As soon as spring flirts with us each year, kids fall for her charms and want to wear flip flops and shorts. For them, even if chilly mornings make goose bumps pop up on tender, winter skin, it’s spring--and you’ve gotta dress like you feel it!
Apparently, my middle school daughter, Kristin, was the only girl in her entire school, school district, or Indiana who was still wearing (you won’t believe this) jeans to school. This “fact” was exacerbated by the “fact” that she could no longer fit into anything that was discarded all over her bed, floor, dressers, closet, or ceiling fan.
It is true, though, that middle school kids can grow a lot in one year, just like when they were toddlers, so I took her shopping to get some capris and summer tops. While we were there, we looked for clothes we could both approve of, but the plethora of microscopic, miniscule, dinky, veritably undetectable wee shorts and skirts was not acceptable to either of us. But that’s a whole ‘nother column. Modesty we agree on. Style, not so much.
Neither of my daughters looks like me, thinks like me, or shares my fashion tastes. For instance, I like pastels, but they prefer earth tones. They are drawn to purses and belts whose patterns have been copied directly from our moms’ 1970’s Indian blanket weave den sofas. In fact, I don’t even think they’re copied; I think companies bought up all the old sofas, cut them up and recycled them into hip “new” styles. I visualize designers tee-heeing at this clever trick, like the tailors in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
Anyway, Kristin was excited about her new clothes. She expressed appreciation several times. It was a great mom and daughter bonding time.
But then something drained her shopping spirit and zapped her stamina in a matter of minutes: I began looking at a few things for myself. Her face dropped. Her knees buckled. She dragged her feet and leaned on racks of clothes for support. She wasn’t rude or misbehaving; she had simply gotten what she came for, and the party was over.
Later we were laughing about her descent into listlessness when she remarked that what she did is similar to the way we pray. That is, when we need or want something; we ask, and a lot of times we get what we want. Comically (or sadly) as soon as we feel relief from worry, or the storm has passed or the wish has been granted, we grow tired of praying. We’re not unappreciative or rude to God; we probably even say “thank you.” We just don’t sense the urgency or even remember to talk to him like we did when we were holding out our hands.
Parenthood is one big lesson to me. I was reminded today that I’m in a relationship with God, my Father, who inexplicably enjoys my company. I love him, and I want to make sure that I participate in our relationship every day in ways that don’t involve asking for something. In earthly relationships and in the one with my Father, there is joy in just spending time with someone you love.
(c) Linda Crow 2006