As a mom I have always worked to teach my children how to pick up their things. A tidy room at the end of the day is a wonderful thing, so as not to stub a toe on something on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Or, so that mom will not stub her toe as she comes in to give that one last kiss before going off to bed.
This was fine, until we had a little boy. They love to build things. Our girls have plenty of "stuff", but somehow it could always be put away or neatly placed off to the side at the end of the day. Our boy on the other hand loves cars and trains and any track that accompanies these are all the better.
Three years ago Pumpkin's Kansas Grandparents purchased a HUGE plastic, battery powered, Thomas the Tank Engine train set, for his third birthday. When I say huge, I mean that when the full set is put together it measures 4x6 feet. Obviously he loved it. At three, he was not able to put the track together on his own. The job then fell to Dad and I or his sisters. Elsie, we have found, has an amazing aptitude for building car and train tracks of many kinds and quite enjoys it as well.
All that said, I have been waiting for the time when Pumpkin would enjoy the building part as much as the playing part. Over the last year, he has made the transition.
As thrilled as I am, I did not realize the full scope of this new endeavor for my son. He will spend hours now building a train track, car track, LEGO garage, etc. When afternoon chore time comes he always asks if he has to clean up his latest track. I seem to relent on the clean carpet rule when it comes to this. Although, last week he had a plastic train track and a wooden train track out on his floor. I asked him to pick one of them up because there was no room to walk in there. The picture shows his latest creation.
I included the words from an old song called Watercolor Ponies that I really enjoyed prior to having children. Now it makes me cry. It is so true...someday all those train tracks, Hot wheel cars and LEGOs will ride away. And I will miss them.
I need to remember to cherish each of these moments while I still have them.
by Wayne Watson
There are watercolor ponies
On my refrigerator door
And the shape of something
I don't really recognize
Drawn by careful little fingers
And put proudly on display
A reminder to us all
Of how time flies
Seems an endless mound of laundry
And a stairway laced with toys
Gives a blow by blow
Reminder of the war
That we fight for their well-being
For their greater understanding
To impart a holy reverence
For the Lord
But, Baby, tell me what will we do
When it comes back to me and you?
They look a little less
Like little boys every day
Oh, the pleasure of watching
The children growing
Is mixed with a bitter cup
Of knowing the watercolor ponies
Will one day ride away
And the vision can get so narrow
As you view through your tiny world
And little victories can go by
With no applause
But in the greater evaluation
As they fly from your nest of love
May they mount up with wings
As eagles for His cause