May 29, 2015

“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5a.

Back in Solomon’s day and even into the 20th century, having a house full of sons meant prosperity because of all that male muscle around to help with the daily chores necessary for staying alive; plus if some bad guys showed up to wage battle, the more sons to beat them back the better. That scenario has changed a great deal in this modern world, at least in developed countries. Farmers still need man power, but with all the modern machinery, man power doesn’t necessarily mean a male has to be involved. Women are recognized (pretty much) as equals and when they’re not, well, some major stink is gonna rise!

So let’s not get hung up on the gender usage in those verses. All children are a reward from God and we should rejoice in a full quiver of them. Thankfully, not all quivers are created equal. Some quivers, such as my husband’s and mine had just enough room for three little arrows. Three little female arrows. One more arrow, female or not, would have overloaded the circuits of our modern day quiver, leaving both of us in a quivering heap, muttering unintelligibly to ourselves, while the prickly little arrows would have been shooting themselves hither and yon, wreaking havoc whithersoever they fell. And our little arrows were very good little arrows! I can just imagine what our life would have been like if God had blessed us with some kind of electronic spearish arrow determined to break the mold of genetics by mowing down opposition with brute force, hardheadedness, and sports mindedness. Just the thought makes me shake in my boots!

That brings me to the point of this May Doodle. My quiver, full to the brim for so many years with squealing, giggling, crying, dancing, reading, skipping, singing, dramatizing, studying, hair-and-wardrobe-crisising, questioning, pondering, shopping and constantly growing arrows has emptied itself. All three have shot themselves out into the atmosphere to pierce the world with their own individual brilliance. This is good and as it should be. They amaze me with their abilities and dreams and I couldn’t be prouder of them. So why am I feeling so bereft, in a happy sort of way? Here’s a list:

1. I’m not used to such a light quiver on my back after 30 years. It’s weird. I feel like I might just float away somewhere.
2. I miss the noise and commotion. After desperately seeking a little peace and quiet for decades, the silence is bugging me. Go figure!
3. I miss the messes–shoes left in the middle of the floor, clothes draped randomly around the house and in heaps in the bedrooms, drinking glasses, magazines, toys, pencils, and books collecting everywhere but where they belong, enough dirty dishes to do a load every single day, too much laundry to keep done up for even an hour.
4. I miss the laughter from sheer girlish goofiness.
5. I miss knocks on the bedroom door from little girls scared of storms or needing to go potty or just wanting to sleep with mommy and daddy.
6. I miss coming up with three inventive birthday parties to plan, execute and collapse from every year.
7. I miss in a nostalgic, but not realistic, sort of way, keeping up with everyone’s schedules, appointments, current food likes and dislikes, and “stuff” as if no one else in the house had a brain.
8. I miss the snarkiness of a houseful of females. I’m sure my husband does not miss this.
9. I miss preparing for dance recital with all its busyness, costumes, hair conundrums and nervousness.
10. I miss board game nights
11. I miss traveling on long road trips back to Kansas City with excitedly bored daughters.
12. I miss the fun and the not-so-fun of family life.

On the positive side, here’s what I’m looking forward to:

1. More time for reading and writing with no need to lock myself away.
2. Watching my daughters become who they were created to be.
3. Fewer people to keep on task.
4. Fewer people to please with my every move and comment.
5. Future weddings (I hope).
6. Grandchildren coming to play!
7. Everyone coming home to visit and disrupt the peace!
8. Wrinkles and gray hair. (This is a lie–just a test to see if you’re still reading.)
9. Saying, “do what you think is best” more often.
10. Praying more for the daughter’s wisdom in circumstances than for mine.

I’ll let you know how all this works out. My youngest moves into her own apartment this week!

My arrows: