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Friday, July 20, 2012

Simple pleasures (children)….

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Ephesians 6:1 (NIV)

This was the first scripture our children memorized, and the very thought of it (now that they are no longer small) brings a smile to my face and my heart. Today’s simple pleasure was entirely unanticipated. It came in the form of a blessing in the rain.
 Image from The Black Children’s Institute of Tennessee
(not my babies, but beautiful, nonetheless)

I no longer mother babies. We have a teen with her first summer job and a tween so mature and wise that I see his father in him daily. While I no longer mother babies, there are still the occasional squabbles and skirmishes that accompany children in the between years. I know they love each other even if they don’t always behave that way. Today they acted in love.

I had to retrieve the teen from work early as her day was curtailed by inclement weather. Natural (haired) girls, we don’t ordinarily run from storms, but there was thunder and lightning and a steady drumming of rain. We conversed amiably in the car. Nobody said anything, but she and I were content to wait it out.

Out comes my young man with an umbrella and concerned eyes. He heard the car pull into the driveway, and took it upon himself to come to our rescue. I could see the love in his big sister’s eyes, he caring for her, her graciously accepting the gesture. He walked her to the front door, ushered her in safely, and came back for me. My simple pleasure.

I will carry this image for the next time they are about to throttle one another, or I am ready to throttle them both. I will carry this image for when they are older, out of the house, away pursuing their lives. I will carry this image as the simple, unexplained pleasure it was to me, on a day that was already filled with simple joy. I will carry this image, as I carried each of them, under my heart, now and forever. A simple reminder that He loaned these very precious treasures to us, for only a little while. A simple reminder that God is good.

On Children, from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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