Now that two out of three of my children have already had another birthday come and go, I am certain that time is snowballing way out of control. The intervals in my day balance between, “When will the day end?” and “Where did the day go?” So often I get swept up in the fuss and monotony, that I miss the writing in the dust. If you’re a parent, you know what I am talking about … it’s those telltale hints our children leave us that say we are loved … like a message in dust.
Somewhere over the course of my life, I acquired a peculiar piece of furniture. A half table to be precise. It’s a rickety, old, three-legged table that is rounded in front and flat in the back, so it can nestle against a wall. This awkward table has always found a dwelling place under a small window, collecting dust.
An odd little table with a thin layer of dust suddenly became a message board for sweet nothings, “I ♥ U mommy.” I knew instantly, which child of mine had left this endearing message in dust and it literally took my breath away. Afraid someone would come along and wipe it away, I got my camera and zoomed in on this perfect image. I wanted to freeze frame it in time and never dust it away. This message was different than all the others, it was completely unexpected, and it made a permanent imprint on my heart. It changed me. I realized that I want to “see” more things with my heart, and allow ordinary things to grab me emotionally, like a perfect pair of wet footprints on the porch, quickly fading at the mercy of the hot sun. I grab my camera and freeze them in time. Another imprint on my heart. A glass jar, sits next to my television for one purpose only … to hold the tiny “treasures” my youngest son has found in various places, mostly odd shaped sticks and small interesting stones. Imagine, sticks and stones, each and every one represents his unconditional love for me, and they grab my heart every time I look at them. My son always knows that his “love gifts” have a special place in my heart and in a jar on the TV stand. My kids know I love when they pick me flowers. My daughter will often pick wild flowers and leave them on my nightstand in a tiny heart-shaped jar. My youngest will hand me a bundle of flower heads, minus the stems, which can only be placed floating in a glass bowl. Regardless, those tattered little flowers melt my heart. There are countless things my kids do every day that I expect, but with each new day, I am trying to slow down, look deeper and hopefully never miss the writing in the dust.