Classic post – from my archive– because every mom needs to balance holding on without squashing…
Can you build a contraption to hold and protect an egg, then drop it, from one story above the ground- and have it land, without it breaking?
My middle-schooler did. He’s awesome. (Ok—- he had a team of middleschoolers— but- he’s mine- so of course it was all about Matt!)
I can’t do it. I’ve tried. Not as a science project….. but more as a life project.
Here’s the thing- I’m an egg-squasher. From “way back”.
It started my Grandpa’s “Secret Garden”…. ( thats what I called it in my brain,anyway.)
My Grandpa’s backyard was truly incredible. There were raspberries growing in a huge prickly sweet- hedge-(oh my word they were the BEST) There was a TOTEM POLE that my Grandpa made from a telephone pole, ( I don’t get it…..I’m sure it was inspired by something— maybe just the consternation of my Grandma!) there was a garden- with Persian melons….tomatoes,a nectarine tree, A huge, knee of your pants staining Mulberry tree…..english lavander for my Grandma (she was born in Wales) that attracted the biggest fattest cartoon looking bumble bees in the world!
There was an arbor over the patio (built by Grandpa- of course) that was covered in beautiful deep orange bell shaped flowers- that actually DID attract hummingbirds. There was a squat little shrub that looked like a gnome. (I may have named him…)
I would stay at my grandparents over the weekends— it seemed like pretty often— but maybe the memories are just so vivid— that they stand out– I’m not sure. ;) Living in Michigan- during the summers we spent as much time outside as possible….(make hay while the sunshines— even if there is no hay!)
Grandpa was a morning guy—so am I.
We’d get up early- go outside and “work in the yard” (Grandpa worked– I picked flowers- ate raspberries and ran away from bubble bees!) One day- Grandpa called me over to the mulberrry tree—with his hand stretched out holding something tiny and blue….
– “Careful…come here!”
Grandpa handed me the prettiest pale blue speckled robin’s egg. He handed it to me—and said- careful— go and show Grandma!” I was basically amazed— and scared. It was beautiful, and delicate- even I could see that. I clenched my fist around the egg—- tight- so I wouldn’t drop it. I was pretty sure I would drop it.
I rushed to the doorwall- arm extended—- clumsy, bony kid legs running to beat the eggs inevitable “fall” from my hands—- concentrating with every undiagnosed ADD bone in my body- on NOT dropping it.
By the time I got to the door, something just didn’t feel right. I peeked into my hand. SQUASHED. My pretty delicate treasure was broken. “I killed it. I am a murderer.” I cried. My Grandpa told me- the egg had already met it’s “end” before I had ever seen it— but it didn’t matter— I was the one with the broken shell in my hand.
I knew it was my fault. I had loved it – literally- to death.
I wish it was the last time- I did that. I wish I could say I learned to be careful- how I held things from then on. I haven’t always been.
I’m an Egg-squasher. I have a tendancy to hold things too tight.
Like, my spouse, like my kids. Like,my dreams. Like,my friends.
I have trouble letting go. Sometimes I try so hard to protect the things I love— that I squash em.
But- I’m learning. My 16 year old laughs. “Remember when you only let me ride my big-wheel from our driveway to our next-door neighbors? Man, Mom- talk about over protective.” (He was like 6 at the time) A friend “Intervened” and suggested 1 driveway per year. (Hey—- maybe I should let him DRIVE All the way around the block now….!!!!)
My kids sailed thru “Separation anxiety” in the normal- healthy way—- I,on the otherhand….. developed “carpal tunnel” from clenching and unclenching my hands to tight…. trying to hold on— but knowing the best and right thing for them- was to LET GO……..
I guess I still am.
It’s hard though. See- like that little blue speckled egg- the things I love- I want to protect. And I should.
—–NEWSFLASH—- I am not in control of the universe. (which is probably a good thing…)
No matter how much I try to protect—- I can’t. My Grandpa was a magical gardener— but- even in my Grandpa’s Garden… there were little invaders— bugs that didn’t belong—birds that ate raspberries before I COULD!! Eggs that fell from nests…..
I guess all these blue Easter Eggs remind me of this. They also remind me of the reason why I CAN let go-
why I can let my teenager drive a car— go to public school, be out of my sight. Go farther than one driveway.
It’s wrapped up in the Easter thing. See- while I am not in control of the universe- I know who is. God. While I sure don’t trust the world— (cause- let’s face it— the world is a pretty sick and dangerous and wonderful place) I can trust the one who holds the world in His hand.
The more experiences I have- both good- bad- painful and happy—- the more that I learn— that whateer happens—- I can get thru. But- not alone. See- when that egg broke in my own hand… i needed someone to tell me the truth. I needed someone to console and comfort me. To understand my grief. My guilt.
My Grandpa did that in the backyard.
Jesus does that in my life. He doesn’t always protect me from brokenness- but I am never alone in it.
We wnet to the park the other day- with the boys- just to goof off- in the sun. I took a picture of Noah— he found a treasure— a juniper berry- I think. He gently held it in an open hand. Loving it— showing it— but not squashing it. (And- NO- Noah- you cannot eat them- they won’t kill you- but please dont eat stuff you ind at the park– just in general)
If you look—- you can see something that amazed me— his hand is blurred- the berry is blurred—- but HE is sharply in focus.
I think- the more sharply I keep Jesus in focus—-the looser- my grip becomes on the things -people, I love—– not because I dont care— but because I know HE cares….. and will be there- with us—– regardless of the cracks that happen because we live…….in a bumpy world.
Dear Jesus- I can’t build a contraption to protect- myself- my kids my spouse or friends- from the hurts of life–
But- I do want to. — I ask you to care for us-in this messy place- I ask you to help me to trust you- to help me hold them with a tender- but open hand- so I don’t SQUASH-em like a robins egg…..I love you Lord- please help me to trust you more- every day. Amen.