“You’re picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today. Matching up socks. Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away. You put a baby on your hip, color on your lips and head out the door. While I may not know you, I bet I know you wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?”
Yesterday, I listened to these lyrics from Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Do Everything” while driving home from my yearly Christmas shopping marathon. I couldn’t help but think about my daughter’s sweet little munchkins who do love to leave a trail – just in case someone needs to go looking for them.
These are the years that won’t develop their true worth until the living room stays picked up, the cheerios no longer teeter on the spoon and the babies on the hip belong to their babies. Every catsup-smeared day exhausts. Syrup-covered fingers create the need for Calgon and trapped crickets under the Tupperware make one wonder why?
Looking at these days through grandmother-eyes makes me smile, not because it’s great payback, but because I know deep down my daughter, Jennifer, wouldn’t trade any of it. I’m sure she loses it occasionally and then feels bad. I did too. I’m sure there are days when she wonders if crazy has become normal. So did I. But, we both know the road to perfection isn’t an easy one. It takes stormy nights, things that go bump in the night and monsters in the closet to help us learn to lean on loved ones for comfort.
I wonder what made Jesus’ grandmother’s eyes smile. We don’t get to know her in scripture, but surely Mary’s mother had to be proud of the woman her daughter had become. After Jesus’ birth we don’t hear anything from him until he’s twelve. I think that’s because he was busy being a boy. He probably jumped in mud puddles, got his sandals muddy and innocently ran through the house leaving a trail. He might have even “borrowed” some of Joseph’s tools to get a head start on the carpenter trade and then left them out in the rain. His sense of humor may have kept his brothers in stitches. But, it’s his serenity that keeps us drawn to him. Isn’t it? It’s the calm in the middle of the storm, the quiet confidence of one who isn’t afraid of the dark and the possessor of the power that still overcomes the most sinister monster of evil.
So, to those of you rocking babies – keep rocking. Keep picking up toys, tying shoe laces, wiping noses and changing diapers. Keep leaning on the One and Only giver of comfort. To your children you are the face of Jesus – and you make your mamas proud.