Pizza party in the rain

Pizza party in the rain

It was kind of a hold-your-breath and hope that everyone naps, where’s the chocolate, Shawn’s out of town, solo parent, “Is this wet from water or pee?”, loses her patience because someone asked for ice (really? Ice?) AGAIN!!!! kind of morning. That’s not the kind of mom I wanted to be. The kind of mom who feels frazzled and exhausted. But the 24/7-ness of caring for and raising these girls and loving them well is freaking exhausting on the best of days. And I wouldn’t trade it for the WORLD. This is everything we wanted, even when it’s hard. Just because we wanted babies for so many years, didn’t mean we came into this naïve that things would be all lullabies and cuddles. But still, some days humanity gets in the way (ours, theirs) and it’s hard.
So when I knew Sweet Mother Theresa with a crown of daisies upon her head was coming to babysit while I went to my Legacy meeting (women of all ages studying the Bible together), I was more than ready!
She even came early so I could sit alone in a coffee shop like a statue with a stack of books, but too enamored with the quiet to actually read.
When the time came for her to come, the rains came down hard and fast. San Angelo has been in a drought, so we welcome the rain with open arms and a silent whisper of thanks to the One who sent it.
But the rains came faster than the streets could keep up with, and the big Texas trucks flew around me, unamused that my tires were weak and tired, and unsympathetic to my nerves growing behind the wheel.
I made it to the coffee shop, but I was too nervous thinking about how I could get all the way to where I needed to go. I tried more than once to get back out on the loop, but water was rushing and I was too nervous to go all that way, unsure of where exactly I was going, and how high the water would get.
I kept trying, but my nerves would take over, feeling a slight hydroplane here and there, and seeing those Big Texas trucks flying up in my rearview mirror.
Finally I pulled over in a nearby neighborhood in tears. THIS is my night away! The sitter is there! But I can’t get to my meeting, I’m just too unsure of myself, the tires, the water, the situation. But I don’t want to go home. Shawn was in Tampa but texted a quick, “Call Wendy.” So I did. I called Wendy, rain making it hard to hear. “Hey. I’m in your neighborhood. I was going to go to my Legacy meeting but I can’t get there, there’s too much water on the road. But I have a babysitter and don’t want to go home.” Not one moment passed in time before she said, “Come on girl.” So I did just that.
It was the evening I needed. It made me feel so special to come in from the pouring rain, to be given a big hug, both of us noting that we do best with the spontaneous. “Maybe we should order pizza!” she said.
A pizza party, yes. 100%. Let’s do it. She made a wedge salad in a matter of minutes, cracking the head of lettuce to remove the core, adding bacon, apple slices, candied walnuts, and bleu cheese dressing to top it all off. There’s something in my soul that loves to be in the kitchen watching someone else cook. Especially when I’m there as the guest. I guess it takes me back to when my grandparents had me, just me, one of five, over for dinner and a sleepover. They were both there to listen and talk to ME! In my current season of serve, serve, care, care, if felt so good to have someone else ask if I want ice. To ask if I wanted a blanket while we sat on the couch watching the majestic animals walk across the desert. Wendy’s husband came home with the pizza, started a fire, gave me an update on the rain so that I’d know if I could get home okay, and then we sat around talking and laughing for the next few hours.
It’s a story of a spontaneous pizza party with friends who opened their doors to a friend who happened to be stuck in their neighborhood in a flood, flooded with nerves, and overwhelmed from a long day of self getting in the way of selfless love. It’s a story of hospitality.
In Africa, everyone was always dropping by (and then staying for hours and hours), and wanting us to stop by. Even if people were eating their meal outside, gathered around a communal bowl of rice, it was rude for them to not invite you over to share with them. It was rude for you to not stop. That’s communal living. It was sometimes a bit much for us Westerners, but now there are many times I miss it. I miss someone stopping by, I miss the known open invitation that we are always welcome to stop by.
So this is my invitation to you to stop by. We all need community. And it doesn’t always have to be planned and worked around nap time and when my floors were last mopped (probably last June). If my house is a wreck and my girls are in whatever state they’re in, all the better. Because that’s life, and you have no choice but to take us as we are. And we will certainly, always take you as you are. We’ll order pizza. And wings. And bread sticks. And if I have the stuff I’ll make you a wedge salad. (But full disclosure, I probably won’t have the stuff.) But I’ll definitely make sure you have a glass of ice for your drink.


One thought on “Pizza party in the rain

  1. Wow, Jennifer!! I needed to read everything you wrote!! Thank you!! I so appreciate your transparency and your encouragement…I love you dearly!! Ann

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