitely my spawn, one who cherishes preppy – a good look on a solidly thick young body rather than the thin, drappy material of pop culture.

My sweet Lindsey is a good kid and I know she'll make an amazing woman. I'm just not ready to attach that title to her yet. How about pre-woman? Pre-teen? This summer, she will be a teen -officially. Let's hope she doesn't start liking boys yet. I am definitely not ready for that. 


 LindseySnow
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(I just noticed Sarah at RealLife is doing a carnival today so I am linking up and if you want to go read more or link up a blogpost yourself, head OVER HERE!)

Oh, and, Happy President's Day everyone. Pray for all leaders!

Comments

  1. Oh my Sarah – you better start wearing those glasses! LOL
    I probably would have started crying when you realized it was your 13 year old daughter. Elyse is only 8 and is “developing” already. It has thrown me for a complete loop and I’m in total denial!
    I have no doubt she will be an amazing woman – after all, she has a great role model in you!

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