“They are idols of hearts and of households,
They are angels of God in disguise;
God’s sunlight still shines in their tresses,
God’s glory still shines in their eyes.
These truants from home and from heaven –
They have made me more tender and mild;
And I know how Jesus could liken
The Kingdom of God to a child.”
(Verse 4 from “The Children,” by Charles Monroe Dickinson)
Yesterday I made some memories. I didn’t have my camera with me, but as far as my own memory goes, the mental photos I took will last forever.
Our son and daughter-in-love were finishing up packing the truck and car, and Hubs and I were responsible for keeping Zoë busy so they could get their work done. Yes, it was bittersweet, knowing that we would be saying “goodbye,” in the sense that they would no longer be close to us geographically, but not a one of them could be closer to us in our hearts.
From the moment she saw us, a smile lit up her face. There is hardly another smile in the world that could possibly bring more joy to my heart, and so I am reflecting on that joy this Monday morning.
Captured Joy – February 12, 2012
I will not forget
I cannot lose, God-willing,
The spark of simple pleasure,
shining from her stormy-colored,
A knowing look that freedom was near,
no longer restrained in her “Pack ‘n Play,”
she lifted her arms, “So big!”
I am her Granny – who would lift her up
and out of her toy-filled prison (yet a prison).
Tightly embraced in my willing arms,
she leaned forward to bump my forehead
with hers; a grin squeezing shut her eyes;
“Nee-nee-nee!” she sings to me, knowing
I will return the gestures and the song.
She wanted to run – her run a joyful dance,
and I let her go. I watched in wonder,
and rapt in her own, she took them all in –
the changes that unfolded all around.
No couch, no chair, no table – “All gone!”
She found small scraps of paper, tiny trash, that
proudly smiling, she brought to me. In her way,
a self-coined babble, she told me my options:
Keep or dispose, no matter, as long as
I responded, confirming her desires.
She ran to me on tip-toe, dragging behind
her pink and purple blanket. With a silent giggle,
she lifted it to cover her eyes. She knows me;
“Where is Zoë?” I cried! And her silence turned
into delight; she let fall the magic wall –
“There she is!” I gasped in sweet relief.
With never-old, ever-new joy
the game was played – again and again,
each time perfect, as the first.
I smiled and sighed, knowing this time would end.
Such simple forms of pleasure will too soon
give way to the complications that come
with growing up and boldly stepping out.
I will not stop her, I cannot slow her down.
But this day will always belong to me.
I seize every moment of joy, hold on to happiness.
She will not remember how we laughed today;
she will always know that she is loved.
We will not always be together,
We will always be joined.
My sweet Zoë, I pray that you will always know that there are pleasures in simple things, and joy all around. It is important to me that I tell you, the way your great-grandmother always told me, “remember who you are!” And may you always be blessed with the abundance of enough. . .