Monday, April 12, 2010

A Whole Lot of Nothing

I was hurriedly putting my Bible away one morning. I missed one of the carrying straps and my Bible and all of its contents came loose from the Bible cover and spilled onto the floor. "Oh no," I said, impressed I didn't swear in the presence of little ones. Reagan ran over to me, "What happened Mom!? Do you need some help?" And in one of my moments of Mommy-genius, I turned to her and said, "That would be great!" I could have easily brushed it off and sent her to play. It would have been faster for me to just scoop up the papers myself. But instead I pretended to fumble around picking up a sheet here and there while she worked hard to pile my old notes, letters, and other treasured documents. She handed me the stack and I pulled her little face close to mine and thanked her for being so sweet. She told me I should be more careful. I laughed. Nothing melts my heart more than the tenderness of a child.

We were playing at the park and she had been clutching a dandelion and a clover for the better part of an hour. They were wilted and droopy, clamped tightly in her fist. She asked me to push her on the swing, so I suggested we put the flowers down. She refused. She insisted she could hold onto them while swinging. I knew better. I really did. But I gave in. She swung happily for several minutes and then it happened - she lost her concentration, I pushed her too hard, her grip loosened - one or all of those things happened. And as she swung to the height of her swoop I saw her flower clutching fist fly loose from the chain. Out of the swing came her little body, one free hand still tightly clutching the chain, the rest of her suspended in the air for what seemed like forever. And yet forever wasn't long enough for me to get to where I could catch her. She fell. She screamed. I maybe did too. I scooped her up and brushed the muddy dirt from her face, her lips, her shirt, her hands, her pants and her shoes. Then I wiped away the tears as best I could. She was okay. I'm not sure I was. Nothing makes my heart stop the way an injury in progress does.

I sing throughout the day. I am always humming a tune or just flat out belting out a favorite song. I also frequently make up songs to go along with whatever in the world might be happening at that given moment. I was making lunch and I started singing one of Maddie's favorite songs. I turned to see her smile, and then I watched and she bopped her little head back and forth - dancing in her highchair as best she could. I laughed. She laughed. Nothing makes me giggle the way her little antics and tricks do.

I was pushing the stroller along on one of our many many walks this spring. Reagan rode along, generally filling every available second of silence with a question or a statement or a general observation on life. I did my best to answer her in words she would understand - not dumbing it down too much but not talking way above her comprehension. Maddie leaned forward, gripping the bar that extends across the front of our double jogger. Two girls, sitting side by side. Reagan was cheerful and Madison was tolerant so I congratulated myself on picking a good time to go on a walk. Reagan fake sneezed LOUDLY. Madison burst into a fit of giggles. And it was all I could do not to break out in run. Nothing fills my heart with joy the way these two do.

By the world's standards, my life may be made up of a whole lot of nothing. I made no money today. I achieved no grand success. I built nothing. I earned no promotion or honor. I labored selfishly. Yes, in the eyes of the world I'm sure all this nothing is as worthless as the word "nothing" sounds.

But I love my nothing. To me its everything. To Him its something.

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