You may have heard me talk about my metal box of sanctification also know as my mini van. A lot of life happens in those close quarters. A lot of arguing. A lot of singing. A lot of me asking forgiveness (especially on the way to church after I’ve rushed them out the door in anger and impatience). A lot of rolling down the windows to “air it out”, A lot of praying. A lot of “I spy”. A lot of talking.
Something I’ve done over the years is look in my rear view mirror and really try to take a picture in my mind’s eye of what I see. This view is constantly changing. There are the early images of two new born carriers facing backwards. Every time the car came to a stop, Joshy would cry. I remember them both screaming their heads off on the way home from church one day. We pulled over only to find that both of their little new born hats had slid over their eyes.
I remember three car seats. Bald headed toddlers facing front, new born Izzy in a new car seat that some genius had figured out a way to take the car seat out and click it to the stroller so I didn’t have to disturb my baby in the transfer. His was bright blue with yellow piping.
I remember three fuzzy headed boys with their sippy cups and their containers of cheerios. We would listen to veggie tales songs in the car.
I remember the panic of potty training twins having to go “right now” as I drove through rush hour traffic on I95. I pulled over. We had worked way too hard at this for them to get confused now. Two little boys, pants around their ankles, doing their business on the side of the road! I laughed so hard at the incidental “mooning” of a thousand cars.
I remember when the rear view mirror included four sets of dark brown eyes now including a little girl wearing pig tails way before she had enough hair to do so. I remember seeing one of my sons picking his nose and when I told him to stop, he paused a moment then asked, “Mom, did God see me picking my nose and tell you to tell me to stop?” Of course I said, “yes, God tells me everything you’re doing when I’m not looking!” Just kidding. But, it was cute that he didn’t realize I could see in the rear view mirror.
I’ve seen chubby cheeks get lean.
I’ve seen bald heads, buzz cuts, moppy hair, and french braids.
I’ve seen runny noses and nose picking.
I’ve seen scratched up elbows and knees, baseball caps, and soccer jerseys.
I’ve seen game boys turn to ipods.
I’ve heard new born screams, toddler giggles, singing of silly songs and worship songs and broadway tunes (ok, just me and maggs, but I know the boys have the Wicked soundtrack memorized whether they admit it or not), various pandora stations, and now man-voices requesting some kind of music I will endure for a little while.
In the rear view mirror, the picture is ever-changing. I want to savor every moment…even the loud, hard ones that truly have been a means of sanctification, because all too soon, there will be empty seats in my rear view mirror. Until then, I’ll listen to the Skrillex station on Pandora, be the arbitrator over the “shot-gun debates”, and roll down the window to get a breath of fresh air when necessary. Today, at some point, I’ll look and see a couple of handsome teen age boys who are finally into hygiene, and my big girl with looooong brown hair and thick black eyelashes and I’ll thank God for these precious blessings that fill my rear view mirror, that fill my heart!