Thursday, April 4, 2013

Imaginings of Childhood

Spring is ... different right now. Yesterday felt more like winter while looking like spring. I am anxious for the warmer weather. It is deceiving right now as the sun has been out but that air does not match up. The up and down temperatures of changing seasons always bring a case of sick kids or in this case, one "sick" kid and one sick mama. Stupid viruses. In some ways I wish we could have something that requires antibiotics because we will be all better, faster!

On days like these, I always go by my motto: One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus. Only on these days, it does tend to be more like One Minute/Hour at a Time. I pray for strength and the ability to take care of the boys and then do what I can, as I can.

Right now, I am on our laptop computer on the sofa, staring up at the snowmen which are still gracing us with their presence on the hutch, on the corner shelves and the banister. If I crane my neck in just the right way, I can see the reflection of more snowmen in the kitchen. (We like snowmen, can you tell?)  We don't have a lot of springtime decorations but we do have a couple. I think if I am feeling better this weekend, that will be my project.

Speaking of this weekend, my mom's birthday is on Saturday. She is turning 67 years old this year. I am hoping to be healthy enough to go because everything goes straight to her lungs when she gets sick. I need to come up with a good gift for her... but, until then, "HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY, MOMMA!"

This week has been a testing of patience again. Spring-fever has definitely been getting the boys... nearly all winter, actually. Some weeks are more struggle than blessing. We are now doing the battle on days when it is still too cold or windy to really be outside. Regardless of how it looks outside, they want to be out. I say it is too cold, they say it isn't. I say that it is raining and they still say they are wanting to go outside. Followed quickly by a very loud, obnoxious NUTS!

Before too long, the sun will shine, the air will be warm, the plants that are beginning to grow will bloom, some continue to bloom - like the single, small, purple flower that grows each year in our front yard at the base of the tree. Each year when it blooms we go back and forth with the boys about whether or not they can pick it. Sometimes they can, other times, that single flower is the lone sign of spring so mama will be very displeased if it is no longer there.

The lone purple flower in the front yard that no one currently living here has planted. Perhaps the previous owners, or it was left there by a passing bird or the wind. This flower represents the promise of new life that comes with spring.

We have daffodils that are green still. Each day they are growing taller and it is just a matter of time until we have the bright yellow flowers gracing us with their presence. This always means that I will be out there taking pictures of them. I love nature pictures, if you couldn't tell. The above picture is one of those daffodils.

It is so easy to look around you and see the wonders and evidence of God in the new plants and tree life. The birds have eggs that hatch in their cozy nests. The rabbits... multiply. All around you there is wildlife of varying sorts, depending on where you live, caring for their new babies. Spring is the rebirth of the earth after a long, cold, "dead" winter. It is as if the entire place is newly coming to life. Everywhere are signs of God's handiwork. Even the clouds are His work.

One of my favorite things to do as a child, was to lay in the grass and watch the passing clouds overhead. My friends and I would look for shapes in the clouds. My favorite cloud of all time is a cloud that resembled the portraits of Jesus' face. Awesome, but no camera at the time, sorry!Those bright sunny days with the puffy white clouds were filled with the outdoors. Who wanted to stay inside when it was so beautiful outside?

Growing up, we would do somersaults down the hill in the backyard until we got dizzy, then just lay here and laugh. Everyday until dusk, us kids would be outside playing, and playing hard! We didn't waste a single second of sunlight if we could help it. We would walk along the creek, throwing rocks and sticks into the water. Climb or walk down the falling tree to the little "island" in the middle of the creek. Honestly, the water was shallow enough to wade across to it, but it was more fun to cross the tree. That little island became out pirate ship, cruise ship, an adventure's dream, an explorer's nightmare being so small, and many, many other things, including a Space Station. Our bicycles would be horses or lifeboats or fast cars. Trees would be anything from buildings to castles.

Somewhere along the way, I believe we adults have lost our imaginations, at least to some extent. In the day to day norms, we go about doing what needs doing, get this done, don't forget that... until we completely forget to have fun. I'm sure weekends are spent doing something fun, but that isn't what I am getting at. When was the last time you tapped into your inner child and just went with it? I'm sure as a child you were very creative in what you would play and how that play happened.

The next warm and sunny day comes along where you can enjoy the outdoors, go out there. Pretend you are 10 years old again and just go with it. What would you do? Where would you go if you were that 10 year old, at the place you live now? For me, this would mean tapping into my tomboy self and climbing trees, falling into creeks, running around like a chicken with its head cut off - anywhere and everywhere - rolling in the grass, pretending that I actually knew how to do cartwheels but really too scared to do one completely upright.

I miss those long-gone days of kickball at the Lindsey's house with "Uncle" Alex rolling the ball to us and gamma Helen being the outfielder. She was a spry gal with so much energy and fun at heart. Those were some well-spent days. Picking raspberries - or having "Uncle" Alex get them for us - and eating them fresh off the plants. Sneaking down to the neighbor's garden and picking a couple ripe carrots and eating those as well. Lemonade stands. Standing in the front yard holding signs that read "Honk" for  the truckers to give a honk at us then running away laughing hysterically. So many things we used to do.

Once I am feeling better and the weather permits, I think I'll have to go outside and be a kid again....
Go, surprise your kids - and yourself - and be a kid again. God's blessings to you, my friends.