When I was a little girl, I would spend my summer days playing with my brother. Our afternoons weren’t full of fashion plates and Barbie dolls. There were no baby doll feedings, easy bake oven brownies or playing office with pretend typewriters. There were however hours of hot wheels, and Legos and our favorite game…war. We would spend hours setting up our battle stations, building our forts, and strategizing how we would win the impending battle. As we dug old tires and cardboard boxes out of the garage we would attract attention from other kids in the neighborhood. Before we knew it, every kid within a mile radius under the age of 10 was at our house devising evil plans to destroy one another in our game. It was as if the bat signal of sorts would appear above our house notifying everyone that “War” was being planned.
We spent hours picking sides to be on and planning. We spent hours building hiding places and drawing strategic plans on the palm of our hands with our index finger. We would use any and every resource we could locate from anyone’s garage. Old paint cans, rusted metal rakes, boxes and old tires. We were quite inventive and thorough. As it turns out, no matter how many times we played this, the end result was still the same. Whatever team my brother was on, won. It never mattered how stellar the other sides defense was nor if my brothers team even had a weapon among them. They…always…won. If all else failed, my brother would pull an imaginary grenade out of his back pocket and in a matter of seconds, his enemy was destroyed. Someone from the losing side (otherwise known as my side) would always say the same thing, “Can we start over?”, and we would.
Do you know how many times I’ve wanted to say that phrase? There are so many days when I say something stupid, or do something stupid, or assume something that isn’t true, or overthink a situation, (I know you are all shocked by that one) or not be the person God wants me to be. Sometimes I just want to turn to the person beside me and say “Can we start this day over?” There are going to be days when I’m going to screw up, and in this girls all go-no stop way, you want to bet that screw up is going to be big. There are going to be times when I’m flying my crazy flag tall and proud, and I’m going to have perfect strangers handing me business cards of counselors and psychologists. There are times when I’m going to verbal vomit articulate devastating venom, and other times when I won’t say what’s on my mind. I’m going to at times be selfish and ego centric. I’m going to mess things up sometimes. I’m hoping that through the Grace filled love of God, and of the people around me, that I can just “start over”. There are going to be days when all I can say is “I’m sorry, let’s start over.”
The one thing about all those games of war is that I rarely lost the same way twice. Every time I lost, I learned something. I got better and better each and every time. I knew what mistakes and faulty strategic plans would fail. I knew what not to do, and although there were times when I would fall into the rut of doing it anyway, I would immediately know we needed to start over. I became one of the best strategic backyard war planners in the one mile radius, and I knew that no matter what happened, I should always be carrying a few invisible grenades in my back pocket.