“The longer I live, the more I realize that the little things ARE the big things.” My husband can look a bit scary, and I guess that came in handy when we had four teenagers at once, but in real life, he’s quite the teddy bear. He loves our children and grandchildren, and he loves me.
Recently, three of our four children were home, and we took the opportunity to sit around a bonfire with them and our youngest child’s girlfriend. They started talking about their favorite part of living in the country, and the topic of fireworks came up. We remembered a bag of leftover fireworks tucked away in a closet, so I ran into the house and procured the treasure. Hilarity ensued as Wendell’s girlfriend, a city girl all her life, took in the family ritual.
Eventually we settled back down, and the kids started sharing stories about Mom and Dad, ragging on us for our parenting. Inevitably the stories led back to the day when I had purchased marshmallows, crackers, and candy to build an edible Medieval castle for Wendell’s elementary history project, and someone sneaked to the kitchen and ate all but one Twizzler before our scheduled project time the next morning. So began the Great Twizzler Inquisition, complete with finger flying through the air and screeching voice declaring, “I cannot build a castle with one Twizzler!” They love that story. Clearly, I was too invested in that project.
We sat and listened to them enlighten this sweet girl on our family dynamics, and Todd later observed, “They are comfortable. They can look back on the hard things in their childhood and laugh.” We remember the days when–while not a yeller by nature, Dad had to intensify the discourse in our home–those days when we wondered if we had scarred them for life, but they treasure their childhood, and that’s a huge relief.
So many folks wait for that defining moment–that huge event that sets a legacy in place. In reality, the legacy we leave behind for our children is more often than not built around a game of Sorry, a Wi bowling tournament, a massive bowl of pico de gallo, or a simple bonfire. These little things teach the value of being there to listen, to laugh, to cry, and to pray, and I wouldn’t trade a one of them.
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.