After a bit of a grouchy start, occasioned by some pinched thing in my shoulder that hurt badly enough to make my cheekbone ache (not a heart attack, don’t worry), we actually had a delightful day at our house. There were some questionable-looking grey clouds looming overhead early in the day, but the tribe spent a decent bit of time out-of-doors this afternoon, running and swinging and coaxing Smudgie to chase them into their clubhouse. He has, for the record, become much more confident about his descent skills, and simply leaps off the open side over the rock wall. Apparently the slide is too much excitement for our giant puppy.
We made floral crosses out of big swags of fluffy chenille (photos tomorrow), colored pictures in our Stations of the Cross coloring books, and talked about what it means to forgive. I was actually quite impressed that Bugaboo asked, quickly echoed by Beanie, and I was only to happy to explain to them that forgiveness means deciding not to be angry at those who have wronged us, to love those people anyway the way we would want them to. I reminded them that Jesus, on the cross, forgave the people who killed him, so if we love Jesus, we should follow his example and not hold grudges.
I’m a definite work in progress on that one.
At any rate, the tribe was clamoring for a little more outdoor playtime after dinner, and with the daylight extending longer and longer, it seemed like a pretty decent idea to me. Sunshine and dirt are good for children and other growing things. Down the stairs they sped, Mr. Man in his Spidey shoes, Bugaboo in her crocs, Beanie in her Hello Kitty galoshes that she would wear to church if we’d let her get away with it. I watched from the window as they hopped onto the swings and set about a little post-supper fun, then went back to feeding Baby Guy his dinner. He loves green beans so much that I have to give them to him one small piece at a time, lest he cram a dozen or so into his face and choke himself.
Not long after I recommenced the green bean dance with Baby Guy, I heard a bit of a ruckus in the yard, closely followed by the sound of Bugaboo pelting up the stairs. “Mommy, Smudgie stole Beanie’s boot and he’s running around the yard with it! Please do something!”
Can’t laugh . . . not funny.
I looked out the window and, sure enough, Smudgie was sprinting around the back yard, a Hello Kitty galosh flapping out of the side of his mouth. It probably says something awful about me that I paused to grab the camera before rushing to the rescue. When I got downstairs a few moments later, Smudgie had tired of his game (or, perhaps, tired of getting whacked in the face with a boot with every bound) and dropped the precious footwear. Beanie was dashing over to the spot where it had fallen, and happily reclaimed the missing half of her favorite footwear.
According to the story I pieced together from the girls, Smudgie was lurking around the swingset, trying to catch butterflies, and Beanie kept running into him while she was swinging. I suspect that some of those run-ins were a deliberate attempt to get Smudgie out of the path of her swing. At any rate, Smudgie decided to grab one of Beanie’s boots off her foot and start a game of chase-the-puppy.
After that little interlude, three kids and an oversized puppy played happily together in the yard until bath time. I did note that Smudgie kept a most respectful distance from the swings.
Once I had hosed down the hooligans, we all settled down in the living room to play with blocks and cars. Smudgie decided he wanted to go outside, and as I rose to let him out, I heard Beanie say, softly, “Smudgie, you don’t have to leave. I forgive you.”
Today’s prayer: Lord, grudges are heavy burdens, indeed. Thank You for the heart lesson Your blessings learned today, that it’s better to forgive than to hold onto anger. Help me teach them that wrath distances us from You, and help me set a better example of how to answer insults and injuries mildly. Thank You for Your ultimate example of forgiveness; please grant us the wisdom to follow it.