September 30, 2010
Yesterday I had to make a trip into town to run a few errands.
Having a large family means that I am never short of someone to accompany me to town!
As soon as I start to put on "nice" clothes or brush my hair the question comes...."Are you going somewhere?" And not just once, or twice, but many, many times :) And then guess what the next question is???? CAN I COME????
I love it that I always have someone that wants to come with me. But what I don't love is the fact that I have to choose WHO comes along! Because our truck only seats 5 to 6 people. So they can't all come. So I have to weigh out all the variables. What will I be doing, who will be able to stay in the vehicle alone if I have to run in somewhere quickly.....and a host of other things.
Well this was the case yesterday. I had 5 children who verbally expressed the desire to come with me to town. And I'm sure there were others who couldn't/didn't express their desire!!! So picture this. Five dark brown eyes pleading.....CAN I COME????? Who to choose??? I don't like choosing! It was at that moment that I realized that I don't often take the boys with me. Not sure why...I just don't. Maybe it is because when I look at them and see their dirty faces, dirty clothes, and dirty almost every other visible place....I think it will be too much work to clean them up???? Or maybe it's because I have some job that I think is soooo pressing.....Pathetic, I know. It's amazing how much more pathetic some excuses seem when you write them down :(
But yesterday was different. When I looked at those boys brown eyes....I couldn't refuse them. So they came with me. But first I laid down the law.....I AM TAKING NO DIRTY BOYS TO TOWN. CLEAN UP!!! It's been a long time since I have seen them clean up so fast :) Obviously they were excited!!
Once they were squeaky clean it was off to town we went. We didn't do anything exciting. Got some stuff for the farm, the mail, some groceries, thrift shop.....They came in with me everywhere. And you know what???? I had a great time with them! Their boyish energy made me energized, their "intellectual" conversation made me giggle, their deep questions made me think, their God honouring actions made me proud.
And so yesterday I was reminded once again. It's often not the big things that make an impression in our children's hearts. It's often the little things. The things that we can decide in an instant to do or not to do. Those little things often involve time or a little extra energy.....but once again I am reminded it is worth it. Because one day these boys will be living on their own and Lord willing have a family of their own, and the opportunity to make these daily memories will be gone.
Having children can make life very, very busy. So busy that many times I let the day go by without taking the time and energy to "make a memory". It doesn't take much. How do I know? Because I listen to our oldest children talk about their memories of when they were younger. And it always amazes me that it is usually something that I did not think was a big deal at the time....but to them it is a special memory! Sometimes our children will talk about a special memory and Mark and I will look at each other and think, "REALLY?" Because it's never something big or expensive.....it's usually just something that took a few minutes of extra time or effort. Simple really.
We live in a society today that says everything needs to be bigger and better. Well I'm here to tell you that is just not true! Often it's the little seemingly insignificant things that are better. Better for you as a parent and better for your children!
So next time I go to town or do something else seemingly insignificant....I will try not to think of my inconveniences...but rather think of the memories that can be made in that moment. And I will look forward to the day they are grown and come home to visit and say.....REMEMBER WHEN? To which I will answer, "Yes, I remember"and will have the satisfaction of knowing our days together were not wasted but part of a very special time that we will never be able to live again.....MEMORIES!