This week has been one of those crazy schedule weeks with each kid coming and going to different places at different times. In the early afternoon, I have a period of about 90 minutes that I have to kill and Charlie's basketball camp is too far from home and my office to justify going all the way to either place and then coming back to get him.
So being the outgoing (read: pushy) person that I am, I invited myself over to a friend's house for those 90 minutes yesterday. She's got the most awesome front porch and a whole slew of rocking chairs on it just asking to be sat in and enjoyed.
Being the sweet (read: sweet, really) person she is, she said "come on over!" and even had homemade chocolate frosted brownies for Robbie and I to enjoy.
One of the great things about hanging out at Ann's house is that it is totally kid-tested and kid- approved. She and her husband have raised 10 children, ranging in age from 35 to almost 11. So I don't worry (much) about my kids leaving fingerprints or dropping crumbs or whatever.
Yesterday while we were visiting, one of Ann's daughters -- who happened to be my kids' summer sitter for the past couple of years -- came home on her lunch break.
"Did you fix me lunch?," she asked her mom.
"Yep," said Ann. "Open the fridge. There's some cottage cheese in there. Lunch."
But when the same daughter was leaving to go back to work, Ann called to her "Make good choices! Be a blessing!"
I thought that was a great send off and told Ann I thought so. When I was growing up, my dad would drop us off at school and always tell us "Say a prayer for me, I'll say one for you." I still remember that and I'm sure Ann's kids will remember her admonitions as well.
She said she's always said that to the kids, along with "Be a gentleman," when the boys would go off on a date. (Her son apparently hated that because he said he always had to think of her saying that while he was out with his girlfriend. My friend is no dummy!).
After we'd left her house, I posted a message on Ann's Facebook page, thanking her for her hospitality. She replied:
"You are welcome to come and rock anytime! Make good choices. Be a blessing."
Now, whether she said that to me tongue-in-cheek, I'm not sure. But it did give me a bit of pause.
"Make good choices. Be a blessing."
Certainly they are good words of guidance from a mother to her children. But as I thought about them, they are equally -- and maybe more -- powerful from one friend to another, from wife to her husband (or vice versa). We all ought to be about encouraging one another to choose good over evil, to live our lives so that our actions are a blessing to those around us.
Besides, who I am to argue with a woman who has 10 kids?