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Day 13 of Lent: Kid track

February 25, 2013

Verse for reflection: But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2

One time when the two youngest were six and three, I had to stay home with the children who had flu and strep throat. They were sick, but not too sick to want to play “office” with Mommy.

Suddenly I found myself with two pint-sized bosses. One was far tougher, and the other way more lenient than any real life-bosses I’ve encountered.

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Six-year-old: “Now, I want you to finish an article for the paper today.” (She hands me a blank page and I decide to write down our conversation so she’ll think I’m “writing.”)

Me: “Today?”

“Yes, today. Start writing.”

Shortly three-year-old arrives with a play lunch of plastic food. “Ta da! Lunch!”

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“Oh, lunch already?”

“Yes, I put ketchup and mustard on it.”

“Oh, (chuckle) yes! I heard you going ‘plop plop.’”

Six-year-old: “This is your lunch break.”

I take two pretend bites. Six-year-old: “Okay, start writing again.”

“Hey! That was a short break.”

(Relenting.) “Well, you’ll have another break later.”

Three-year-old returns with a plastic Big Mac box, hiding a smile. “Here’s your break. You won’t like it.” (Giggle.)

I open the box. Instead of a hamburger, she has tucked inside a treat like you get with a fast food kid’s meal. “Oh, you gave me a Happy Meal!”

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She grins her delight.

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Six-year-old. “Now hand your paper to me when you’re finished. I’ve drawn a picture to go with it.” …

And once again I was grateful to step inside my children’s world, even if it took a sick day to do it. It’s always a revelation to hear kids playing back to us what they’ve caught from our work world.

I chose a mommy track when I cut back my full time job to half time, a decision I never regretted. My boss may have raised an occasional eyebrow when I had to stay home with sick kids, but it was a choice I tried to make whenever possible. It meant cutting back on travel for the company, not doing much overtime or evening meetings. I didn’t pursue grad school because it would have meant uprooting the family. I was clearly on the parent track.

Stepping off the career track is a good thing, especially during this season of Lent. There are many images of God in the Bible as a parent, or loving mother hen, as our pastor read in the Lectionary passage yesterday. God IS a parent, and parenting–or loving the children in our lives–can be one more picture to help us understand a little more fully God’s wide and all embracing love for us.

Action: Today’s verse speaks of a still and quiet soul. There are many tasks facing us on Mondays, but this season reminds us to take time to be quiet and still. Even just for ten minutes.

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From → Faith, Family Life

4 Comments
  1. LInda Stoops permalink

    I love reading your blog daily, It does help me to take ten minutes out of a busy day to read and meditate a little. Thanks

  2. Nancy Hoag permalink

    I especially enjoyed reading this one tonight, because our 11-year-old granddaughter called right after dinner to ask if she might fly out (from Seattle to MT) to ski with “Papa”…and I thought, “Oh, my, will we have time to make this work?” Now, however, I’m remembering so many sweet times with this child . . . and we will make time. Nancy Hoag~

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