Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Growing Children

The baby hadn't gotten her nap out, and she cried nearly the whole time. She wanted to run in the road. She wanted to jump in the stream. What she did not want to do was garden. I didn't blame her; the sun was blazing overhead. I tried to slip her sweater off her shoulders, which angered her even more.

Can you see it? Look carefully.

Never mind; I know you can't. At this point, I can't even prove it unless I pull in eye witnesses.

When my children look back at my photos, they will remember only this: we gardened on a beautiful day, once, with our papaw.

So I submit to you: sometimes the truth--especially the whole truth--doesn't matter. Children are unpredictable. Very often, they're also a pain in the hiney butt. I wonder, sometimes, why I seem to be collecting them.

Then I remember a millisecond of panic at the lake, last summer, when I counted and came up one short. They were all there, but they weren't, so I whispered: "Just one more, Lord, please."

I don't have children because they're cute and fun; sometimes they are, but sometimes they're really not. I have children because I feel called to grow them.

Whatever I do or don't, at any given moment, my children are as apt to disappoint as to delight. Still, I can't help but believe: what matters, most, is that my family is complete and together. And I think that will matter most even if I forget the stories behind the pictures...even if, God forbid, I forget the very people in them.

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