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Breathing in Today (when they are little)

A grandmother–not by blood but heart–picked us…more than 7 years ago to pour into. She’d show up at my door with trinkets and little “happies” for the children. “They’ll be spoiled with these things,” I had thought. But year after year–season after season she came…giggling and sneaking up on my porch with treats and sneaking away.

Years passed. Our family grew…and so did the number of trinkets and gift bags she delivered.

Trials came…she beat cancer…still she came with her beautiful scarf tightly wrapped.

I slept through Lyme and could hardly keep up with the seasons myself one year…yet with each season I’d walk by the front door to see a rainbow of tissue peaking through the side windows…waiting for us to finally see them.

This grandmother of ours came for miles, year after year, with tissue filled bags.

Laughter and cheering I would hear in the foyer as little things catapulted out of the bags…some little things lasting but just a few days but bringing much joy none the less. Rich would walk in to see tissue paper and empty packages torn open and say, “I knooooow who stopped by today!”

A season of motherhood for me–I had no time to hardly catch up on groceries much less to mosey the aisles or the appreciation yet of how fast this time of having littles would pass.

It’s been over 7 years since this fairy of a grandmother was brought into our lives. Now well and full of energy…I finally have eyes opening to the passing of this make believe time, and this grandmother of theirs has rubbed off on me. I’m starting to really see why the fairy dust was worth the investment to her.

Now I’m in a season where I can really breath, be creative and have fun with my children. There WAS a season I was seriously surviving…so it was hard to really see–but God brought her to me because He knew I would get here and wish for time back to really play…with the impractical but oh so practical things filling those baskets at Easter and even Thanksgiving. God brought me Mama Judy in that season of surviving and learning to thrive–and to enjoy their squeals and what silly things brought them.

And without fail now–I think of her when I see trinkets like these.

And my tendency is still to shake my head and say to myself, “Oh that’s funny. But we need _____ and this decoder pen will last a day…”

But then—Then I run and grab a little shopping basket and fill it up…giggling to myself as I race to them…filling my little green basket with a few things to make them squeal. And I think, “I have GOT to tell her about this place! Oh my…she would flip over this hair dye comb for her grands or this rubberband tub boat for the boys in her world…”

She taught me to trust The Lord to bring others into my life to be my village—to love my children with me. She taught me to make time to play…even when you are tired–laundry and clean floors can wait. I started mommy hood being not only being ¬†far too tired but even far too–strict…worrying that “things” would win more of their hearts. I let control (by me) and performance (expecting from them) take a leading role—so much so I found myself being a director instead of a passionate person in the play. Schedules…and “obey right away”…taking more of their hearts than pick-up-sticks ever could.

I thought God brought me this Mama Judy to love my children in a season of first years mommy fatigue…but her fairy dust, finger lasers and bunny baskets have reminded me how fast and fleeting this time is…and what our children really need in many times–is for us to simply get down and play and be…to just BE with them…enjoying their giggles and to PLAY. To mosey that silly aisle and get the light up yo-yo…not because it’s another thing to have….but it’s something to do together—and it’s going to be really cool to try in the closet with the lights off or among the fireflies.

These days are precious. Slowing down…climbing trees…and pulling these little treasures out I found yesterday–just to hear them squeal! Thank you Mama Judy for teaching me to be a silly, fun grandmother type momma and that the schedules, clean cupboards and even groceries and keeping things “together” can many times wait. Because the memories, connecting and conversations that happen during pick-up-sticks is truly priceless. I only hope some day I can remind other mommas the way you have reminded me…making time to play today…