Most of the details from childhood are hazy and jumbled. Many are gone completely. I try to recall specific Christmas and birthday gifts. Other than the Kodak camera and a red baseball glove, I just come up with vague memories of sweaters, model rockets. And vinyl albums. – Lassoing the Sun by Mark Woods
It’s because of those Kodak moments that some memories have stayed with me. I’ve been able to look back at old photographs and remember things about the day they were taken. When I read Mark’s book, I dug out the few photos I had of our family vacation out west, then I had my brother email me some he had. I remember the dry heat of Arizona and the puppy-love longing I was experiencing that summer. I also have vague memories of drinking a lot of Sprite from hotel vending machines and my first experience with authentic Mexican food.
I get sad sometimes that so many of my memories are gone completely. I wish I had a time machine to go back and just enjoy some moments. I’d go back to when my grandma was alive and have some real conversations with her. I’d go back to high school and just be myself without all the self-conscious hindrances. I’d play sports and eat better, too. I’d relive that July Fourth of 1985 when everything just seemed perfect.
Alas, there is no time machine for me except the one going too fast into the future. So, I take photos of big and little moments as I hope to preserve a few memories for my grandkids.
“…I have often thought that few people know what secrecy there is in the young, under terror. No matter how unreasonable the terror, so that it be terror.” – from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I have come to understand this more the older I get. Last year our grandson went through a long patch of waking up afraid in the middle of the night. It wasn’t an easy fix, because it was difficult to understand just what was going through his mind. No matter how unreasonable his terror may have seemed to an adult, it was real to him.
Last week I experienced the crushing heartache of a young boy gripped by a real fear. His aunt had overdosed and was not expected to live. Here he was at school, with all the ridiculousness of middle school going on all around him, and he was worried, afraid, and grieving for someone close to him that he may not ever see again. She was miles away in another town and he was helpless.
I’ve had students who have lost siblings and parents while under my care. I’ve known some who have attempted suicide and others who have been tugged through a messy divorce.
As teachers, we are a part of a student’s life for hours on end. We can make the most of our relationship with them by being more perceptive and understanding. But most importantly, we can take them to the Lord in prayer.
“I just always loved the feeling of how strongly you held on. As if you were a monkey up in a tree. Boy skinniness and boy strength.” From Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
When I read this quote I immediately thought of my grandson. When I was at his house last October, when he was almost five, I let him climb around in a tree in his backyard. I thought of the fun I had as a kid – playing in the woods, building forts, pretending. I want this fun and freedom for him and his sister. I want their carefree days to last as long as possible. I want to protect them from the big bad world. So, I pray for them.
I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. – John 17:15
“When the Lord says you must ‘become as one of these little ones’, I take Him to mean you must be stripped of all the accretions of smugness and pretense and triviality.” – fromGileadby Marilynne Robinson
We were blessed to have our grandchildren with us for four days. What a delight to be able to play, laugh, eat, hike, read with, and just enjoy these children. How sweet it is to hear the two year calling out “Grandpa” as she wanders the house looking for him. What happiness I get when the five year old asks, “Grammie, tell me a story.”The last few visits my stories were about cars; this time they centered on Wall-E and Eva by request.
Their parents were enjoyable, also. 🙂
And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein – Luke18:15-17