No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth… just buried under a looming book deadline. Fortunately, my good friend Marci Seither has come to my rescue with a most appropriate guest post on To-Do List Making. Marci, a great writer and recent winner of the Guideposts competition, is the mom of six kids who have provided her with loads of laundry, symphonies of laughter, and volumes of great writing material. So, with my loving gratitude,
I am a list maker. It’s engrained in my genetic code. However, my “to-do” lists tend to teeter on the edge of irrational thinking; fold the laundry, vacuum the carpets, reupholster the couch and paint the living room is more than one mom can realistically do in a 24 hour period. Sometimes things get checked off the list, sometimes they don’t.
I was up in the office when I overheard Jack, who was eight at the time, announce, “Oh no…my pet snake is missing!”
“What?” I hoped it was some misunderstanding.
I grew up in the country. I am used to lizards and bugs, but snakes are in a creepy category by themselves. The fact that I had consented to Jack keeping the small reptile in the house was a miracle. The reality that it had slithered somewhere undetected gave me the willies. I tossed my “to-do” list in the trash. We had to find that cold-blooded pet.
We picked through each item in every drawer. Still no snake. I contemplated the effect of tear gas or smoke bombs.
Carefully we pulled everything out from under Jack’s bed which included nine crumpled and decomposing socks, the remnants of a peanut butter sandwich, a lost library book and a tackle box of treasures. We opened the box and laughed at photos of Jack being silly with his brothers, his assortment of colorful bottle caps, and random trinkets of great sentimental value. It was an archeological dig of childhood memories.
Sitting down on the carpeted bedroom floor with Jack was not on my list. Had it not been for the urgency of finding his snake I would have missed those priceless moments that rarely, if ever, get scheduled.
Eventually we found the snake, who immediately became an outside pet, coiled in the hallway. I also found something else: taking time to breathe in the fragrance of motherhood, even if it smells like dirty socks and peanut butter, should always be at the top of my list.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”