This week I spent a little time cleaning out my inbox. I cast 13,000 emails to the dry places of the internet, never to be read again. I thought of all those words, conversations, and ideas that had ceased to have any importance in my life. A bit of melancholy washed over me.
Then I found some old photos that Mr. Fantastic had emailed me years ago. Boys eating donuts, babies in restaurant highchairs, and big grins on happy birthday faces shined on my computer screen.
“Those were the good old days,” I thought.
Those were the days before our present troubles and concerns weighed our hearts down. The days before we juggled big kids, a growing church, and an old. flawed house.
Later, the Lady and I set out on a walk. She is too big for strollers and tricycles these days. We took the long way through the neighborhood, along the creek path, and home again. I had to jog to keep up with her on her scooter.
“I’m tired, Mama!” my big girl complained along the way. “Can you turn on the music?”
A moment later, Sister Sledge belted out “We Are Family” from my phone. We danced right there on the sidewalk, at the corner of Braeburn Glen and Briar Hollow. If anyone saw us, they probably thought we were crazy. I didn’t care. These are the days I don’t want to lose by being too dignified to do the running man with a five year old.
She picked a dandelion and offered it to me. A golden love offering. I thought how souls ought to have cameras, so precious joy could be captured and replayed when needed.
These are the good old days. These are the days of baseball games, late nights around card tables, conversations about growing up, learning dance moves, and laughter without end. They are glorious days and I want to live here forever.
Yesterday we taught the kids how to snap a towel while we cleaned the kitchen before community group, and I showed Boy 1 how to make guacamole for a big crowd of friends. We have ignored bedtime rituals this week because the Olympics are too good to miss. In the early hours of this morning, two cozy boys crawled in my bed and patiently waited for me to wake up.
I refuse to harden my heart to these good old days. The days before teenage struggles, life changes that we can’t see coming, and goodbyes that I don’t want to think about yet.
There is great rest in the happiness of mothering these kids who call me the “Best Mom in the World” because I make sandwiches they like and bake cookies at night. It is wonderful here, today, to be loved by big blue eyes and open, happy little people.
I emailed myself a photo from the walk I took with the Lady. My soul doesn’t have a camera, but my inbox will forever hold this memory for me. When I need to remember, I will pull it up and remember that every day Christ offers us is good.
We can never delete that.