This was written in January, 2008. I was reading it this morning and thinking about my sons — and how neither of them are working in the cold at this point, and how life changes so much. The years have a way of marching on, and it seems like decades since our lives were like this. I was going to say that the one thing that never changes is the love that we have for our children. But that isn’t true. It is true that we always love them, but how we love them changes almost as much as everything else. I love our sons — I always will. And I still pray for them. But the days of sprinkling love over the lunch sandwiches are long, long gone. 🙂
Today was one of those Delaware days.
The temperature is low.
There is a mean wind blowing.
I make swiss cheese and ham sandwiches in the early morning light.
I think about the men my sons have become.
Heading out into the extreme cold. Learning hard life lessons.
Construction work in Delaware is not for softies.
Through the day, their job comes to mind over and over again.
When I step out of the warmth of the car to the doctors office with my Nettie-Girl.
When I come back out and the force of the wind hits me square
And seems to go right through me.
I pull my flapping jacket closer around me, and find there is no real warmth
Against this biting, cutting wind.
I pray the Lord to make them strong. And cautious. And wise. And full of optimism.
I pray the Lord to provide respite from the wind.
I pray against bitterness, discouragement and despair.
They tumbled in tonight. The coffee was on.
“J’amaican Me Crazy” blend from Dolce’s swirled its comforting smell out to the back door.
Pork Barbecue was in the oven. Martin Potato Rolls on the cupboard.
They started to “unpeel” and I had to laugh.
Plastic Wal-mart bags around shoes inside boots.
Work pants came off. Then sweat pants. Then work shorts. Then there were flannel pajama bottoms.
(Whatever happened to long underwear???)
I see Youngest Son curling up beside the burning flame of the pellet stove.
Oldest Son tending to the “foreman” responsibilities of truck and fellow employees before allowing himself the luxury of warm house and lounging clothes.
Tonight they soak up the warmth and the fire and the comfort of home.
Tomorrow is to be even colder. And tomorrow they go back out to the job.
It no longer is my responsibility to keep them warm and safe.
I will always be glad when they come home for warmth and food and comfort and encouragement.
But tonight, I know those days are seriously numbered.
And that is okay. It is the way of Men.
And they are men. They don’t even love me best of all anymore.
And so, I pack the lunches with a prayer.
I remember the days when I would take my hand and pretend to sprinkle “love” into their food.
It made them laugh.
They are way too big for that trick now.
What they don’t know is that, even though my hand is still,
My heart is sprinkling love all over those Swiss cheese and ham sandwiches.
And I will always love them.