Happy summer time, everyone. Thomas, Andrew and I are in Massachusetts with our growing family. No, I’m not pregnant, but my sister-in-law is pregnant enough for two people. I mean, she’s about to have twins. And so a lot of the topics of conversation revolve around babies, children, and the ever-present reality of our offspring’s growth. You know, mom stuff.
Every time we come up here, people remark on how big my son is. Andrew is enormous compared to his little cousin Charlie, while his other cousin (3 months older than him) is now a big girl who uses the potty and speaks in high-school-level sentences. They’re growing out of toddler clothes just in time for two new babies to appear on the scene. And, in a nod to their maturity, they surprised us all by being really cool about waiting in airports for delayed flights and being stuck in seats for hours. The saga of their childhood continues.
The backdrop for this family story is my in-laws’ expanding house. They’re building an addition, and the boys hung out at the window the other day watching excavators and cement mixers roaring and working as the driveway disappeared, replaced with a pit and a pile of gravel.
The plans for the addition are on the kitchen table, carefully drawn, although I don’t understand them. But before you get new space, there’s the painstaking process of tearing up the old one, and the trucks arrive every morning, to Charlie’s delight.
But now it’s night…a lovely pink and orange sunset fell into the thick trees of New England in summertime, and once Drew was in bed, Thom and I went out and walked in his dad’s garden.
He grows vegetables, velvet-textured flowers, and berries in tall bushes. This morning, Drew and I helped him fill a bowl with ripe, candy-sweet raspberries. I lifted papery leaves to find little jewel-colored fruits that happily slid off the branch into my hand. “That’s how you know they’re ripe,” he said, “When they just sort of come off.” My father once said I needed to leave a certain situation because I was “rotting on the vine”, and that came back to me as Drew ate berry after berry that had been ready to be picked.
So there you have it, team. That’s how things grow. All of a sudden they’re ready, in bloom…or else with planning and noise and struggle and work and upheaval…or like children and babies grow, so gradually and slowly that you don’t know until it’s over. You wonder if you made the most of the time.
And wherever you are right now, however you’re growing, God Bless.
And pray for my sister-in-law if you don’t mind. Twins are twice as tiring.