That's Why We Have Umbrellas
Today is a typical Sabbath in Spring.
My two little munchkins are up early because they have gradually settled into a schedule of needing to go to bed around 9 or 10 which means they wake around 7 in the morning. After years of being night owls and getting up a little on the late side, Ben and I are adjusting to the new normal and generally go to bed ourselves soon after the girls do.
Of course, on Friday night we have a tendency to stay up later because we have this inner sense that we can just sleep in tomorrow.
Though we have been carefully teaching that the seventh day is special to God and we rest to remember how he made the whole world and rested the seventh day, our girls see no reason why they need any more rest than the ten hours' sleep they just enjoyed. For now, sleeping in is either a thing of the past or something done in shifts.
I've tried just being totally unresponsive as two wiggly little bodies are climbing all over mine, but when they are determined to wake Mommy up, they can be as persistent as a hungry cat and I'd have to be dead exhausted to sleep through it.
So I often get up and let Ben sleep since he not only sleeps sounder but seems to need more than I do (when I'm not expecting, anyway).
Today turned out to be one of those pearly gray days which are warm and still in spite of the occasional rain, so I brought the girls and our sourdough pancakes outdoors. Mom and Dad Turner aren't home so I am borrowing their covered patio to sit in since it keeps raining. The girls are exploring, their usual pastime outdoors. Abigail wanders around collecting sticks and pinecones and talking to herself while Susannah crawls around investigating and trying to eat things like woodchips and a piece of sidewalk chalk Abby left behind.
"Did you notice it's raining?" I say to Abigail.
Typically absentminded, Abby probably hadn't realized it. "Oh!" After a short pause, she grabs the umbrella and walks out to stand in the rain. "That's why we have umbrellas," she announces, peering back at me from under the edge. "So we can walk in rain."
There's this strange undefinable thing that happens somewhere around this age. It's not just the new language skills that let her announce her thoughts, but the interaction that comes from sharing thoughts together. A wise person I knew once told me that all activities you do with someone else are most important for the conversations you can have with the person you are with. Conversation - the sharing of thoughts - shapes and changes minds and relationships and those are the only things we take with us into eternity. As a task oriented person, that kind of perspective isn't easy for me to grasp. But with marriage and motherhood, I'm beginning to understand the weight of it more fully.
You wouldn't think that little conversation with Abby was profound, but it is. Because for just that little bit of time our minds were connected and sharing a thought. Not a huge one, but something. That happens hundreds of times during the day as Abby is learning to think and reason. It's the process that will eventually give her the mind of an adult and the capacity to solve much bigger problems than how to stay dry in the rain.
She's still a baby. But since her new nickname for me is Big Woman (she is fascinated with the fact there are Men and Women and there is some difference), I call her Little Woman. And I realize I'm probably going to turn around tomorrow and realize she's getting married.
"Yes, that's why we have umbrellas," I agree. "Now don't poke Susannah's eye with it or she'll get hurt and cry."
Mary Kay Tuckfield
5/18/2015 04:17:15 am
This post is a short story and if I were saving little stories to make a book - this would be one of them; it is sweet, it has a nice theme, and it is written beautifully. Thank you Lauren
5/27/2015 03:02:41 am
Such a cute story! :) It's always neat to hear them say something that show how they think!
6/6/2015 02:07:24 am
You're welcome, Mom. :-) Thank you!
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Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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