Speak Eagle

Blink. Don’t Blink.

I’m tackling the impossible: grocery shopping with three boys.  Three monkeys at the grocery store One has on a spiderman costume and attempts to fly down the bread aisle, another squishes grapes in the produce bag one-by-one, and the third is crying and rubbing his eyes because he had curiously looked underneath the soap dispenser in the bathroom and then pushed the lever- just to see what would happen.

As I make a mental note to make my first million by inventing drop-in childcare for grocery stores, a sweet little old lady approaches me, smiling. “Oh, honey, don’t blink, or they’ll be all grown up.”  She turns to pick out a cantaloupe, and I blink.  Hard.

Nothing happens.  Except that one of my sons sneezes and blows snot on my shirt.

“Liar,” I mutter.

Then, my 3-year old looks up at me with his big, brown eyes and said, “Mommy, you know what?  You’re the best Mommy in the whole family.”

And in that moment, I want to take my blink back.

That evening, we read books and I rest my cheek on soft hair, listening, smiling as one sounds out the beautiful name “Jesus,” for the first time.  Later, they lie sleeping and I watch their fluttering eyelashes and the rise and fall of their little-man chests, and I never want to blink again.

But the next night, when I catch a boy slamming my bedspread with a wet toilet plunger, the poetic words are down the drain and I’m blinking hard again.

Blink? Or don’t blink?

I have a feeling the tension won’t ever go away for us in this life.  We naturally want to wish away the sour and hang onto the sweet.  But I’ve started to wonder…maybe the tension is our invitation-  An invitation to live fully in the present. Praying for strength in this moment.  Here.  Now.

A sign in a local coffee shop reads, “Yesterday is the past.  Tomorrow is the future.  Today is your life.”

And I suppose if we’re living life fully in the present, we won’t be thinking about blinking at all.

Rescuing the grapes from their demise and catching spiderman, yes.  Blinking, no.

Lord, teach us to be content.  Today.

4 thoughts on “Blink. Don’t Blink.”

  1. When my kids were all that age, I remember coming up with a plan for “Drive Through Groceries.” Also, I never felt like that time went fast….Long, long days. I tried not to wish them away, but often did. Eventually, (I keep telling myself) I will feel like the years just flew, but not yet! No worries. God continues to challenge us by making us live in the present at every stage of parenting. I love reading your column. Keep writing!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Terri! Actually, the Harris Teeter in a nearby town has a drive through- you order online and and they bring the bags out to your car. Someone must have heard your idea! Yes, thankful for the lessons God teaches us all along the way in this adventure of parenting!

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