Friday, February 17, 2012

Glitter and Globs of Toothpaste

It's Friday, my last day of watching grandkids while their parents are otherwise occupied. We've done schoolwork that included reading Winnie the Pooh, copy work, phonics, verse recitation, a day of massive art projects, baking and frosting cupcakes (I don't know what subject that one falls under but they sure did have fun with the sprinkles!). We've chased chickens, fed dogs, gotten showers, brushed teeth, ridden in the car with a ten year old telling me which lane to be in, and when to turn. We've gone out for ice cream on a cold day, but that doesn't seem to really factor in with little kids.

I've had so many funny moments - fabulous blog fodder except that I forgot it with the next funny thing that happened. That's what it's like raising little people - the moments stick together into one big lump, so that when you look back you remember a moment or two; you remember what it felt like to lay your hand on their forehead and feel a fever and pray over it; to be handed pictures covered with markers that ran together, and every stick figure looks the same til the five year old explains it all to you - and the telling takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

I'm blessed to revisit this time, this season, in my life.  The first time was a blur. We had kids at home from 1976 to 2001 - a long time if you count the years, but it felt more like race cars flying around the track so that the colors all blended together, and before I knew it they were waving the flag and the race was over. Now I get to come back, do it a bit more slowly, growl a lot less, rarely raise my voice, and certainly no spankings. Just telling one that I'm disappointed causes tears to run down the face so that I end up feeling worse than the guilty party does.

Twenty years later it's a blessing to cover the kitchen table with glitter and glue and not overly care that the floor is a mess. That there is a sheen to the rug that may never completely disappear. To tell them to get dressed, we're heading out, and they end up wearing a wild combination of colors that will possibly turn heads, but who cares. Not them. Not me. We can't fuss with such minor trivialities - every day together is an adventure, for them, for me, and we can't be bothered with stuff like matching outfits.

Twenty years ago, when I was knee deep in raising little people, it would have taken a hard sales pitch to convince me that rounding up everyone for tooth brushing, then cleaning the big, blue globs out of the sink was a passing blessing. But I know that now. That knowing is a gift in itself. 

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