Supermarket Poetry

At the supermarket today, minding my own business. Little cutie and mom wander into my shopping space. She couldn’t have been more than three.

“Mommy,” she says, “I have a poem I want to tell you.”

Mom is distracted. Looking at cans, putting things in the cart. She doesn’t respond.

“Is that ok? Just a little poem?”

Mom says something nondescript. Still no eye contact. We moms have a lot on our minds.

I pause. Pretend to read the label a moment longer.

“I smell the flower, it smells sweetie sweet.
The birdie sounds tweety tweet.
Berries are my favorite tweet.” (She actually said tweet instead of treat. Cute, or what?)

There was more, but mom was walking away and taking the poem with her.

I stood in the aisle, lonely now, repeating the brilliant words of this poem in my head. They made me smile.

How sad, thought I, that the mom missed this precious moment. And then: How many moments like this have I missed? Too many.

Life is crazy, and sometimes…sometimes I just don’t have enough to give.

But here is what God has been telling me lately: Every moment is sacred.

Life goes too fast. To slow down and actually be there in each moment; this is what true living is all about. Instead of impatience, always thinking of the next moment and not appreciating the present; instead, to see my world with eyes of love…this is what Jesus wants me to do.

To be present in each moment.

It sounds so simple.

Yet…I know I will fail. Over and over again.

But I must try.

Because I want to smell the flowers, sweetie sweet. And hear the birds, tweety tweet.

But most of all, when this life is over, I want to know that I let love lead me through it. Not time. Or fear. Or shame. Not money, or things. Just love.

Every moment is sacred. I want to live like I believe this.

Because I do.

A Floating Saturn

My nine year old sleeps with the covers pulled over his head. I just woke him up a little bit ago so he could see the lunar eclipse. In his groggy state he asked me what would happen when Mars collides with the moon in ten years. I gathered that he read this interesting prediction somewhere. Perhaps a science fiction journal of some type. I don’t think we need to worry about that now, says I, ever so gently. His eyes gradually widen as he watches the earth’s shadow creep along the big cheese. “Wow! Mommy that’s cool!” He exclaims. Then he bounds back into bed. Up go the covers, like the earth’s shadow passing over the moon.

I snuggle in with him, like a spoon, and his bare shoulder smells so good to me that I press my lips against its sweet softness. This youngest child of mine stirs my heart. This morning, when I woke him for school, he sat straight up in his bed and blinked in the light. “Mommy, do you know that if there was an ocean big enough, and all the planets fell into it, that Saturn would be the only one that would float?” He says this before he is fully awake, as if planets have been falling into oceans all night in his dreams.

Where do these things come from? It fills me with wonder and joy all at once.

The dreaming under the covers must come from another world. Perhaps from outer space.

A Pilgrimage Song

I feed my little birdies every Saturday morning. They give me so much joy that I figure it’s the least I can do. As I walked through the back yard this morning, I noticed that the terrain was a bit uneven. A couple places were patched with clover and mismatched grass. A lot of people would be annoyed at this blemish on an otherwise neatly trimmed lawn. But I smiled as I remembered what these pockmarks represent. One marks the place where the boys’ sandbox sat for years and years. We had so much fun over that little patch of clover! The other was where we kept their tiny wading pool. It made me smile to see visible reminders of their toddlerhood. In my mind’s eye I saw them, all swim diapers and Tonka trucks, dumping water and sand.

Now, here they sit beside me; one on the computer, the other playing a D.S. It’s crazy how fast time has flown! They both celebrate a birthday this month, and I always get a little nostalgic near the anniversary of their births. When they were babies, I knew better what to do with them, I suppose. Now they don’t always want to be hugged and cuddled. Their interests are much more complicated than the good ‘ol game of peek-a-boo. And they are able to express their opinions a little more eloquently than they did in those sweet days of coos and cries.

Lately, I’ve been asking myself it I even know what I’m doing. Parenting wise, that is. I’ve found myself saying some things that totally astonish me. My husband has thrown me more than one quizzical look recently, as he too is left speechless by the far reaching capacities of our sons’ curiosities. We’ve had discussions on politics, religion, homosexuality, sexuality, exercise/nutrition and life philosophies, to name a few. My little boys are turning into great companions.

I get excited when I think about the men they are becoming. I’m trying not to impose any expectations upon them, just enjoying the different seasons as we go through them.

Today we are making sugar cookies. The dough is in the fridge, firming up. Beaters and bowls have been licked. We have some new neighbors who just moved in and we want to welcome them with some goodies. It was Jeffrey’s ideas to do “icing cookies”, as he calls them. “Maybe there’ll be some left over!” He’d said, innocently. The child loves anything with icing on top. They used to pull a chair up to the counter as I mixed the sugar and butter, begging to crack the eggs themselves. Now they stand nonchalantly at my shoulder, interested only in how much dough is left on the spoon.

Such is life, right? They all grow up eventually. I still have a few good years of boy things to enjoy before they shed their skin altogether.

And I know the Lord will be there with me, to guide and encourage me as they go through this chameleon like process. In fact, I’m counting on it!

We started our new Beth Moore Bible study this week. It’s called Stepping Up, and it focuses on the Psalms of Ascent. I’ve heard this phrase before, but I have to be honest and say that I never really knew much about them. So far, in this first week, Beth has explained that these Psalms were probably the particular Psalms that the Israelites sang on their journeys to the various feasts and festivals of their faith. It is also thought that they sang these songs when they were released from captivity and traveled back to their homeland. In other words, these are songs of pilgrimage. The Psalms of Ascent start with Psalm 120, and begin with a lament of sorts. The psalmist is proclaiming that he has spent too long in Meshech and Kedar. And then the pilgrimage begins. In my homework today, I learned that the word that describes God as our protector in Psalm 121 s the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 2:15 when God appoints Adam as caretaker over the Garden of Eden. Beth describes God as “tending over us, watching over us” just as Adam did the garden. God is our caretaker, Beloved! Isn’t that a reassuring truth?

As we go on our pilgrimage of life, He is watching over us. I don’t know what my journey with my boys will hold. There may be some unexpected turns down the road. But one thing I can be sure of is that my Heavenly Father will be walking beside us.

Amen!