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10 days: the gift of a memory

December 17, 2014

If you haven’t picked up on my reluctance to let this year fly by, then apparently I’m hiding my anxiety pretty well. This is the Boy Wonder’s senior year of high school, and I am going into this whole thing kicking and screaming. Twice yesterday I was asked about Christmas wish lists for my family. Even though my house would make me a liar, I am not a stuff girl (I just happen to live with a group of stuff people). The greatest gifts I’ve ever been given are a love for Jesus (but more importantly his love first), the love of learning, my kids, a great husband, time spent with family, laughter, a few family heirlooms, and I am not going to lie sweet tea and coconut body butter. What I really wanted to ask for was a way to turn back time to relive all the moments with my sweet little babies because I am not ready to launch one out of the nest.

When my trepidation meter is approaching a six or a seven on the Richter scale, God usually uses a friend to reel me back into the reality of he already has a plan for my good. So it was yesterday when with trembling hands, I began to thumb through old pictures because a yearbook deadline was approaching. Our school’s annual has a tradition of posting letters of encouragement and baby pictures for the senior class. Did I mention kicking and screaming? Anyways, the deadline for this whole shebang is tomorrow. As I was looking through the ones I felt wouldn’t have me shunned by a soon-to-be-eighteen year old (Yes all the embarrassing pictures did NOT make the cut). I looked really close at one of the pictures, and my eyes filled with tears . . . from laughing.

Here are a few things that I need to explain before any of this story will make sense. My sweetie and I are not rules people. Translation: As parents, we feel that we should have some basic principles like respect and love that guide what we teach our children. We have high expectations and hold our children accountable, but outside of that we believe our children should live life exploring the world around them. Creativity, imagination, exploration, individuality, and energy, are all embraced here. Yes, the occasional mess is a result, but messes and mistakes are how you learn to be kind to those who are struggling.

One time we had some friends who came to visit. They were rules people. Their children had to sit quietly and do what the parents encouraged for play time (which was typically quiet activities). After staying with us for an entire weekend, their parting words to our one year old daughter was “Good Luck, Erin, you are going to need it!” I don’t do judging others, and I abhor “the mommy wars”. I am certain their children grew to be fine young people, but I voted myself off their island and moved on.

As we grew up with our children, our friends changed over the years too. I think it is a natural evolution of friendship. Many of your friends are parents of kids your kids have as friends, teammates, or classmates. Face it people: these are the peeps you see most often.   There exists a small number of people who have journeyed along with us from toddlerhood to now, and they can testify (although much like I don’t like people seeing my storage room, I sincerely hope they refrain from doing so) to the energetic household we had. Oh, who am I kidding, we still live in.

This is where the picture I found comes into play. When we moved into our home Sawyer was only six months old. I was working full time at the university. We didn’t get all the safety measures in place like we had hoped because we were reminded yet again, despite our love of capes, we are not superhuman. It took three months or so just to get all the boxes unpacked. I needed to shower before work; so I took the necessary precautions: locked the outside doors, blocked the steps, grabbed the baby monitor, and took the quickest shower known to humankind.

When I opened the shower curtain, I saw my twenty-nine month old holding these:

Yes, that would be our carving set.

Yes, that would be our carving set.

I startled him with a blood curdling scream. Grabbing a towel, I asked Reed what was he doing with the carving fork and knife. In his defense, he was a huge fan of Bob the Builder back in the day. He answered honestly, “Fixing Sawyer.” Not exactly superhuman, but I daresay, I impressed myself with the manner of swiftness I used to scream once more, deftly nab the cutlery, skid still soaking wet across the bathroom floor, race down the hallway to find Baby Sawyer happily sitting on the floor playing with his toys. With laser vision, I discovered one tiny pin prick on his forehead directly above his right eye.

Picture taken one day after "the incident".

Picture taken one day after “the incident”.

Let me tell you. The existence of a benevolent God above was more than a Sunday School lesson at that moment. Rules or no rules! Those safety latches were put on before we went to bed that night. This is not the kind of exploration we had in mind – E.V.E.R!

Even though, I cannot get a time machine for Christmas . . . yet. I am really thankful for the gift of a memory, long since forgotten, but provided just when I needed it. I couldn’t ask for a better present than that. Unless of course, anyone knows a way to slow down time.

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