What I really started out to write was going to be titled "Hot Chocolate Days".
About the excitement of deep snow, the thrill of quilted snow pants and tall rubber boots, 
and the satisfaction of ending all of that with homemade hot chocolate topped with marshmallows!
This kid's face in the photo below is like a billboard 
advertising the happiness of just such a day.

That's when the wet newspapers occurred to me...

Leading me to a rather unpleasant observation.
Is there any truth in the impression that, generally
as their children grow and mammas age,
they tend to get ...
crankier? Is that the right word? That's such an ugly word, though.
Maybe less would be a better qualifier. Let me try that on for size.
Less patient. Less joyful. Less generous. Less flexible.
Not wanting to be alone in this leaky boat, I'll drag all of us into it together.
I'm sure you don't mind. That old saying and all, right?

Back to the photo and as an example of the observation-
Here's one of My Dear Sons, probably age three or four. The snow had fallen all night, and we were out to play. Yes, we - when the boys were little, I always went out to play with them. 
Not only to perform such necessary acts as: 
clearing snow from tender, tiny necks, 
tactfully negotiating snowball fights,
re-covering freezing, bare wrists, 
and pulling fallen hats from bright eyes.
I also went just because I like to play in the snow! 
Our backyard seemed to be a completely new place, filled with wonder and excitement. 
New treasures were to be found everywhere, no matter that they were of the only very temporary sort. 
As the boys grew older, they did not require my help, 
which quickly became categorized as 
"I'm not a baby, Mom. ... I'm not a bit cold. ... That didn't hurt at all! ... I can do it myself!"
It wasn't long before I remained indoors, instead of going out into the snow with them.
Immediately after I stopped playing, and became the person who cleaned up
(wet newspapers, snowy, often muddy boots, soaking wet coats/hats/gloves) ,
I developed a LESS joyful attitude about a snowy day. 
Less patient. Less flexible. Less generous.
Now, I'm not going to say that the antidote is to keep playing. Once sons approach their teen years, joining in play with them can become just  - - - awkward. Especially as a mom. Play changes in to something you probably wouldn't recognize, and which I am still at a loss to describe. Positive interaction of any sort is  what I'm going for at this point.

But maybe this post could serve as an encouragement to self-examine. 
As I age, becoming LESS is not a goal of mine.
Even if the cause for an area of neglect seems valid, 
that lack does not, should not, must not become a resting place.
Patience, Joy, Generosity and even Flexibility should not depend on the task at hand, 
whether it be play or clean up.
 Whether it involves enjoying myself or serving others - OUCH!

As we age let us not become impatient drivers, critical church members, agitated grocery line standers, unreasonable school parents, vindictive daughters-in-law or judgmental mothers-in-law - 
seeking only what makes us the most comfortable and the most satisfied. 

Let us resolve, as disciples of His must, to find joy in the serving of others, rather than ourselves,
that we may become MORE rather than LESS.

1 comment:

marie said...

This is a wonderful post Sue! I so agree...becoming less isn;t a goal of mine either (except for maybe less weight!).
Thanks so much for the kind encouragment to self=examine. Especially the mother-in-law part.