Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Zac left this morning for a three-day trip to Mount Baker with the high school. He's been gone seven minutes, and I miss him already.

Last night, in preparation for the trip, he tried on a knit hat with ear flaps he bought in Canada last summer. Surveying his reflection in the giant mirror hung above our couch (and checking his pecs at the same time, that clever, multi-tasking boy), he thought only one thing could improve his look: a big dangling pompom.

"Mom, you know how to make one of those, right?"

Although some days, he acts as if I don't have enough sense to tie my shoes, he never, ever doubts my ability to find money in my purse ... or use the debit card ... or produce a chicken pot pie or big pan of beef stroganoff from thin air ... or whip up whatever else he's decided he must have that exact moment. No. When Zac gets a fancy for something he can't provide for himself, suddenly I'm Einstein and Martha Stewart squished together.

And of course I'm just prideful enough to rise to that expectation.

"Absolutely! Do you want ten? Would you like them in various colors and puff-thicknesses? Want me to figure out how to make them laugh, or light up? Shall I monogram each fiber with 'ZW'?"

He only wanted one -- one plain, silent, non-lighting pompom. And I just happened to be sitting on the couch knitting when he asked, so my basket of yarn was right at my feet. We found a color that matched his hat and I set to work.

I think you'd like the final product. That is, of course, if you could squelch the thought I managed to squelch -- the thought that ear flaps and dangling pompoms just don't look high-school-boy-worthy. I have a news flash for you: the fashion world has moved on without us.

According to my son, the pompom made the whole outfit. I'm deciding to trust him on that. Still, I had to smile at how little-boyish he looked to me.

And then this morning, he yelled down from the upstairs bathroom, "Hey, Mom! I haven't shaved in two days--wanna feel my beard before I shave it off?"

You don't turn down an offer like that. He galloped down the stairs and thrust his chin at me. "Feel right here. You gotta move back and forth."

I touched his chin. "Zac, those are two of the mightiest chin hairs I've ever felt."

He grinned. "Two?! I must have ten."

And then he was gone.

I'm glad he needed me for something before he left. I've always loved that part of mothering--the part where I'm needed. The part where he turns to me and says, "Can you ... " and I get to say, "Yes, I can."

That reminds me of a walk we took a long, long time ago. Here's the shortened version of that day, a version I wrote for a devotional. The much longer, much more detailed version is found in my book.

* * *

“You first.”

My two-year-old wasn’t being gallant. This was not a buffet line, or first crack at a plate of cookies. He wasn’t holding a door open for me. We were walking in the woods, and he had just confronted an enormous spider web.

“You first, Mama.”

I obliged. Where the brush was thick, I stepped and smooshed, clearing a path for him. Where webs crisscrossed between bushes and trees, I swung my mighty stick and made the path safe for little spider web-fearers.

He followed, carefree, like the young prince that he is. When he grew hungry, I pulled a granola bar from the mysterious depths of my pocket. I even took off the wrapper for him. When he thirsted, I gave him a swig from my water bottle. And when he yawned and slowed his steps, I picked him up and turned us both for home—despite all his crabby protestations.

How comforting to know that our Father has gone before us to clear the cobwebs, to straighten the path, to make a way for us in the wilderness. How good to know that He is there to satisfy our hunger and thirst, and carry us when our strength is gone. Though we are tempted sometimes to run ahead, it’s so much better to follow.

You first, Lord.

“I will go before you and make the crooked places straight . . .”
~ Isaiah 45:2 (NKJV)

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4 Comment:

At 3/09/2005 9:32 AM, Blogger Kim had this to say ...

Awww. I can't help picturing Blake & I when he's older. Nooo! Don't grow up! lol

Great post. :)

At 3/09/2005 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

Well, well, well. Imagine my eyes opening wide when I read this post. I know you love your son and I hope Zac has a good time on his retreat. Enjoy your vacation!

At 3/09/2005 4:44 PM, Blogger Lori Seaborg had this to say ...

A photo of the pompom would be nice!

My children are at the ages where they don't ask, they expect (toddler- and preschool-hood). I'd like to be asked just once.

Along with a "thank you," of course!

At 3/10/2005 4:20 PM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

Good idea, Lori! I'll have to get him to pose for me when he gets home. :)


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