The kids are doing gymnastics this fall, and soccer – is that enough? Am I doing enough for them? Coby is reading really well, and Hattie’s wit is getting sharper, so does that mean I’m reading and conversing with them enough? Developing their language skills? Marco still isn’t walking. I probably should practice with him more. More to do, more to be. He is terrible at sign language. Must work on that too. I’m doing all the things for them – how do I make them more independent and more self-motivated? I’ll look for a book about that later. And then add it to my ever growing pile of non-fiction that sometimes feels like a bog to get through. Maybe they need more fresh air too. I should take them outside for X amount of hours a day. To air them out. Like damp laundry that you can’t put in the dryer or else it will shrink and no longer fit properly.
We went for a walk one evening last week. And a young boy kept running past us. We stopped at the lake to throw rocks and he stopped to catch a breath.
“How many miles?” I asked him.
“Twelve.” he says, with no small amount of pride in his voice.
“That’s amazing!” I gushed.
“Yeah, the semi-finals are next week.”
As we talk, I find out that he’s only 13, but he has been running on the local high school’s track team for the past 2 years. Hundreds of teenagers try out, and both he and his twin brother have already been on the team, and run a 6 minute mile. He also recovered from a near-death skateboarding accident last year. He loves school, and learning, and trying new things. A mini renaissance man in the making and I just want to bottle up his enthusiasm and goodness, and sprinkle it like Holy Water on my budding babies.
“Well,” I ask, “how on earth did you decide to start running like this? And try out for the team? And do all of these things?!”
With a sweet smile and all the confidence in the world, he says, “My mom told me that I was good at running. She told me I could do it if I tried. So we ran a 5k together. And I’ve been hooked ever since.”
And then his mom rolls down the street in her mini van. She rolls down the window.
“Hey, bud,” she says, “I came out looking for you. How many miles did you do?”
“Twelve.” His confidence wavers, wondering what she’ll say to that.
“Great! Now get on home. Dinner is on the table and dad is waiting for you.”
He waves goodbye to us and takes off up the street.
“You’re son is so kind and courteous” I tell her. “We heard his whole life story.”
“Oh yeah,” she beams “that’s who he is. Never meets a stranger.”
We chat for awhile, and sincerity laces her words and questions. Then she drives off. And now I’m left with all these thoughts and feels to file through.
And this Grace lesson from the Creator comes to me from a 13 year old achiever. And the influence of a sincere mom – who believed in her child and told him so. And so he took off and tried, and succeeded – this time. May my imperfect encouragement and nurturing to these tiny and tender babies, be a glimpse of the delight that God has in those He has created, and who He calls “my child”. Today, I’ll keep on encouraging and believing and delighting in them, because it is my calling today, and by His grace alone, I’ve made it to here.