My husband and I were walking in the yard last night, surveying the property at the top of the hill where there is a small grove of trees. Recently, my husband gathered the piles of stumps and built this "Treehenge" for Sam to play on with his buddies. It's conveniently located just a few yards from Sam's fort, which makes this area the perfect spot for playing spies on a mission, or hobbits on an adventure, or jedis in training.
It's also a good spot to dream big dreams, like the dream of owning an animation studio called "Magic 8 Ball".
This age, this time, this boy. It's all special, I told my husband.
And then I got teary-eyed at the thought. He knew, and he felt it, too.
He calls these "the salad days", those days that are lush and green with the goodness of God's blessings.
The days are long, but the years? So short.
I know this from experience.
So often, we forget about Sam's sweet boyness because we are navigating the tricky terrain of young adulthood with our two oldest sons. College loans, tuition payments, jobs, internships, apartments, automobiles, cell phones. Serious life stuff that has us diligently working, heads down, plowing the field of parental responsibility in the hopes of growing godly men.
But every now and then, I remember to lift my head up and examine my surroundings. And there, in front of me, is this precious boy. Samuel, "asked of God". The lump in my throat tells me "This is special. Tuck this moment away in your heart."
I'm guessing this is how my mom felt about me, the youngest of seven siblings. While she was busy planning weddings and welcoming grandchildren and washing at a sink that was perpetually filled with dishes, I wonder if she paused on occasions, looked out the kitchen window into the yard, and thought "Well I'll be! There's a little girl out there, playing in her little house. And that little girl is mine!"
One day, my house may not be filled with Legos and piles of smelly shoes. Stinky socks will not be tossed on the coffee table, and unfinished games and piles of books will not clutter my rooms.
But today, on this day, I look at the mess and I know. Life. To the full.