There are mornings when I awake thinking, “I’m going to write a blog post today.” It just feels like one of those kinds of mornings—the house is still quiet, the air inside is cool, and the sun is gorgeous coming through the window. The only problem is that I don’t have anything to say. I didn’t take notes or pictures during last week’s happenings, and so by now, Wednesday, I’ve forgotten it all and committed to simply begin anew on this coming week. I think I’m also as discombobulated as anyone else regarding HSB’s upgrade, and I find myself having to get reacquainted with my blog. If I’m able to post this entry straight from Word, this upgrade will have 100% of the features that led me to begin a second blog, one that I’ll consequently discontinue. At any rate, I’ll work on getting Chronicles of a Blessed Heritage back like I want it after this week, which will, for all intents and purposes, be our last full school week.
With a blank slate but an active mind, I decided to do the one thing that had been on my mind to do for several days now—get a shot of my favorite spot around the house in spring.
Then I decided to pen my heart. Where is my heart today? On memories—how we make them, and how, good or bad, we must live with them.
This tree is special to me, in part because of its beauty, but largely because of what it represents. As a child, I never noticed mimosa trees, though they grow wild in our part of the country. Yet, when we began to pick plants for our own yard, my husband was drawn to it—not necessarily because of the beauty of it, but because of his great-grandmother. I never met her, but I’ve heard stories. One story is how my husband, a picky eater as a child (a trait that he passed on to our older two children), hated many meats, including chicken. His parents were concerned about such limitations in his diet, and so his great-grandmother, who had more time, would grind meats with a hand grinder so that they could sneak them into his foods. That’s the type of love and care that you take for granted at the time, but God gives you the life experience to make those small things mean so much in later years. I’m also told that she lived in tropical south Texas before she became ill and needed more care. Her yard was graced with a large mimosa tree—a tree that lasts in my husband’s memory as a recollection of her, and the tree that now graces our yard in memory of his times with her. So this tree is special to me because it is special to him.
Lately, we’ve come just short of some true “come to Jesus”-type talks with our son about some attitudinal issues. Super-sensitive boy that he is, he gets easily irritated when anything is said to him that he finds annoying or otherwise unpleasant. And then he pouts and sulks, which he unfortunately inherited from his mother (although, thank God, I’ve been delivered from this behavior—for the most part). I allow some of it; cooling off, so to speak, can be a good thing, and I do believe in the value of owning your emotions and having time to sort through them. However, I also know that too much focus on self can lead to a destructive path as quickly as a constructive path.
Enter, stage right: my husband, who is such a big kid. Our household is blessed to have someone who enjoys playing tag with the kids and running off, who likes to joke and kid around—it’s just not me. In fact, I am sure that’s in part what drew us to each other: he has all the spontaneity and frolic that I lack, and I’m the calming force in his life. Anyway, our son has gotten increasingly annoyed with hubby’s playful spirit, and we’ve crossed the line into disrespect. When I say disrespect, I mean not speaking when spoken to, not acknowledging that you’ve heard what is said, and mumbling/ rolling of eyes when addressed. So, last night before family prayer, I told my son, in no uncertain terms, how I felt about his treatment of his dad. You have a gift, I said. I went on in a modified version of that speech we’ve all heard about the number of children starving in other countries while you waste food—the speech that usually comes after you’ve turned your nose up at your parent’s hard work in buying and preparing meals. In this case, though, the message was as follows: do you realize how many kids wish they had a man in the home to spend that kind of quality time with them? And I continued with the position we put ourselves into when we take things, and people, for granted, because I truly think that is the root of the problem (or the way that the devil has manifested in this particular instance). Growing up comfortably in our little lazy suburb, with two parents and a loving family environment (not to mention a school environment!), it can be easy for a child to forget that, in these times, that’s more than most can claim.
So as I reflected on that mimosa tree this morning and the images now tied to it, and as I thought through these trying times with our son, I pondered what his memories would be of growing up. I want to believe that he prayed about his attitude, and that he’ll be healed, delivered, and set free from some things. I want to believe that we won’t have any more problems with this. Yet, I also know that there are some realities of being a parent that you don’t understand until you become one. I pray that we won’t have to wait that long, but I also pray for strength in the midst of it all. And I pray for my son. May God give him—sooner, not later, would be my preference—the life experience to appreciate the big and the small things. I pray that he’ll look on the model cars he made with Dad, remember the times he chased, or was chased, up and down the stairs, tickled almost to the point of tears, and so many other moments, and remember that whoever his Dad was and whatever his Dad did, he did with one purpose in mind—to show our son the irreplaceable love of his father. May God bless you today.