Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wild and Precious Life

Since it is now officially summer, it's a great time to ponder a true "Summer Day."

With that said, here's a beautiful poem I found that reflects on this notion of life being like a summer day. Gorgeous and lush in fullness in a moment and gone the next. Take a read and then consider, what will you do with this "one wild and precious life?"

The Summer Day
By Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Birds, Bees and Me

Every summer, I take a little time to have "a talk" with my son.

I was inspired by a dear friend who shared how she used to have "grown up time" talks with her son each summer as he grew through the years. She started simple with a very basic "bees" talk, that continued to expand. I loved this idea -- it sounded very warm and encouraging. A special bonding time to be had with mom and son.

Every year since he was 7, we have had our little "talks." Some may think 7 is way too young, but I want my son to hear the words from me, not some trashed up version from friends or the media. I didn't want my son to have it like I did, never from my parents, mostly from slumber party conversations among girlfriends. As a young girl, my wisdom was given in bits and pieces -- found in the library books all the other girls checked out, gossiped about in secret, giggly conversations.

I wanted my son to "know" from a wholesome standpoint that all of this life, sex, puberty stuff was completely normal, natural and the way God has gifted us. But more importantly, to know in a way that honors things, not shames it up or makes it feel weird or guilty.

Recently, I took a trip with my son, now almost 9, to North Carolina's Outer Banks. We were walking along the majestic sand dunes of Jockey's Ridge, one of the largest naturally occurring sand dune along the East Coast. The beauty of the moment must have inspired me as I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for this year's "talk."

So I immediately launched into "important discussion mode" -- reeling off facts, information, details about the human body and things I felt like he needed to know. He listened patiently for awhile, nodding his head like a serious scholar. He didn't say much, but waited until I was done with my monologue. I paused and he took his chance to say, "Okay mom, that's enough. You can stop talking now."

The moment stunned me. Busy with all of my reasons, facts, details, I never stopped to wonder if he really wanted to know. I told him because it's what I wanted as a child, but he did not. Yet. I realized he was okay with not knowing all the grown up stuff. In that precious moment, I was grateful my son wished to remain a little boy for another year.