I didn’t think it would happen.
I thought I had it all under control.
I figured, I’d just pull the cross-country captains aside plus my own two children. It would be a business-like meeting. Just the facts. No feelings.
Jody and I regularly open our house to Juan Jose’ and Crystel’s friends and their sport teams. Our swimming pool is ideal for an ‘end of a run’ swim.
What we don’t want is any dunking or kids pushing one another into the pool. When things get reckless, people can get hurt.
The solution was simple. Bring the captains and my own kids together, and spell out their responsibility.
However, things didn’t go as planned.
The coach called on me to speak.
I scanned the crowd. Adults, teen and middle school cross-country runners, younger brothers and sisters. All of us gathered for a barbecue at Augsburg Park in Richfield.
Crystel told me later that she knew it was going to happen.
Jody, Juan Jose’ and Crystel have a detector for my overwhelming emotions. Usually it will be Juan that says, “You’re crying, aren’t you?”
Any matter-of-factness I had ran out of the park when I eyeballed their friends and teammates, and I contemplated just for a moment losing any one of them to a drowning.
I paused a number of times during my ‘welcome to our home but I don’t want to go to a funeral’ speech. Even so I ended up weeping.
My tears are a gift from Juan Jose’ and Crystel. They broke me apart with love when they came into my life. I haven’t been able to put myself together since.
I really did it this time, I thought. No one will want to go to that lady’s house. She’ll start crying.
“Don’t worry about my crying,” I said. “Juan Jose’ and Crystel know I cry all the time.”
The group laughed.
Thing is, I do cry all the time. What a gift.
I just don’t intend to share it so openly.
We will just have to see if the teams come around.