Yesterday I took Liv on a wagon ride. She loved it. She always loves it. I pulled the wagon into the garage and shut the garage door and tried to bring her inside. She refused. She just kept repeating, "More wagon ride," over and over and over. I told her the wagon ride was clearly over and that we had other things to do like bubble bath, books, and songs. She refused to move. I tried a classic parenting technique and said that I was leaving and going inside thinking that the threat of her staying in garage isolation would instantly prompt her to get up. It failed. 2 min later when I checked on her she repeated with even more zeal, "More wagon ride." I took this picture over 10 minutes later. She hadn't moved and was adamant about sitting in the wagon, refusing to believe that the ride was really over. I thought about how lately I have been doing that. How even though a season of life is past, or the "wagon ride" is over, I keep mentally sitting in the wagon.
The mission wagon ride was unlike anything else and sometimes a certain smell will take me back Puyo Ecuador, or I will hear Spanish in the grocery store and want so badly to go back to the simple life of just preaching, loving, teaching, itching lice and enjoying having nothing to do but the thing that mattered most.
Lately when I am singing along with all the "Wiggles" songs, and watching Sesame street reruns and I already know the number of the day before Elmo announces it and my nursing bra is irritating, I miss being able to work as a nurse and be around adults and have a paycheck and a badge where I could check out after a certain number of hours.
I think as long as I live I will always miss this job more than any other wagon ride I've been on in life. Teaching seminary was the greatest, most fun privilege I could have imagined for a job. I miss laughing in Kay's office. I miss being around teenagers. I miss feeling the spirit and testifying all day. I miss laughing so hard that it hurt because I worked with the funniest most amazing people I have ever met on Earth.
There's nothing like the single adulthood ride. There's no one to worry about but yourself. I loved having money, going on trips when I felt like it with whoever was game to whatever country sounded fun. Now I get overwhelmed thinking about a trip to the grocery store. I miss having crazy experiences and being so free to do anything that sounds fun without thinking about babysitters or budget. I remember staying up all night and feeling like sleep was a waste of time because there was too many fun things going on to shut my eyes.
And as annoying as living with 6 menstruating moody women can be, there is nothing as fun as having women to analyze and discuss every detail with until you couldn't stay awake any longer.
Thinking about all these phases or "wagon rides" in my life made me realize how silly it is to wish that I could transport back to any of them when they are over. They are apart of who I am and the season of life I am in is another ride that I am going to miss if am I constantly just sitting in the garage waiting to go back when life has moved on. Just like Liv was going to miss a sweet bubble bath and books if she sat all night in garage thinking about how fun her wagon ride was. Every ride is good, every ride is hard and every ride is to be enjoyed while it is going on, but when it's over, it's time to get out of the wagon. I'm so blessed and I don't want to miss the ride I'm currently on....