Saturday, June 24, 2017

Memory-making & Celebrations

June remains (traditionally) the month of celebrations.  Graduations, Father's Day, vacations and weddings.

Last Sunday we planned to celebrate the guy who serves as the key foundational figure of our growing tribe:  Frank Hawley!
  • He was the ideal daddy for our three little girls.  
  • He loved them lavishly through their teen years.  
  • He encouraged their early flights from our nest. 
  • He cheers them as adults. 
  • He walks tall as the embracing "father" to our "sons."   
  • As pastor, he has given countless daddy hugs.
  • He has listened as surrogate father to more struggles than can be counted.  

Father's Day was designed with men like him in mind!

So, of course, we wanted to make a memory by giving him the perfect celebration expressing how much we appreciate all he does.

Plans were made days in advance. (The young dads are celebrated by their own families during Sunday lunch.  Daddy/Papa is honored during the evening meal.) The menu was set on Wednesday.   Kristin came by to decorate Saturday afternoon.  I started cooking Saturday morning. Meagan and Joy prepared their dishes around naps and baby bedtimes.

Can't you just hear the angelic chorus rising in five-part harmony as Dad walks into the dining room?

Only, that's not how it happened!

We're a close family.  We all love one another dearly.  We all had the same objective - honoring Dad. But we are also - ALL HUMAN BEINGS!

There were a LOT of obstacles that came up as we gathered for our memory-making event:

  • My huge platter of Greek chicken and potatoes didn't cook as quickly as I'd hoped.  So when everyone arrived, the oven was still going strong.  It's Florida, folks.  Once a house gets hot and you add twelve more bodies, the temperature just keeps climbing.
  • One aunt was accidentally whacked in the back of the head by one of my perfect grandchildren who was joyfully waving around a tall box.
  • Little boys don't always close the door entirely as they dash through on their way to the back yard.  (Did I mention the house was already hot?)
  • A rather loud discussion was taking place between the sons.  Who each know they're right on nearly every subject you bring up.  They have only to convince the other two.
  • One daughter was opening and closing cabinets trying to find the right dish for serving her sides.
  • I hadn't finished wrapping my gift for Frank so I kept trying to slip off to the spare bedroom discreetly.  (Refer back to point three about little boys who also like to explore.)
  • Ava woke up just as we got ready to pray and she was HUNGRY.  Or WET.  Or BOTH. Babies intuitively know they aren't expected to be patient yet, so she told us.  Loudly!
By the time I took my seat and looked down our long, cramped table to catch sight of Frank seated at the other end, I was concerned.  What if he felt disappointed by the chaos we were calling his celebration?  But the smile on his face dispelled any questions I had.

Frank understands, it's the imperfections that make each family gathering so wonderful.  He saw me looking and gave me a wink.  I relaxed.

Tell the truth, isn't it most often the "disasters" you remember and laugh about with friends and family?  The camping trip that was rained out.  The wedding bouquet that was tossed over everyone's head.  The stumble while walking in the graduation line.  The suitcases that took a different flight. The keynote speaker who called in sick.  The list goes on but you get the idea.

Our Father's Day celebration could have taken a bad turn at any moment had we all expected it to be flawless.  But when you study the most beautiful fabrics, you quickly discover they're lovely because of the various flaws not in spite of them.  

As you approach your own celebrations this summer, try not to be frustrated with the imperfections. Instead, watch for the beautiful fabric that will result from all the imperfect humans participating. Relax.  You're making memories!

We'd all love to hear about one of your favorite "imperfect memory moments."  Just click the comment button below and share it with us.




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