There are a few stories or experiences that I have been thinking about recently that I don't ever want to forget. It breaks my heart when I think back on times in my life or the lives of my children and have blank pages where a story used to lie. I am hoping to fill in some of those blanks and leave the newer pages vibrant and full.
I have a favorite memory which pops up every Easter from when we lived in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Our dear neighbors, the Winters , who lived across the street had a young son named Nicholas. Even though he was three years older then Britton, they played together almost daily and were dear friends. Nicholas attended a christian pre-school and had come home from school on the Friday before Easter and informed his mom that he had learned about Jesus and the ressurection. Nicholas was usually a very kind and sweet little boy, but that day while Nicholas and Britton were playing, he hit Britton with a stick, which was really out of character for him. His mom though she would bring in some of his new-found christian teaching to understand it wasn't a good idea to hit, so she said to Nicholas, "Nicholas, how do you think it makes Jesus feel when you do that?" Nicholas responded, "He doesn't feel anything, mom, He's dead. He doesn't rise again for three more days."
Yesterday, I was driving with my kids to my mom's house, and Britton was telling Emily that they needed to get to bed as soon as possible so either the Easter Bunny, or the mom's and dad's had plenty of time to hide the Easter eggs. I said, "Britton, mom's and dad's? Don't you believe in the Easter Bunny?" He said, "Mom, I'm just saying it is a possibility, I mean every time you talk to parents about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, they get all weird." "We do?" I said. (In an animated, high pitched voice.) "What do you mean?" He said, "I mean your voices get all high and you start moving your eyebrows up and down a lot." He is absolutely right. I am a terrible liar. I do start to talk high and move my eyebrows up and down a lot. I am afraid I am caught.
One last thing I have been thinking about lately that I don't want to forget...
When I put Brock down for a nap or for bed, we have a very set routine. I enjoy this time because it is really the only quiet one-on-one time I have with him. The routine is, he picks a story, I read . He then asks me to sing a song which usually directly relates to the story, so I am often making up songs such as "The truck on the road song" or "The extremely weird animal song" or "the daddy song" if nothing really sparks his attention in the story, he relies on the old stand-by, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". After songs, he lays down and I help him say a prayer which usually goes something like this: "Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for my family. Thank you for my blessings. Please help daddy have a good day/night at work. Please help me have a good night's sleep so I can be healthy and happy and kind. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." (Brock's ability to be healthy, happy, and kind is directly tied to how much sleep he gets.)
Then comes my favorite part. I ask Brock what kind of hug and kiss he would like. He started out asking for just a hug and kiss (which is now known as "the regular"), an eskimo kiss, or a butterfly kiss, but now he has become more creative with his requests. Sometimes it is a snake hug and kiss, or an alligator hug and kiss or a spider hug and kiss. Tonight, he asked for a "bop" hug and kiss. Whatever it is, I usually figure something out and he usually laughs. Finally, as I am walking out the door, He says, "Wait, mom, I need to ask you a question. Can I leave the light on for just one more minute?" I say "Yes, Brock. I love you. Sweet dreams." He says back, "Sweet dreams to you too, mom." and I close the door.
My children are all young enough that they all still let me read them stories and sing to them and give them hugs and kisses, but I know it will not always be this way. Each stage of parenting brings with it new joys and new challenges, but I never want to forget the tender moments that make each day as a mother worth it.