My memories & my Rock
October in Oregon offers some of the best days at the coast. So, when the weather forecast includes sun and doesn’t include wind – you drop all plans in order to reach the sands.
Even though it was a Monday (my most productive day of the week), and even though we had laundry and lessons and a long list of productive things to accomplish, I loaded my three favorite little people into the car, coast-bound. I decided if we went to Haystack Rock at low tide, the whole expedition could count as homeschool. Science, right? After staking our spot in the fluffy sand, we sprinted straight toward the tide pools. We teased sea anemone tentacles, spotted sea stars and watched small crabs get crabby with each other. The tide pools were crowded (we weren’t the only ones with this fabulous field trip idea), but the visitors joined in admiration of the creatures. Complete strangers would stop to make sure my little ones didn’t miss something. “Did you see the barnacle on the crab’s back?” or “There’s a giant orange star fish in that rock’s crack,” they’d point out.
But my favorite part of the day came as crowds went out and the tide came in. The sun backlit the memory-in-the-making, as I watched my little people scale the water’s edge. One would run ahead, curious. One would linger behind, content. One would skip and dance, oblivious of anyone watching. Then they’d reconvene as a trio for a few minutes, before scampering solo again.
It reminds me of when they were testing toddlers – independently venturing away for a few steps and then bolting back to mama’s knees.
And as mamas, we yearn for them to find their footing. We want them to feel comfortable in their own skin and sand – and yet we want them to still need us too. We want them to stay little.
The other day my friend recalled musing, “I wish they’d just stay like this forever.” And another mother replied, “That’s not true. You don’t wish that at all.” That other mother’s child had a disability that didn’t allow for growth and progression – mentally, emotionally and physically. It took my friend by surprise, and she realized the truth spoken. She didn’t wish her children to stay children forever …
I think what she really meant was, she wanted the memory of them being little to stay forever. Or at least, that’s what I’m hoping for. Truth be told, my memory is already poor … I can’t remember my children clearly as infants or toddlers. It doesn’t look likely that I’ll remember this stage clearly either. I’ll need some help.
So, as my sweet small souls scuttled below the giant rock, I took mental (and digital) photos of the moment. I tried to engrave their image in my mind and heart – their purity, their personalities, their love for each other, their ebb and flow of independence and dependence.
And then I prayed. I prayed unto My Rock, that I’d remember this stage in the flow of life. I prayed for the memories to stick, because I know I’ll need Higher Help for it to happen. I prayed that I’d love them more perfectly – because they are so perfect and so deserving of perfect love! And I prayed because I know He cares deeply and eternally about them (and me).
“Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God.” (2 Nephi 4:35)
My prayers ascended to My Rock, while we stood below a most beautiful, gigantic rock.
And for that moment, the memory was perfect – like Him.
Have you had moments like that? Where you could feel Him lovingly watching – feeling your feelings and caring about your cares? I’d love to hear! If you feel so inspired, please share in the comment section below. 🙂