Saturday, May 23, 2015

"I hope when I'm your age..."

So, you may remember Tortuga, our red-eared slider aquatic turtle. Tortuga lives in the kiddie pool on the back porch. He eats some turtle food, but mostly lives on tadpoles and snails. The tadpoles and snails we collect from the backyard pond. The turtle has become primarily a pet for Grady and I. The two of us do the majority of the cleaning and feeding, and habitat making, and it's something we enjoy.

Tonight Grady and I spent a good hour out back, cleaning the pool, and digging around looking for snails, and using a broken piece of net to catch tadpoles. The whole time we're working he says things like "that was a great catch Mom!", "Mom, I'm good at catching the tadpoles with my hands, and you're good at getting them in the bucket." "We sure are doing a great job, aren't we?" "Tortuga's gonna LOVE these!"... Just sweet little encouraging words, coming from a heart that is just so happy being outside doing what he loves.

We were squatting down in the rocks around the edge of the pond, one with a net, one with a bucket, catching tadpoles when he said "Mom... I hope when I'm your age, I remember this." "Remember what?" "That you liked to sit out here catching tadpoles with me."

Oh my heart. Tears. And there it is. In that one sentence. That's what it's all about. He's never said that he hopes he remembers the clean house, the healthy food or the neatly folded laundry. He hopes he remembers me, up to my elbows in gross pond water, with a bucket and a net catching tadpoles with him.

And I hope we both remember these days, because they go so fast. I feel like there are already so many things that I don't remember about the last eight years with my children. Their little voices, their tiny bodies all curled up on my chest, their quirky comments, what they loved to talk about, what they prayed for and what they spent their days doing.

So to all of you with young children, and to myself, a reminder: Be purposeful about setting aside your projects and plans and your hurried schedule, even just for half an hour, and spend some time hanging out with your kids. No phone, no internet, no TV. Talk to them, ask questions, and really listen. Be still and be present.

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