Saturday, January 10, 2009
Make Your Mark
He marches into the bathroom, "I eat butter!" Clearly pleased with his new sophisticated self, Jack walks past a large and permanent rendering of sister's name on our mirror and informs Daddy he need not worry, Jack can now take care of himself, "I eat butter!" I tell you he is practically a man. Our butter dish is now slick, smooth, and very buttery all over, yet miraculously not broken.
Then, there are the almost dozen graffiti tags on our walls that testify to this new found independence. He delights in the smudgy squish of new markers on smooth walls, the scritch-scratch of a fresh pencil on painted-over wood paneling, and in the back of his mind, the power of making a mark. Don't we all just want to make our mark? I dole out compelling consequences and the draw is still there.
The draw is there at bedtime when we thump-thump-thump race down the hallway, run and plop into the nightly ritual: laugh-pray-sing, kiss-and-hug, good-night-sleep-tight. We whisk out of their room. We sink down into an old green couch with arms enough for Craig and me. Sit, breathe, rest. We joke. And our children long to make their mark. At first it's only one shout. Then a yell and another. Before long it is the full-throated bawl of children whooping it up. And strangely in all their gusto they are shouting with voices like trumpets, "Worship the Lord! Worship only the Lord! Everybody only worship the Lord!"
Then there we are like permanent marker on our walls. Like great students of humanity, they pick the one phrase we can't hardly disagree with and shout it with great might. And once again we see, this craft of growing our children is really more art than vocation.