May I never wish them older.
May I not entangle their moments of childhood wonder and uncomplicated joy in the snares of adult expectations or my own silly-selfish needs.
Instead: Yes, yes, go!, I'd like to breathe in a tiny ear, gently moving a single golden hair beside her head with my breath, as her eyes are taking in the delicious possibilities of a world full of pond fish and tadpoles and fallen tree trunks and tiny bugs.
Yes!! stretch out your hand, little one. Touch the bark, the feather, the fluffiness on that leaf. Bite into that sun-warm tomato and press your nose deep into the grass, letting that smell, that glorious, green smell come live in your memory forever.
Taste the red dust, listen to the wind and the rain and the birds and the sound of your Mama's heart as you rest for just a moment on my lap..I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU...before you flit off again - my wonder-filled, spectacular little butterfly children!! See what Glorious Father God has made, and ENJOY it! It is a feast, a breathtaking celebration of His goodness, His creativity that causes your tiny heart to want to explode in a rainbow of joy at His beauty, His greatness!!
Discover the Truth for yourself in the gentle unfurling of a fern leaf, in the life-hungry open beak of a baby bird, in the scurry-scurry-scurriness of those little black ants!
But then...what is there but a tiny patch of grass, and not even enough of it for you run on. The grey pre-fabricated wall and the windows of the next house peering over it into our lives like a rude intruder, making me want to keep the curtains drawn. I don't, because it will just make your little world even smaller.
I ache for your sakes. My dreams are vast expanses of rolling green fields and air so blue you can just about taste its crispness. But I wake with fears of muscles atrophying and lungs shrinking because there.is.no.space. and another neighbour suffocates a patch on our walking route with dead paving.
Oh, Lord!! I read to them this morning about how You lead us to green pastures, to those quiet streams of rest. Lead me there. Show me a way, Father, show this city mother how to be grateful in the midst of all this brick and concrete and the tarred roads and the never-ceasing noise. Make me blind for the smallness of the patch of grass, and instead magnify for me the miracle of each green blade that grows there. When I look up at that piece of sky the size of a postage stamp, help me, please, to not forget how amazing it still is that it is there, that I can see it, that I have them to show it to. Open my eyes to the miracles, the miracles, so I can show them.
Come whisper gently in my ear, let me hear You tell me Go, sweet daughter, go and explore what is there! and open your eyes to all the delicious possibilities of the world I made for you:
Plump green pea pods
and the first lemon
and an abundant harvest of fat tomatoes in my pot-garden...
and the birds: the sparrows and doves and bishops - a shock of red feathers amongst the lush green of the White Stinkwood.
A tree!! Alive! A life, growing right in our front garden! Look children, look, and rub the glossy green leaves between your fingers and smell that grass -the best smell in the world!
And do you hear the Hadeda's - your favourite birds, Little Boy! - they are coming in at sunset now to rest in the blue gums next to the busybusy road before flying off to wherever they sleep tonight.
Tonight...there will be the moon, it's silvery orb so gentle, and yet not all the lights of this great big city can compare to it.
Hush, now, sweet ones, and dream of those little black ants that scurried over the paving today, and remember the wonder as we watched the snail sail up the sliding door for us to see its foot, and may God guard your dreams and give you visions of green pastures...