There's a nifty little flip book of quotes on my desk by Gary Zukav, the "Thoughts from the seat of the soul" series, and today I turned the page to:
"An intention is a quality of consciousness that you bring to an action."
My immediate family is scattered all over the United States, and I'm grateful that two of my
spawn erm, kids are within a couple of hours from me, even if a ferry ride (rather expensive at $25 each crossing if you take the car, $9 if you walk on, but parking isn't cheap either, at $18 for the day, just a heads up for those of you who may want to visit the PacNorWest, Seattle area) stands in the way of them. Otherwise, we can just drive around through Tacoma, but then, there's the traffic and the toll bridge and the price of gas. It does a body well to know what you're planning before you head out these days.
Dear Bog, I'm already exhausted just thinking about it all, but my point comes back to that glorious word: intention.
There was a time when I said it to my kids. A lot.
"What were you thinking?! What was your intention?!"
More often than not, the response was, "I thought it would be fun" or "we wanted to have fun."
More often than not, my response was, "Are you having fun now? Because I'm not." This would usually cause some sort of grinning at me, either in the principals office, or in some cases, the local police station (yes, they were awful criminals) and I'd have to bite my lip to keep from laughing too. It wasn't easy being a single mom of three remarkably weird, brilliant and incredible teenagers. I was horrible at discipline.
Sometimes I tell myself I was the mother I wanted, not the mother they needed. We would play the game of emotional bumper cars, where we would try our best to earn "gloatation" rights. Speaking of bumper cars, this was from our last family outing before COVID changed everything, summer of 2019.
That's Jesse and James. The two oldest. They're 31 and 30 in that picture. Yes, we named them before thinking about the consequences of how together, they made up an outlaw.
Thinking now, of my glorious daughter, the one that gave me more "I thought it would be fun" as an answer than both of my boys combined.
She's getting married this November. She told me, "It was all those times you said, 'what was your intention' mom. I had to finally ask him (her fiancé) the same thing. I was like, 'omigod, I'm becoming my mom' so thank you ... "
As she plans her wedding, it's becoming this amazing event, at an amazing venue, and she's got it detailed all the way down to decent parking. Which is typically insane in Seattle. My heart rises into my throat, my eyes become watery and I'm not even chopping onions. Mostly because she thought of parking. That's my girl.
Isn't she lovely?
There was a time I thought she needed an exorcism.
I miss my oldest though. So very and deeply much. We're not supposed to have favorites, but I do. I tell each of my kids that they are my favorite. It's my hope that when I'm golfing with God, they will have that argument, "Mom said I was her favorite."
That's my intention.
It's my intention that they will be able to remember the good AND the bad with clear vision and their own version of how it "went down".
From late night phone calls by the local police station when my oldest was picked up walking down the center of a deserted road barefoot in the middle of winter, while it was snowing. He was singing Creed songs at the top of his lungs and inebriated because his girlfriend broke up with him in his senior year, to my storming into the principal's office threatening to bring down hellfire because the paddling law was still in effect in Ohio.
There's a symmetry to all of this when I look at this picture. "What was your intention?" I ask myself when I think of why I wanted children. After all the hell I went through as a child I wanted to bring children into this world?
Because I wanted to break the cycle.
That beautiful child in the center of me and his uncle James, is my first Grandchild. He's amazing and almost didn't make it. He and his mother damn near died when he came into this world and I was able to spend most of his first year with him.
Now, from time to time, I hear his father, my oldest son, in the background of a phone call or a zoom session, "What were you thinking?!" I remind him that's not the question to ask.
→ What was or is your intention.← And, finally ... are we having fun yet?
Most of the time, we are.
Giant thanks to SilverBloggers for the chance to create an archive of memories and thoughts for generations to come.
All images are mine, unless otherwise noted.