How fun! We have little kids, big kids, teenagers and a baby in the house again! Life certainly isn’t dull around here these days! I was highly amused at Katie (7) and Matthew (4) yesterday.
They were standing at the window on the sun porch watching the squirrels out front. It started with just one squirrel in the tree in our yard, and then Katie spotted two more in a tree across the street. She was fascinated as she watched the branches rustle and the critters jump from branch to branch and even tree to tree. “Come, watch!” she called to her little brother. “They’re attacking each other!”
“No, they’re just playing,” I explained. “They love to play with each other—especially Tag, You’re It!”
They were hooked—and the Lord gave them quite a show! I think He whispered in the little varmints’ ears, “You’ve got an audience! Ham it up for those two children at the window!” We have a lot of squirrels in our neighborhood, but I’ve never seen more than two or three at a time together. Suddenly there were eight or ten squirrels out in front entertaining Matthew and Katie with their antics!
I had to come back into the house to take care of Robbie but I could hear the kids. The squeals and laughter and excitement coming from our front porch were so cute, and I smiled at the innocence of the children as they delighted in this little slice of “Nature,” as Katie called it. She came back in for a minute finally, but soon Matthew was running through the house in his Spiderman underwear yelling, “Katie Connie! Katie Connie! Come back! Look what they’re doing now!”
He was showing his grandpa the display of critter cuteness when suddenly I heard his little voice pipe up, “It’s a squirrely day!” I laughed. Yes, it certainly has been “squirrely days” since they arrived!
The house is quiet now. The eight Naranjos left for Alabama yesterday to visit Julie and her family for a week. So I have my house back, the bathroom back, my peace and quiet and privacy back—and it’s a let-down feeling. I was so happy for all of them that they were able to go right away to see the Sanchez family, but at the same time, I have to admit, my heart sunk a bit when I heard the news that they were going. I wasn’t quite ready to let go after having them here for only ten days.
They’ll be back. In the meantime, I am sure I will enjoy the quiet and emptiness for a few days until suddenly we have a full house again. Then the chaos and craziness will start anew and we will be back to squirrely days. J
Does any mother really get used to being an empty-nester? Well, I suppose we get used to it, but what joy when our kids come home again—and especially when they come bringing our precious treasures, our grandchildren, with them! I remember what it felt like to face the empty nest for the first time. I started crying a year before Laurie, my oldest, ever left home! It is hard to face our kids growing up and leaving home when we love being mothers so much and the future looming before us looks empty. Of course, our nest will not be truly empty as long as we have Robbie, but I’ve discovered our grown-up kids need us just as much now as they did when they were little—only in different ways. And of course we want them to grow up to be independent, self-supporting, contributing adults, but we moms still secretly hope they need their mamas, too, at least a little! And they will. No matter how old they are, they still need to know that we are standing behind them with encouragement, support, and especially prayer.
We have a ministry to our grandchildren, as well—to teach and lead by example, to support their parents’ authority, to encourage them and uplift them in prayer. Yes, grandchildren are a reward, but they are also a responsibility. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise Thy works to another, And shall declare Thy mighty acts.” Proverbs 13:22 goes on to say, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” We will not have much to leave in the way of wealth to our grandchildren—maybe a few items of sentimental value—but I pray the spiritual heritage we leave behind will be rich and abundant and of far more value than earthly riches.
We will leave them with memories, as well. Memories of a grandma and grandpa who played with them and took a special interest in each one of them. Memories of a grandpa who was young at heart and roughhoused with them no matter how tired he was, and took them on special little outings and brought them little treats. Memories of a grandma who did her best for them and poured her heart and soul into writing stories that would not only entertain, but inspire and influence them for Jesus. Memories of grandma and grandpa’s old house on Madison Avenue and the squirrely days we enjoyed together there.