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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Lake Day?

October Lake 1

This is too good to be true. This – October 11, and we spent the afternoon on the lake, pulling boys on tubes! They hung on for dear life, knowing the water beneath them was frigid, but it was worth every white-knuckle minute. They didn’t even try to hide their delight.

What a miraculously long stretch of summer we’ve enjoyed here in Minnesota, and I am soaking up every minute. A couple of days ago I heard someone complain that they were wishing for sweater-weather. Goodness. Isn’t there plenty of that and more on its way? I, for one, am giddy to be basking, still, in all this sun.

Lately everyone’s been asking. How is it going? And we know what IT means. Us. Our family. School starting. Church planting. Boys moving in, and boys moving out. Marriage and adoption and seasons of change. How is IT going?

And today, for the record, I’d like to say. All things considered. It’s very good.

This weekend, alone, chockfull of good. Homecoming at BU, and all of us together at a football game. Grant and Kiana, too. And Luke, with his new Bethel girlfriend – and I must admit, I’m loving that. Nils, Felipe and Jimmy enjoyed a soccer win Saturday morning, and then joined us briefly in the BU stands. Enough to say they saw their cousin – Bethel’s freshmen starting quarterback – leading his team to a Homecoming win. But they don’t sit still long. Just like old times, the younger boys prefer playing their own games on the sidelines to watching the real thing. And Felipe impresses the spectating crowd with “124 record-breaking soccer ball juggles.”

And if that’s not enough good-ness. At halftime they gave out championship rings for last year’s BU baseball team, Grant and his buddies together again, celebrating. They played the audio from the conference-winning game. Grant’s walk-off hit – and “they’re mobbing Grant Anderson on the field!!” What a gift, these memories. More than any of us deserve.

Last week at school there were mid-term reports for boys, and grades are good, too. Amazing. How well they’re doing with all this change, and so much to learn. And, yes. There are days when it’s hard, still. But it’s good.

Nils wrote a paper for his English class, and he asked me to proof it. An autobiography about the change in his family. He told the story honest. It’s been hard. Yes. Harder than expected. His “perfect family turned inside out.” I’m glad he could say it the way he did. This story isn’t a fairy tale.

And yet. Nils, just lately, has been my true test. I watch him to see how we’re doing. I pay close attention. Is he okay? He seems to be happy. Settled. At peace with himself and with life. So in spite of the struggles, I think he’s doing it. Like all of us. Finding our way to joy.

There are still days. Kyle especially carries the burden. Grieves the loss, and dreads the future. The weight of responsibility falls on him. Is this just the load of being a dad?

We weren’t planning on going to the lake yesterday. Too much homework. Too much to do. But I said to Kyle before heading to church. “Come on. Let’s do it. Let’s NOT be responsible today.” He chuckled – that’s a switch.

And it was exactly the right thing to do.

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