I’ve been thinking a lot lately about children.
On Faceook I’ve been reading about your children, your grandchildren, what life is like with them and how they changed your lives. It is amazing, isn’t it, what the laughter of a child can do for your spirit? I look back at the pictures of my two sons when they were knee high to anybodies idea of a grasshopper, and I can’t help but smile.
Sure, there were times when I didn’t think I was going to survive their childhood … the broken bones, the not knowing where they were — and believe me, that five minutes was the longest five minutes in my life, Michael. I remember the things they got up to that made me want to pound my head against the wall one minute and hug the bugs out of them the next.
But you see, what brought me to this was something Arianna, my granddaughter, said to me the other day. She saw “the Purple People Eater” in the China closet and asked who had made it, her daddy or her Uncle Wallace. I remembered that it was her Uncle Wallace (her Daddy’s brother) because one day he had remarked that I had his ugly little sculpture piece in with the “good stuff.”
He didn’t realize that what he called ugly I found wonderful, and it was as good as any “good” piece in the collection of “good stuff”. At first glance it could look like an elephant, but on second glance the horns coming out of the top of the piece and the swirls of color on the squat square little body identify it for what it is. It’s a Flying Purple People Eater. With one big eye. I have hand prints in the shape of turkeys from both the boys and shelves they made in the third and fourth grades. I have the homemade Christmas cards they made in Sunday School, the Mother’s Day cards and the papers they wrote. Because they are precious to me. These were the things they did for us as they grew into themselves.
My sister Toni was telling me about a poem her son Alex had written her and put into a card he had made. She said he kept saying it wasn’t good enough but since he had no money, it was the best he could do. Here is the poem written by Alex Bush to his mother. It’s beautiful.
“A Time to Remember”
The first steps,
The years went by,
The lessons went on,
Sown together, like weaving,
One day, I’ll
Get up and go,
But never really leaving …
When I first read it, it brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my heart. But then I laughed and told Toni that he gets this talent from his Aunt Sandi. I’m only half joking. It makes me so proud to see the young people in our family use their God given talent to make the ones who love them, and whom they love, happy.
So, I urge you to keep that one chest available for the gifts from your children. They will mean even more to you when they’re grown and on their own. You may have no idea what joy these little things can bring you years after the event. Just wait. The best is yet to come.