You would have to know my parents to appreciate this article. When I was growing up, my parent’s yard was immaculate. My mother seemed to have a green thumb, and my father tended to every blade of grass. We had arbors, herb gardens, vegetable gardens, and many species of flowers. My father built a maze of decks in our backyard, lined our walkways with brick, and had many bird feeders that brought many bird species, including cardinals, hummingbirds, and bluejays, to our backyard. He trimmed his hedges like a work of art and cut his grass to perfection. Our back porch was like a living room serenaded with the sounds of a water fountain my mother loved. It was the epitome of a backyard paradise.
My childhood memories center around going to home improvement stores and helping work in the yard. With my parents, you did not just work in the yard; you groomed the yard and flower beds. Our yard was pristine… except for one spot in the backyard. I had gathered excess dirt from projects around the house and constructed a real-life, beautiful, and immaculate pitcher’s mound. To me, it looked like the pitcher’s mound in Great American Ballpark, where all my heroes played. When I stepped on that mound, I was Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, or John Smoltz in game seven of the World Series. However, that was just a dream. I wasn’t facing the game’s greatest hitters, and no one was in the stands. In fact, when it rained, it looked like a mudhole in the middle of a pristine botanical oasis. It was an eyesore amidst perfection, but my parents did not mind. As much as my parents loved their pristine oasis, they loved their son more. My parents were not raising grass, they were raising a son.
Every day, I try to remind myself of these truths. Soon, loads of endless laundry will be folded. The messes will be cleaned up. The toy soldiers will be put back in the box. There will be no more small cars to step on or toys to pick up. There will be no more accidental wounds to dress. There will be no more stains in clothing to resolve. The sound of a basketball dribbling outside will fade with the seasons, and the baseball size holes in the siding will be repaired. Soon, the grass will regrow where the pitcher’s mound used to be, and your beautiful botanical oasis will no longer have an eyesore. Soon, it will all be a memory.
But, while those memories are still being made, remember that we are raising kids, not grass. Let them be children and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).