It started about 5 summers ago I think. A sweet, and VERY pregnant, member of a young couples Sunday school class my husband and I taught asked if she could visit me during the week and spend some time in our pool. This was the start of what would become known as Tuesday With Teri (The event from which this blog gets its name) . With her encouragement I invited others from the class to visit our home and pool each Tuesday, 10am-2pm.
Every Monday evening Scott would clean the pool and treat the water in preparation for our Tuesday guests. Each Tuesday morning I would sweep the back deck, put up the umbrellas and clear away any spider webs built in the night. In addition to the pool, we would set up a small kiddie pool with a tent over it for shade. Swim rings would be inspected for leaks and inflated as needed, extra towels and sunscreen would be set aside and I would place a small step stool in the powder room so tiny hands could reach the faucet. The prep for each Tuesday was always easy. I would look forward to my visitors as I enjoyed my morning coffee.
Each family would bring their own lunches and snacks. The only food I provided was in the form of perhaps the most inexpensive summer treat of all time, POP ICES! Yep, long tubes of frozen goodness in unnatural fruit colors and flavors were a HUGE hit. After most of the kids had taken a break from the pool to eat some lunch, I would bring out a tray filled with POP ICES. I loved letting them pick their favorite color and marveled at how well behaved they were when trying to wait their turn. It must have been hard. I watched as they learned to share, be patient and make choices on their own. For nothing more than a pop ice, they honored me with their companionship, sat with me on our stairs and often shared sweet conversation.
I loved seeing the moms care for one another’s kids and their needs throughout the day. They were always supportive and encouraging. I have felt much admiration watching these moms navigate motherhood with such grace and love. Throughout my summers of Tuesdays with Teri, I saw young families grow and moms becoming confident parents. I am thankful to my friends who came to lend helping hands to the moms and to give us another set of eyes keeping watch over the kids in the pool.
I had the privilege of holding babies, visiting with moms and playing with their kids in the pool. I was able to get to know each family better and met new friends each season. I spent uncountable hours gladly responding to shouts of “watch me Miss Teri!” and being amazed at the courage of these kids as they discovered new capabilities and tried new things. I adored the way little ones would cling to me until they felt confident in their life vest or arm floats. These days will always be precious to me.
Some days there were only a couple of families, many days there were too many to count, always there was just enough. Some days were rainy and we’d put on a movie while the moms sipped coffee. Some days it felt as if the pool would explode under the chaotic commotion. Some days there would be a time when a burden could be shared, a tear shed, a heart encouraged or a concern eased. All days there was laughter, giggles and pop ices.
No amount of splashing, shouting or laughing was too much! After every Tuesday, the house and back deck would literally sigh and slide into an eerie quiet. As I gathered up pool toys, deflated rings and floats, Hughie, my porky little Yorkie, would scour the crevices of the deck boards for remnants of goldfish crackers and cookies.
I am forever changed because of these Tuesdays which God brought into my life. I count myself beyond blessed to have felt the joy of hearing little ones squeal my name, smile at me, hold my hand, and love me with a love only a child can bestow. I can never thank these sweet moms sufficiently. They have shared their families with me and allowed me to be a part of their children’s summertime memories.
This is the final “Tuesday with Teri” at our pool. We are moving this month. My heart is aching at the thought of quiet Tuesdays and still waters, but I am comforted in knowing that God has more than blessed me.
To all my moms and your sweet kiddos, those present and those who have moved far away….thank you is not enough….I have every splash, squeal and giggle ingrained in my heart. As your little ones continue to grow into the amazing young adults I know they will be, may you continue to treasure them and remember, whether they actually ever say it out loud or not, they are always thinking “watch me….!”
I am confident that the God who brought me to this day, and filled my Tuesdays with so much joy, will continue to care for the families I have grown to love. I will continue to always pray for you all that you may….
“…..grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and in the day of eternity. Amen” 2Peter 3:18