I think I learned early on… actually, very early on… actually from the very day my first child was born… that there was nothing I wouldn’t do for my boys. I mean, after all…I’ve been spit up on and pooped on. I’ve cleaned up vomit. I’ve stayed up all night to help finish a school project (maybe even when I said I wouldn’t help because they waited until the last minute to do it…). I’ve paid more money for a baseball bat than I would ever pay for a pair of shoes, even if I was dying to have them because they were the perfect pair. And the list goes on and on and on.
In fact, I recently added to the list of “there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my boys”. Just last Thursday night. I’d been up since 4:30am, traveled to work, and finally walked in the back door at my house about 6:30pm. I was exhausted. Supper might happen, but it would come in a bag from Sonic. It was cold outside, and I just wanted to snuggle up on the couch and be lazy for the rest of the evening. I was so tired I didn’t even have the energy to change out of my work clothes. I just grabbed my favorite furry blanket and camped out in my chair by the fireplace. That is, until about 9pm, when Cameron asked me to go check the hog traps with him.
Now for those of you who are city folks, let me explain. There are numerous recipes (yes, recipes!) for hog bait. Cameron’s preferred recipe is a smelly concoction of deer corn, Jello mix, cherries, syrup, and I forget what else. You mix it up and let it sour (thus the smelly part!). Then you dig large holes, put the bait in the holes, cover the bait with dirt, and then wander out in the pitch dark of night with a spotlight to see if you can spot a hog. I wasn’t involved in the mixing and burying part of the ordeal, but I got roped into venturing out to check the traps. I made multiple attempts and gave evidently quite feeble excuses for why I didn’t need to go, but nothing doing. Before I could even ask myself who was supposed to be in charge here, I was headed out the back door, spotlight in my hand.
I want you to get the full picture here, because Cameron did NOT give me time to get properly attired for this little adventure. Time was of the essence, and that meant I had to go dressed just like I was… which just so happened to be in a very cute little dress with leggings and ballet shoes. Are you picturing it?! With no coat and semi-bare feet, I’m trekking through the pasture in search of some varmint I really don’t care to see.
Out the back door we went, traipsing into the dark with me bitterly complaining the whole way. Cameron, like a typical male, acted as if he didn’t hear one thing I was saying. I followed his instructions to stay close and shine the light. Of course, I was NOT allowed to shine the light on where I was walking so that I could avoid cactus, snakes, or any other critters. Oh, no. I was shining the light in search of hogs. And, we didn’t see a darn one!
I’d like to say the story ends there, but with Cameron, the story never ends uneventfully. Just as I’m declaring there are no hogs and we should head back to the house, he says emphatically, “Shine the light over here. There are two skunks!” Seriously. My mommy contract did not say anything about this. I emphatically tell him right back that we are NOT going to get sprayed by skunks and we are going back to the house, but he’s not listening. Instead he’s trying to grab the spotlight from me and hand me the gun, telling me how much fun it will be if I do the shooting. Since I’m stuck with the choice of walking back in the dark by myself or going with him to shoot the skunks, I tell him I’ll hold the spotlight. He can do the shooting. By this point the skunks have traveled down to our tank which is nearly dry. We sneak up on them. I shine the light. Bang! Bang! Two skunks dead. Cam insists we should go closer to check them out. We take about three steps forward, and one of the little boogers gets up and begins to move . . . quickly. At this point, I’ve forgotten completely that I am the grown up and the mommy, and I scream like a complete girl, “Shoot him! Shoot him!” Bang! Bang! Really dead this time!
Cameron and I laughed ourselves silly all the way back to the house. We barely made it in the door before Brad was hollerin’ wantin’ to know what all the shootin’ was about. I figure I can type it that way because by now you’re thinking we’re a bunch of hicks.
The next day I’m retelling the story to one of my girlfriends, and I’m laughing all over again. I know this is a story I’ll tell again and again, definitely to Cameron’s future wife. After all, she’ll need to be prepared and understand that her wife contract will likely include a few surprises. I have a precious (and hysterical!) memory I’ll treasure always. Yes, I could get sappy here.
And then I get to thinking . . .
That’s what being a parent is all about. Loving your kids so much that you’ll do anything for them. Anything. And, you’ll likely do it even when they’ve been completely rotten. Only because you love them so much.
That’s how it is with our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much that He made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and He continues to pour out blessings on us every single day. Regardless of how rotten we can be at times, He still loves us.
Let that soak in. Regardless of how rotten we can be, He still loves us! Oh that we would never forget it!