Sunday, May 07, 2006

Looking back...

A couple of months ago I volunteered to give the children's sermon on Sunday mornings at church when the Children's Minister went on maternity leave. Kristy had her baby this past Wednesday and that meant that I was scheduled to give the kiddies (and adults) a minute talk. I began to develop stage fright Wednesday at work when Nick casually mentioned on the phone "Hey, Kristy went into labor today so be ready to give the kids' sermon on Sunday." I quickly and non-hesitantly responded, "Um, aww Nick can't you find someone else to do it? I REALLY don't want to." He asked, "why?" and, selfishly I snapped back, "Because I just don't feel comfortable doing it! - you know that about me...come on find someone else please." By Friday I had realized though that by volunteering I had made a committment to give the talk and getting Nick off the hook of finding someone to do it at the last minute. So this morning I gave the talk and everyone said it went really well...I felt really good about it. It wasn't ever the talk I was afraid of anyway. I was afraid of having to come up with something on my own and stand in front of the adults to say it. The kids are the easy part.
The point is, now I am alone on a Sunday afternoon and I am thinking back and remembering what I saw as I sat on that tiny chair, talking to them about how Jesus is like the rain (it had stormed all night and all morning). I asked them what they love most about the rain and they said, "splashing in puddles, holding my mouth open and drinking it, riding my bike in the mud." I listened as I kept looking into their little brown, blue, and green eyes. I can so remember how my favorite thing about the rain when I was little was begging Mama to let me swim in the pool as long as it didn't thunder, riding my bike through the puddles, pouring the collected water out of the crunchy leaves on the ground, shaking tree branches above my sister's head so that water fell on her, and of course the smell of hot wet asphault. Oh yea, and in the summer time, I loved how you could play outside for like 3 hours in the morning, go inside because it was raining, eat, take a nap, and then go BACK outside to meet all the neighborhood kids to play for another 3 hours until dark and that time get a lot dirtier.
At my mom's house I had (have) one younger sister and at my dad's house I had (have) two younger brothers and one younger sister. I always had someone to play with and loved to play outside. After I asked the kids to tell me what they loved the most about the rain I told them that unfortunately when you get older you can only think of what you hate about the rain...and I won't list those. I'm pretty sure that when you hate the rain it is for the same reasons that I hate the rain. Of course I don't hate the rain ALL of the time. But anyway, all this has me asking myself some pretty pointless but heartbreaking questions that maybe you could stop and ask yourself:

1. When was the last time you stomped in a puddle? Why did you stop splashing in puddles?
-I don't remember. But I do remember my favorite kiddie umbrella was yellow and printed with little white ducks and it had a tiny yellow plastic handle.

2. When was the last time you rode your bike? - not your grown up bike, your kid bike. And didn't you hate it when you would accidentally stump your toe on the street when you rode with no shoes. Mama told you so.
-I don't remember. But I do remember I used to make my sister pretend like we were driving real cars when we rode our bikes and one way to do this was to use your feet as "blinkers." (if you were turning right, you HAD to kick out your right foot.

3. (Speaking of shoes) Remember when you used to play outside barefoot all summer with no problems from sun up to sun down - then when it got to be late September early October you would start playing outside barefoot after school and then as it got darker your feet would get colder because the air was getting chillier but you were too afraid to go inside to get socks and shoes cause your mom and dad would say, "No you better just go on and stay inside now, it's starting to get dark anyway." So you just kept on playing with cold toes? - I remember and this is probably my favorite.

4. Remember when it was fun to see who could hold their breath the longest under water and underwater tea-parties had a point?
-Our favorite games was playing water gymnastics, I of course , got to be Nadia.

5. When was the last time you played school...I mean really, think about it...I had NO idea that the last time I would say, "Come on Mer, you can be the teacher this time" would be the LAST time we would ever play school. -GUYS- think of something you used to play, I don't know, like fighting ninjas, when was the last time you played...did you know it would be the last?
- I didn't and that makes me sad.

6. When was the first time you cussed? Hee Hee, I would love to be able to go back and be a fly on the wall to see how old I was and what in the world would have made me cuss. Ha Ha.

7. When was the first time you realized, "Maybe they are right...maybe there isn't a Santa?"
-I was in third grade, waiting in the lunch line, and Lee Ann Penfield told me that Santa wasn't real and that the Red Lady was!

8. When was the first time you talked/learned about S-E-X?
-Same day in third grade: I was telling Betsy Crum what Lee Ann said and SHE said that Lee Ann was right, Santa wasn't real, the Red Lady was, and that babies came out of your "you know what" after you had sex! That was a really hard day for me because after I asked my mom about it all I had to cope with knowing that Santa and the Red Lady were BOTH not real that babies did'nt come out of your belly button! Alas!!!

Eight is an odd number to end on...well really it is even...but you know what I mean...but I think that remembering that day from third grade has made me glad I am an adult again. Ha Ha. well sort of :)

Ali has been sleeping on my lap half of the time it took me to write this and squirming to get off my lap the other half...which means I'm going to take her outside

Don't hurt the love. Peace.


Heather said...

Sounds like a sweet Sunday. :)

The Bean said...

I remember the first time I cussed and got CAUGHT! We still lived in Illinois and The Goonies was about to start on TV. I don't remember what I said but I believe it was to Nicholas (probably calling him something bad) and my mom caught me. She washed my mouth out with soap and made me miss the first 15 minutes of The Goonies. Talk about torture!

I still believe in Santa and ALWAYS will. Same goes with the tooth fairy.

I remember hearing about the Red Lady for the first time. It was during Freshman retreat/orientation at Huntingdon. I never saw her though so I have no official position on wether or not she really exists. I did however do the Red Lady Run my sophomore year at Huntingdon.

The sex thing. I don't remember when I learned about it but I do remember my mom making me sit down and watch a really corny video tape with her about it. She also had a little pamphlet with pictures from the doctor's office that she kept in her dresser drawer and I would sneak it out of there and Gretchen, my childhood "sister" and I would read it and giggle.

I still love the rain. Even here in BE where it rains a little too frequently.

Good Post!

Nick M. said...

I actually rode a bike yesterday (but you knew that already), and now I want one of my own...ahh one day.

As for the S-E-X talk, if I am not mistaken a brochure just sort of magically appeared on my dresser one day.

I still love to splash in puddles only now I usually use my car to do it, makes for a much bigger effect.

You did a WONDERFUL job with the children's sermon yesterday...just think only three more to go!

Laura M. said...

Oiy Yoi.

Mary said...

Laura, I think you are the PERFECT person to do the children's sermon. No wonder they thought of you. I bet it was awesome.

The last time I rode a bike was the first year we were married... in mont-vegas. BUT, we plan on having bikes in Boston due to the whole NO CARS thing.

I never had the S-E-X talk...well, not with the parents anyway. It seems to have worked out OK for me. However, I believe that I will have no problem being open and honest about all that with future children if and when they exist.