I remember being in high school and wondering what life would hold for me, and I yearned with deep longing for life to catch up to my dreams. One of my favorite songs the year I was a senior in high school was Sting’s “Fields of Gold”–that was in the days before I realized how profoundly what I listened to affected my thinking. The feeling that song evoked in me was one of looking back over life and seeing the golden years–and I knew back then that those years were somewhere in the future.
This morning as we drove to church, that song again came to my mind, and I realized that in this moment–here and now–I AM living in my fields of gold. This is the time in my life I will someday look back upon with fondness and longing–the days when my children were all about me and the house was a mess and I received sweet home-made cards for Mother’s Day. So often I get wrapped up in the “every-day-ness” of my life, and I forget that these are the golden years. I need to remember to celebrate these days: the days of snotty noses and wet kisses, “pick me up” and “Momma, I wuv you”, kissing boo-boos and “why”, days of messes and diapers and sharing my bed with a toddler who woke up in the middle of the night and needs Mommy. I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I think of the special job I get to do as Mommy. More than all the busy-ness of my life, I know that I am shaping hearts, teaching little ones who Jesus is, helping my older ones grasp the gospel for themselves and laying hold of the precious promises for their lives. I can only imagine a time some place in the future when my windows won’t have sticky hand prints on them, when the laundry will miraculously shrink from over 20 to just a few loads per week, when we won’t empty the dish cupboard two or three times a day for a meal, when the dishwasher won’t need to run twice a day. That time looks strangely foreign to me–foreign and empty. I can only hope that by the time my youngest child is gone, our older children will have provided us with lots of grandchildren who will then leave behind their sticky fingerprints and their homemade cards and their dirty dishes. So I will enjoy these moments while I have them.
This morning I awoke to the sounds of someone making breakfast in the kitchen. Curious George had come running down to our bedroom sometime in the night, and he was nestled next to my body, pushing me closer and closer to the edge of the bed each time I rolled over. As I got up and showered, Star Child and Dee took over the care of the boys so the Handy Man and I could get ready for church. Gladys Mae was making me a Mother’s Day feast of pancakes, banana bread and sausage while special decorations were being placed on the set table. I came out to a splendid display: flowers, chocolate, new kitchen tools and home-made cards from my children declaring to me that I was the best Mommy ever. (Every child should think she or he has the best Mommy ever, don’t you think?)
Flowers from Star Child (bought with her own money):
Chocolate from Curious George and Lil’ Adveturer:
Lil’ Adventurer made a card and dictated everything in it to Star Child, who faithfully recorded every thought:
I love you Mommy
I love you for much
I love you
I can’t go barefoot
I love Daddy, too
I wear shoes outside now
I sleep in my new bed now–I made it on the sofa!
I love you for gold
I love flowers two
Happy Mother’s Day
I love red, there are two reds
I don’t love boobs anymore
love, (Lil’ Adventurer)
I feel I must explain the last comment he made. We had dinner for Gladys-Mae’s birthday last Monday, and we invited Agent Andy, our 4-H agent to come have dinner with us. Andy is a single guy who says he never turns down a home-cooked meal. As we were finishing dinner, Lil’ Adventurer sidled up to Lindy and announced, “I love boobs!” Oh, boy…Andy turned about 16 shades of red, Lindy blushed up to the roots of her hair, and I admonished Lil’ Adventurer that there some things we do not discuss at the table. The Handy Man took him down to his room to discuss the finer points of etiquette with him, and we all studiously avoided looking at each other while we turned our attention to getting out cake and ice cream. It was hilarious and humiliating all at the same time. (And in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that this conversation with Lil’ Adventurer has been on-going. He was nursed as a baby and probably would have continued to nurse for long time had I not gotten pregnant with Curious George. Lil’ Adventurer told me last week that we needed to go buy a baby at the baby store so we could have another baby. He is most fascinated with babies and how they eat–and I think all that must have been weighing on his mind when he made his startling announcement.) So when he dictated to Star Child that particular sentence, I know it came from a somewhat repentant heart. But it is still hilarious!
Little Princess made her Daddy take her shopping last night. She had earned some money and it was burning a hole in her wallet…and she wanted to make sure she got me the perfect Mother’s Day gift:
We are always losing or breaking our measuring cups…my children are just unaccountably hard on them for some reason. This was the perfect gift, actually, as I will use them every day and think about Little Princess and her generosity each time.
Dee’s big gift to me was the one thing I always tell the children I want on Mother’s day: A clean house. She had a sore throat this morning and stayed home from church. When we got home, she had done all the dishes, cleaned off the table and counters, swept the floor and straightened the living room.
Lindy came to church this morning and brought me a gift bag full of spa goodies–shower gel, sugar scrub, and lotion. She is so sweet to me…and I am so grateful the Lord allowed me to raise her and to see the fruitfulness of her life. Someday, if the Lord wills it, she will meet a godly man and get married and give us some grandchildren. Those days are the days she looks forward to while she contentedly waits on the Lord and lives her life for him in the now. Somehow I don’t think Lindy is spending too much time yearning for the future at the expense of the present…that was my great sin when I was just a little younger than she is now. I am grateful that she is learning contentment now, before she realizes she has wasted so much of her life looking for what was to come that she doesn’t enjoy the moment.
Ultimately that is the lesson and blessing for me this Mother’s Day–more than the flowers and clean house and chocolate and kitchen tools–the blessing is enjoying now and not yearning for a different time. I am a blessed woman.
Happy Mother’s day to my own mother and to my friends. May God bless you in your fields of gold.