Anna sits on the polished wooden rectangle in front of those 88 keys, with her feet dangling. My baby girl is learning about treble clef and time signatures.
I’m kind of listening. Only I’m not. I’m not really listening like I should be. Like, maybe half-listening. Like pretty much, half-daydreaming.
I turn to my daughter.
She asks: “What are you thinking about?”
“Oh … Not sure what to blog about tomorrow, and sometimes I don’t know until it just … comes. Ya know?”
She nods a knowing nod. She likes when we talk writing. She tells me she remembers that feeling when the teacher asked her to write a color poem.
We both know it’s true — We have to pay attention not only to write life, but to really live it. The best stories are right under our noses, beside the piano bench, or under the kitchen table, or tucked in beside you.
It’s true — God’s grandeur has tended to favor ordinary places like barns and bushes.
And writing makes us pay attention. Especially when we’re not paying attention.
“I have an idea,” my daughter tells me, jabbing a single finger into the air. “You should write about how you just can’t belieeeeeve how time flies, and you’re kids are growing up sooooo fast.”
She rolls her eyes, and giggles.
I ask her, “Where would you get an idea like that?”
“Oh, moms say that all the time.”
“That’s because it’s true. You’re growing up fast. I feel like I just put you on the school bus for the first time.”
“Yeah, well, that was, like, really long ago. There are 365 days in a year, Mom. And they last for-e-verrrrr.”
Except they don’t.
They don’t last forever.
And someday she’ll know. Maybe it will happen when she’s sitting near a piano bench, listening to her own child expound on life, and wondering when exactly Tinkerbell got traded in for Taylor Swift. And sadly, she’ll be dreaming of tomorrow’s blog post.
The other day on Facebook, someone’s son asked the question, “Who’s Elvis?” Another friend reported that one of her younger co-workers asked who Donna Summer was. We’re here for a vapor of time, and even the icons are soon forgotten.
Later, I tuck my girls into bed. One of the girl’s voices wobbles with emotion.
“Mom,” she says. “I’m happy that summer’s coming and everything, but I already feel kind of sad. Because summers always go by so fast.”
I hug her tight, without a word. I just grab hold of her. And I hold her of a long time. I grab hold of this one day that goes so slow, in this one life that goes so fast, because we know when we look back, that we’ll regret it if we let these moments — soaked with the grandeur of God — slip through our fingers.
A Color Poem
first beanie on a newborn’s head
velvety edge of baby-girl blankie
Pink is the clenched fist around a mama’s forefinger
and the midnight cry
and the chubby hand waving bye
front step together, watching morning sky
half-eaten dinner, beets untouched
cotton candy that Daddy gave you anyway
frosting, licked off birthday candles
tucked-in girls, with fluttering lashes
summer breeze at dusk, and sweat on the Mason jar
and remembering that days are long but life is short
Just for Fun
Make your own “color poem” here. Then come back and drop it in the comment box, or over on your blog.
So, what’s your Story?
A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
You’re invited to tell that story right here, in community with us.
Share your narratives, your poems, your Instagrams tagged with #TellHisStory, … your beautiful hearts. You are the chroniclers, the people who help others make sense of the world with your words and your art.
Story is how we know that, no matter what happens, we can get back up again.
Visit someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment. Then, Tweet about your posts, and the posts you visit, with the #TellHisStory hashtag. Come back on Friday to visit our Featured #TellHisStory, in the sidebar.
A final note: This is a safe place to tell your stories. You don’t have to be a professional writer to join us. Story is built into every single one of us. Your story matters, because it’s part of God’s story down through history, not because you punctuated everything correctly. Deal?
For more details on the #TellHisStory linkup, click here. Share the love of story by visiting someone else in the community!
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