I often hear some sort of clanking or thumping from inside my dryer...usually it is loose change from my husband's pant pockets. You can find all kinds of interesting things in the dryer, everything from candy wrappers and frayed tissues to paperclips and hair barretts. Sometimes, the noise turns out to be a lipgloss container somehow void of the lipgloss after its ride in the dryer. One day was different...there were acorns in my dryer! Acorns, those nifty seed nuts that feed the squirrels during the long winter months, were breaking free from my youngest daughter's drying clothes to take a warm, wild ride. The first acorn I found in my dryer brought a smile to my face as I thought about that whimsical, free-spirited, red-headed, freckle-faced creature who always seemed to notice (and pick up) anything and EVERYTHING that fascinated her, including rocks...but that's another story for a different day! :) The acorns started piling up on the top of the dryer. I planned to return them to the yard or do something with them later on, I guess.
One day, I noticed that the acorns were gone. What really surprised me was that I felt a little paniced and saddened to the point where tears started to well in my eyes. It was not really in my character to react that way, let alone because some "already misplaced" acorns were gone. I looked beside the dryer first, then in the trashcan. There they were...in the trashcan. I dug in the trashcan to find every last one of those capped nuts, and I carried them outside to the back deck and flung them out into the grass in the yard. As I stood there, I wondered why I hadn't left them in the trashcan...really, what was the big deal?
The big deal was that my kiddos, all three girls, are my acorns. In a way, finding the acorns in my dryer reminded me of them...the oldest: patient, sensitive, loyal, and quietly strong...the middle: strong in every way, filled with justice, empathetic, and amazingly athletic...and the youngest: sweet, tender, feisty, and determined. My children are the "potential trees" in my life. I can pour life into them and nurture them, love them, admire them...and hopefully give them a warm, wild ride as they grow in character, knowledge, and love. I feel about my girls what my youngest feels about those little acorn nuggets she plucks from the earth's floor and hides in her pocket: I want to keep them, hold onto them!
Metaphorically speaking, notice your acorns!!!!!! Don't just leave them on the top of the dryer. When you have children there is an unspoken mandate and unavoidable responsibility that you will spend time with them. Time is valuable, things are not. Things do not matter when children are grown, and relationship-building can only come through TIME. As an adult, I do not remember what specific toys my parents got for me (except the Cabbage Patch doll named "Hildegard Cassandra"). What I remember most are the times when my dad made different voices for all the characters in my bedtime story or when my mom taught me how to make chicken soup. I remember sitting on my bed having long talks with my mom after a date and going to the park for a picnic with my parents, sister, and brothers. You know the quote "Love don't cost a thing"? Well, LOVE does cost us something....our TIME.
Appreciate your acorns before they are gone.
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." Psalm 127:3
Later, I found out that my husband threw the acorns away. :) He is less analytical and much more practical than I. :)