Saturday, December 17, 2011

the future's so bright I've gotta wear shades

Micah, sound asleep, with the help of the last book he was reading (the book is covering his head)...
Don't you see that children are God's best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep. Psalm 127:3-5
Today's post is a "photographic essay." Once in a while, Rebekah and I enjoy an evening Tim and Kelly Black's children, Micah and Liam. The boys, who are four and two, are full with life. They're inquisitive, intelligent, jam-packed with love and energy, and not about to acquiesce to our house rules without giving rebellion at the very least a passing nod.

The evening broke down into the following sequence. Play; eat pizza; play; take a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights; play; get dressed for bed; read lots and lots of story books together; fall asleep.

Rebekah making stories come to life as only she knows how
That's why I had to start with the picture above. Micah is all about books at bedtime. Although I'm not convinced he listened at all to the words I was reading; he was more interested in talking about the pictures, his own interpretation, what he thought was going on, and what books we needed to pull off the shelf next. It's not that he thought the books were (or should be) an iPad so much as his mode of interaction with media is, I believe, iPad-centric.
Regardless, he finally conked out in the osmosis mode, The Night Before Christmas soaking into his brain and stirring his imagination - something I doubt even Steve Jobs' best technology could keep up with.

So much to play with at Maul Hall
INTERACTIVE MEDIA "1.0": We have several baskets of toys stored under the coffee table, and it's always where the boys go first when they walk in the front door. Cars; wooden blocks; a train set you have to - gasp! - push by hand; more blocks; a wind-up phonograph; trumpet-like instruments they like to blow in and make noise; dominoes; cards; the wooden tool-set Andrew was captured by as a toddler and earned him the nickname"Nuts-'n-bolts" from one of our friends.

Micah and Liam were only here four hours, and the last 45-minutes they were sound asleep. But having kids around is such a specific focus of attention and intention. It's easy to forget what a high investment commitment child-rearing is. There's a reason young people have families and the middle-aged have grandkids and work on the "loaner" program.

I see their future and it is so bright!
TIME WARP: Looking back, just 24 years passed from the day Andrew was born until the day Naomi became engaged to marry Craig.

When you're in the middle of it, maybe overwhelmed with a series of crises, burdened with responsibilities, or unsure of how you are possibly going to navigate through some very stormy waters, child-rearing quite simply dominates the landscape.

But it is over so soon! And you are left with these amazing young-adults who have claimed their lives, who live with such joy, and who are making the world a better place simply because they ARE.

FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT I'VE GOTTA WEAR SHADES! That's what I see when I negotiate suppertime - "I don't like this kind of pizza!" and trade "Just one more spoonful of applesauce," for "Finish what's on your plate," and "But Mama lets me have coffee in my milk?"

"gotta wear shades"
I see two young people who have so much creativity and verve and energy and love and joy to offer this world. And I can't help but think of that song: "Things are going great, and they're only getting better; I'm doing all right, getting good grades; The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades..." (Timbuk 3 - 1989)

Children are a heritage from the LORD - You bet!

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