Tuesday, June 2, 2015

{These Days Are Ours}

"Guess what's on Hulu now!" I couldn't guess, but judging by the gleam in his eye, I knew I'd be just as pleased as Jamie. "Happy Days!" We laughed as our minds flooded with Happy Days memories and we definitely looked forward to catching an episode or two (or three) as soon as the kids were tucked in bed that night.

The memories were vivid. We'd been married for just a few months when we were both knocked down with mono. Jamie was especially wiped out. It was pathetic and a rather dark and odd way to begin a marriage, but we made the most of it. Our tiny apartment came with cable, so we had plenty of diverting television options from which to choose. Mostly we decided on Happy Days and I Love Lucy

We folded out our 90s plaid hide-a-bed couch (I can still remember the pride I felt when our landlord commented on how cleverly I had arranged our couch to create an office space in our minuscule living room), sprawled lethargically in front of the tube, and let the light-hearted stories carry us away from the despair of a dreary, lengthy illness. Friends and family brought us meals. We sprawled and watched Happy Days. (Did I mention how pathetic we were?)

We laugh and roll our eyes when we think back on those days, almost nineteen years ago now. And I fully anticipated laughing once again when we pulled up an episode the other night. The credits began, that record flipped into view, the theme song started . . . and my eyes filled with tears. "We were so young," I suddenly croaked, starting to choke up. A sob threatened. "Now we have four kids and one of them is in college! They . . . text!" (Somehow that seemed big at the moment.) "How did that even happen?!?" I'm sure Jamie wondered how Happy Days could suddenly become so . . . well, sad. (On second thought, scratch that. He's used to me crying at the drop of a hat.)

My mind started to spiral and suddenly all I could focus on was the change that time had wrought and the (seemingly) negative emotions associated with that. Hard decisions, teens, social media, computers, music, driving, school, movies, relationships, texting, grades . . . it was so much easier (wasn't it?) when the only decision I had to make was whether to mash a banana or dish up some applesauce for the baby's lunch.

But that theme song -- you know the words -- that theme song brought me back to a Truth I've known and need to keep on knowing: "These days are ours." These days -- the days of our kids experiencing high school and cars and friends and social change -- these days are just as much "ours" as the days when we were in our early 20s, down with mono, slurping chicken noodle soup.

These days are gifts, every single one of them. 

Seussical! Photo by Carolyn Nichols

In which they decide to bake me a cake for Mother's Day

I forced my mind to refocus. I forced my mind to see the gifts. My girl recently in a culture parade, wearing a dress that she and her Noni made. (The highlight of the parade for sister: riding on a school bus for the first time!)


My kids going to the homeschool spring formal . . . and Bethie asking if she could wear my prom dress . . . the dress my mom made for me . . . it was Jamie's senior prom . . . and the way Bethie visited with me long into the night after the dance. These days are ours.

Little sister watching big sister get ready for the dance in a (very fleeting) Norman Rockwell moment. These days are ours.

Little sister being . . . little sister . . . and still always catching us off guard with the unexpected.

The others were washing the van . . .

The boys playing basketball, throwing a football, trying to learn how to play Spikeball, a new game introduced by our family in Slovenia . . . all gifts. These days are ours.

The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.
~Louisa May Alcott~

Bethie's sweet surprise for Avery. (Photo by Carolyn Nichols.)

We've watched several more Happy Days episodes now. The theme song still causes my eyes to well up because I know it to be true. Not that life has changed and because of that everything is mournful and sad, but that life is still good, even in the change. That the Giver of Life is still faithful and true, that "these days are ours," and that He is the one who sings, "Share them with me." 

Oh, what beautiful, grace-filled, happy days these are.       

Pin It


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...