Life as a mother of young children usually bounces back and forth between chaotic and monotonous, but there are occasionally profound moments that remind you of the power and importance behind what you’re doing, and without sounding overdramatic, your place in the universe. And so it was yesterday. We had a nice quiet Easter morning. The Easter Bunny came on Saturday, thus making it possible to have a nice, quiet Easter morning. The kids got dressed and we headed off to Church. By the time we got home, it was actually bordering warm outside, so they were anxious to play outside. My husband Matt took them out to play while I stayed in and worked on getting Easter dinner ready.
I pulled my grandmother’s tablecloth out of the linen closet, and thought of her for a moment as I spread it across the table. I put the Easter lily in the center of the table, the one a checker lady at the grocery store gave us for free the other day because she said she “was just waiting for someone cute to come along.” (It had been partially broken earlier in the day, and the cute person she was waiting for was my daughter Natalie.) I couldn’t help but think it miraculous that it had held tight to its buds for several days and then chosen Easter morning to burst into bloom:
As I wandered into the kitchen, I stood at the window and watched my children at play. The ham was in the oven. The potatoes were in the crock pot. The song “Lead Kindly Light” was playing from my iPod, and there was sunshine coming in through the window. I watched my son Clark precariously balanced on the monkey bars at the top of the swing set. He was determined to get from one side to the other, but the distance between each rung was more than his arms and balance could reach. I saw him slowly and deliberately sit on one rung at a time, lean to balance on his arms, and pull up one knee until his foot could reach over the rung. He would transfer the foot to the next bar and then pull all his body weight across the gap, teetering while his trembling arms balanced his weight. I felt anxious, half wanting to run out and save him from a 6-foot fall and a trip to the E.R., and half cheering him on. He made it across, lowered himself down onto the slide, and grinned proudly as he propelled himself back to the ground.
The thought occurred to me that this was symbolic of our parent-child relationship. As he grows older and becomes more and more independent, I will watch him through the figurative window. I’ll worry when he seems close to danger, and I’ll celebrate as I see him triumph. And then, with the leftovers of Easter lessons and thoughts floating around in my mind, I realized it was a symbol of the relationship I have with Jesus Christ. I try to be so independent, and sometimes I am clumsy. He could come rescue me each time I struggle, but He lets me work through things. He helps me develop the skills and confidence I need to face the next round of challenges. If I do fall, He always catches me and heals me. And He cheers me on all along the way as I try and try again.
I snapped out of my thoughtful trance and as my eyes refocused, I noticed for the very first time that buds had begun to grow on the tree outside my kitchen window. After a long and dreadful winter, and the thoughts I just had about my Savior, it was a miracle. That tree was the first real sign of Spring that I had seen, and a reminder of the power of Easter and the promise of renewal.
And all that happened in about 12 seconds or so. It really felt like a magical, transcendent moment with a soundtrack and everything, and then it was over. Natalie needed a diaper change, the table had to be set, and I found a rotten sippy cup that needed to be cleaned. But it was nice while it lasted, and it was a poignant Easter moment.