Today was one of those beautiful fall days in Auburn, crisp temperatures and a cobalt blue sky. With one child in college and another one involved in high school sports I often find myself in the house alone in the afternoons. It’s a dramatic change from just a few years ago, when all activities in the afternoons revolved around my kitchen table.
As I was walking through the kitchen on my way to do yet another load of laundry, the late afternoon sunlight crept across my table, jolting my memory back to younger momma days when the afternoons were busy and my kitchen table was used for so much more than meals.
I’m guessing a lot of mommas use their kitchen tables as homework desks, school project stations and craft zones. It’s the one place where both my children could sit together, homework or project in front of them so that I could multitask. I was the English teacher, the math tutor, the crafty momma and the dinner cooker all at the same time. The conversations in the afternoon sounded something like:
What’s the capital of Arizona?
Do we have any glitter for my poster?
Do we have poster board for my poster?
I thought I bought garlic powder at the store yesterday.
What happens to the zero when you divide by zero?
Why am I out of milk again?
That project is due tomorrow???
It was a daily free for all around my kitchen table. And to this day I still have some green glitter stuck on my table – I cannot for the life of me remember on which project we used green glitter. There’s a couple of black marks made by a Sharpie on there, too – I’m sure someone was drawing on a poster board and let the Sharpie slide off the edge of the board, not thinking those marks would never come off that table.
For 12 years my daughter did all her homework at that table, from first grade all the way through high school. It was her routine, her comfort zone. All studying and fussing over math problems happened around that table. And my son was there, too. From the time he was a toddler I would give him something to color while I called out spelling words to his sister, until he eventually graduated to doing his homework on his own (thank heavens – at some point you realize your ability to do math has declined in direct proportion to how much your age has increased).
And I miss those days. I miss the days of picking up my children from school, coming into the house to have a snack at the table, then calling out history questions or flipping index cards with multiplication facts on them to my children while I started dinner.
It’s just one of those moments when once again I am alone with my memories, both thankful for that time in my life and a little sad that those days are gone.
We often don’t realize in our day to day routines that we are making memories – memories that will one day flood our minds way down the road. So if you have young children, take comfort knowing the most mundane, routine tasks will one day be some of your favorite memories. And if you are like me with older ones, don’t fight against remembering the past but take a moment to thank Jesus for all the days that you thought were boring but now seem oh, so special.
“What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short.” (1 Corinthians, 7:29) You ain’t kidding, Brother Paul. “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God. My times are in your hands.’” (Psalm 31:14-15)
Enjoy today, no matter how simple, mundane or routine the day may be.
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