Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Little Mud Slinging

This is Nathan. He is working hard at trying to repair a rather large hole that he dug this afternoon. He was digging this hole so that he could bury a time capsule that would be discovered many years from now by future generations.

Notice the red box off to the side of the photo? That's the time capsule. In a former life, the box was simple a cardboard container for some odd and random item. Nathan filled it with an assortment of treasures ... silly bands, an old DVD too scratched for us to watch, a penny, a pencil, couple of matchbox cars, a football trading card or two. He taped a note to the front (written in pencil on an index card) and prepared to bury it for people who lived far, far in the future to discover. I'm honestly not sure what these future people might have thought should his cardboard container even have survived into the future.

The hole was impressive. It was deep enough for Julia's legs to nearly be concealed when she stood inside it. The only reason I know this is because that's where the obvious mud line stops on her pants ... the new ones that she got for Christmas that have only been worn 2 times. Also because at some point Nathan proudly stated, "Well, at least I know that I can dig a hole that is nearly to Julia's waist!"

I was unaware of the hole digging going on in the yard for quite sometime, or the hole wouldn't have been nearly so deep. I've got a sinus infection and laid down for a rest. It wasn't until a frantic Megan came to me and said, "Oh, GiGi! It's just terrible! Nathan is out of control!" that I woke up. What I found was a boy that looked more like a mud monster, happily slinging mud all over the yard. The rest of his siblings were joyously encouraging him ... Maddie slinging mud back, Julia teasing him by flitting around and around and yet never close enough to hit, and Joel by filming the entire thing on his brand-new digital camera (also a Christmas gift). Meg, who hates dirt and disorder, became so distraught that she came to get me to intervene, but only because she was afraid that the mud slinging might get on the area where she was playing school with her Barbies.

In the beginning, I was too ticked (and too groggy) to take a picture of the mud monsters. Now that I have calmed down, I wish that I had. He was covered from his blond hair to his feet. His face was streaked in dried mud, his fingers caked in the thick ooze. Not an inch of his body was dirt free except that which was covered by clothing, and even then most of it was wet and dirty as well. It would have made a fine picture for future parental embarrassing.

I'm debating on how I should feel about this episode now that the initial reaction has passed. I could continue to focus on my anger over the resulting muddy mess, both inside and out. But messes can be cleaned and holes refilled so that seems a little pointless in the long run.

Perhaps I should feel proud of the fine ditch-digging son I've got. He's obviously skilled in this area. Many a fine man has dug roadside ditches and sewer lines and foundations for houses in order to provide for his family. However, I must admit with as smart as this boy is and with all of the talents given to him by his Creator, I was hoping he would aspire to something else.

I could choose to remember that this kind of activity is the very stuff boys are made of ... digging, dirt, mud, wild ideas, spur of the moment plans, larger than life projects. These very qualities that seem so childish now are the qualities that will (hopefully) mature as he ages and with a little wisdom have the potential to turn my wild little boy into a man who lives with a passion for life.

One thing is crystal clear to me right now ... my reaction will be of my own choosing. So with that in mind, I'm choosing right now to look beyond the mud and the mess to see hopefully into the heart of the boy and the future already planned out for him by God.

I'm choosing to thank God once again for this son, while I pray that someday Nathan will use all of this energy and enthusiasm for the glory of the very One who has made him this way.

And I'm choosing to spend the rest of this fine afternoon teaching a certain ten year old boy how to clean up muddy footprints with a mop and a bucket of water!

1 comment:

  1. Great read! Funny too! I sure wish you would have taken a picture! LOL! That handsome young man of yours... full of mud... in a hole...and I bet the facial expressions were priceless! Love your heart my friend. What a great mom you are!