Mommy’s An ‘Offer’

“Tyler, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“A scuba diver.”

“And how about you, Tuck?”

“I want to be a writer.”  (Be still my beating heart.)

“You know what, guys?  I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I got the job.  I’m a writer now.”

“You are??”

“I am.  I really am.”

Tyler was the quiet one this time, his mind spinning already with ideas to add to his mom’s collection.

Tucker smiled from ear to ear. “Mommy, do you know what you could do?  You could, maybe you could, um, maybe you could write some sentences… about us.”

He puts his hand to his chest, just to clarify whom I might like to jot a few sentences about.

“I sure could, kiddo.”

Smile, smile, smile.

“…sometimes, when I’m so happy, the joy spills out of my eyes.”

Tyler reaches across the car, putting his hand on Tucker’s arm.  In a quiet, dreamy voice, he says, “Tuck, our mommy is an offer.”

Tucker’s eyes take a new light, even brighter.

“An author?!  Mommy, you didn’t say that!  You didn’t say you were an author!  I know what authors do – my teacher talks about them everyday!  My mom is an author?!”

“Mommy, are you so happy?” Tyler asks.

“I am so happy.”

“Then why are you crying?”

“Because sometimes, when I’m so happy, the joy spills out of my eyes.”

“And that’s what’s happening?  You’re spilling?”

“I’m spilling, buddy.”

Holding hands, they look out their separate windows in the backseat.

Tucker says one more time, “My mommy is an author.”

Jesus Didn’t Parent Toddlers

In his perfect holiness, he did not do what I have done today.

Today sucked. Forgive me if you do not like that term. But it did. No way around it.

My boys were disobedient and whiny. I was out of patience and fortitude. We were plain sick of each other. This house (and the surrounding parks) were not big enough for the three of us. There was yelling, whining, snapping, and crying, among all parties. I did not behave as I would have hoped. But neither did they.

I called in reinforcements. Friends prayed for me. I bought – and pleasurably drank – a mocha. And I called on all the Scripture I could recall to please, please, get me through the morning. Carry me to naptime.

And that’s when it suddenly occurred to me: Jesus did not parent toddlers. Yes, he withstood and refused temptations of many kinds, of his eyes, his stomach, his flesh. But of all the paths he walked that are ours as well, he was not the stay-at-home parent of preschoolers.

When he escaped the throngs and pursued solitude with his Father, he did not have to arrange for childcare.

When he fasted, he did not have to prepare meals for picky eaters.

“Let the little children come to me,” he said. But he could send them home when he was finished teaching them. And when they fell into tantrums in his presence, I’m pretty sure their mothers swooped in to avoid a public scene.

“Be holy as I am holy.” In his holiness, he did not do the day-in-day-out constantness of arguing, negotiating, potty training, timeouts, scraped kness, lessons in sharing, and weary exhaustion with their little sinful natures.

But he did give these children to me.

And he ordained today.

And his grace is sufficient.

(And they are sleeping now. Thank you, Lord.)


Previously posted on Teaching Tuck and Ty

What Greater Thing

What greater thing is there for two human souls,
than to feel that they are joined for life –
to strengthen each other in all labor,
to rest on each other in all sorrow,
to minister to each other in all pain,
to be one with each other
in silent unspeakable memories
at the moment of the last parting?

~ George Eliot

I got to be present for that last part, those last words, the moment of last parting.

I carry them in my heart,

along with the moment I first learned I loved him,

the moment I said yes,

the moment I said I do.

To be with him as he died, this is God’s grace in my life.