I’m sitting at my desk at my living room window watching my neighbours put up new eavestroughs on their house. The dad climbs up the ladder, all the way to the top, and his little boy (maybe four years old) climbs up too, about halfway. The boy hangs on, just below his daddy’s feet, chatting and pointing. He’s “helping” while his daddy screws in another piece of eavestrough. I cringe, picturing the dad stepping down even one rung and crushing the little boy’s fingers. But of course, that doesn’t happen. They are a team. When it’s time, the boy climbs down, followed by the dad. The dad moves the ladder over, climbs back up with his boy at his heels, and the “helping” resumes. The mom bustles back and forth between “spotting” her little boy on the ladder and checking on her baby, who is strapped into a stroller nearby. She is young. Ambitious. I’ve seen her work hard outside while juggling her children. She’s me. About ten years ago, anyway.
And my heart aches as I watch.
Why? Because it reminds me of simpler times when my boys were little and our family was young and innocent and full of dreams and a million tomorrows.
I don’t want to be 29 again. I don’t want to go back. But sometimes it hurts to remember. I’d like to live just one day in that simplicity, naively imagining life will turn out just as I plan it to. But I know, of course, that if I got to live my one day in the past, I’d immediately remember how draining toddler tantrums are and the extreme exhaustion I felt as a young mom and the lonely evenings while my husband worked, and I wouldn’t want to stay in the memory anymore.
Even so. At this moment, I’d like it back. Just for a bit. Just a little taste. Like the lick of an ice cream cone. Even though I know it wouldn’t fix anything.
Everyone has a story. You have a story. A journey you’re going through. A joy. A struggle. A season. All this talk of seasons lately stems from my own need to accept my current season. I’m practicing these ways to accept my season. I’m learning as I go, as I write. I’m thankful. I’m praying. I’m praising God through the trials. I’m recognizing the gifts in my life. I’m recognizing the value and the fruit in my life.
But I’m human. And today, just in this moment, I’m pining.
And now I’ll let it go. I’ll step away from this window that has become a glimpse into my past because I know that health lies in the present and in healing and in hope for the future. Joy doesn’t live in my past, nor in my pining. Joy comes in the morning in the presence of my Saviour, who knows me full well and will never disappoint, who carries me through. And I know his promises for tomorrow are sure and good and exactly what I need. So I’ll keep holding on to him, he who is my hope and my future. He who is my everything.