I feel close to Hannah from the Bible. Hannah wanted a baby—a feeling that I fully comprehend. I don’t understand, however, how Hannah was willing to give him up (back) to the Lord when he was weaned. I can imagine that lengthy and emotional nursing relationship!
This past week, we visited Sea World in San Diego and enjoyed ourselves! I couldn’t help noticing the children in the crowd—and the training their parents were unknowingly giving them—in contrast to the sea animals and the purposeful training they were carefully receiving.
When the walrus even turned his head in the right direction, the trainer responded with a big handful of fish, stroking his skin, and praising him. It was obvious that if the trainer ignored good behavior, or approached wrong behavior with a slap or criticism, the walrus would quickly “un-train”. It took constant positive reinforcement to keep the animals willing to do the trainer’s bidding.
The Girl I Used to Be
She came tonight as I sat alone,
The girl I used to be.
And she gazed at me with her earnest eye
And questioned reproachfully,
I wish I could say that we have arrived at the modern age and now we can breathe easier and relax a bit and turn over the instruction and entertainment of our children to some electronic device or nanny or government program or Sunday school class or something. But the fact is, it is still up to parents to raise the world’s next generation of human beings. And unless your husband is independently wealthy and available all day long, then it is mostly in mother’s hands. And how fine will the next generation be? How polite, articulate, kind, intelligent, sensitive and spiritual will they turn out?
When my kids were younger, going to the grocery store with them could be such a struggle! Each of them in turn was bedazzled by some treat or toy that they caught a glimpse of and the begging would begin: “Can we buy those cookies?” . . . “I want ice cream!” . . . “We don’t have any juice, Mom!” . . . “We need a big ball!”.
Eighteen years ago we moved from bustling southern California to rural Utah and tried to learn to work the land, to plant an orchard, to raise animals—to live a country life. It didn’t come easy! But, we were blessed to have old timers as neighbors and their farm wisdom was profound.
One adage that I heard repeated was, “A plant in need is quick to seed.” Whenever you see a plant that is immature and small, but blooming, you can be sure it isn’t getting what it needs to thrive. It senses that conditions are dire, and tries to bloom and set seed as quickly as possible, or its life will be in vain.
Yackety-yack! We moms sure love to talk. I sometimes wonder what we sound like to our little children! I wonder, if after the first sentence directed at them, they might catch a word here and there but not grasp the whole meaning of what we are trying to communicate. They love us, and they listen attentively at times, but I don’t think they always “get it”!
We just went to Arches National Park for a quick sight-seeing trip. At the last minute, some of our grown kids jumped in too, so our 7 passenger van was full to the brim and scraped bottom if we went over a big bump. What fun we had, singing as we drove along! The joy in each other’s presence was wonderful! The scenery was majestic! All felt right with the world.