Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Minutes of Last

Linking up again this week with Five Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo Baker's blog.  Each week Lisa-Jo posts a one word writing prompt and the catch is you write for a mere five minutes.  Flat.  No cheating. Also, no editing, back-tracking, no over-thinking.  When you're through you add your link to the party, and leave an encouraging comment for the person just above you on the list.  Easy peasy.  Ha!

Today's prompt-last

It's an unexpected gift bestowed in this season of empty nesting and middle aging. The minutes and hours and days that now belong to you. The place where you can take two steps back from all the doing, and say with a grateful heart, "I did."

The place where you know for certain what will last.

As a young mom the knowledge of it was always there, lurking at the outer edges of a brain filled with too much everything. Too much finding...missing shoes, library books due yesterday, the magic words needed to calm a frustrated toddler or an anxious teen.  

It seeped into the rush of mornings and all that remembering you had to do.  The never ending list in your head of who likes mayonnaise, and which child needs a permission slip signed, who has a test, a dental appointment, a mean girl wearing them down. Who needs a prayer prayed extra hard as a ribbon is tied round a pony tail at the bathroom sink.

The meaning and significance and importance of mothering was whispered in your ear day upon day and year upon year. It fought to be heard above the shout of a schedule filled with so many words...dates-times-appointments-stuff. Over the din of music lessons and the whine of a cranky toddler. Even the pitiful wail of a teenager as she stared down algebra that "I'll never use again mom!' could not drown out that whisper.

It ran in an unending cycle like your never empty washing machine and the 101 ballet recitals, soccer matches, and choir programs you watched with a full heart and cheeks that ached from so much smiling.

It percolated beside your too early morning coffee and your carefully controlled temper. It hovered as life was planned...menus, birthday parties, vacations, the future.

You see it so clearly now, and realize how in the deepest part of your mother heart you always knew what you were doing mattered...that it would last. It's why you kept on with all the doing when what you really longed for was a nap or a bubble bath or somebody else's life.

As young moms we're told to enjoy every second of motherhood because it's fleeting. In a sense I guess that's true, but it's also not so fleeting.

The hundred little kindnesses bestowed across a lifetime, the thousand little gestures, the times you bit your tongue and the times you didn't, the million stories read, the hugs and bandaids and juice boxes delivered, the rules doled out and forgiveness too...they all added up to something big.

Something that is not fleeting.
Something that will last.


  1. Oh boy! God knew I needed to be your 'Five Minute Friday Buddy' today. Being a Mama of a 3 year old and a 1 year old THIS was just what I needed to hear. Thank you. Thank you!

  2. I enjoyed reading your five minute prose. Well done!!

  3. Your words are beautifully expressed. This made me smile and brought tears of joy to my eyes. I have one adult child (23) and one teen (16). I'm savoring these last few years with my son. :)

    Blessings to you!

  4. Beautifully said. Not only will they last, they will expand and become a part of the next generation of you family

  5. Joyce,
    This made me cry. It is truly beautiful. I struggle with what things will last with mine...sometimes I'm afraid it will be the wrong stuff. I pray that God will do and work in spite of me often, and I pray that tomorrow I'll do better with the time I'm given. Thank you for sharing such a lovely, lovely post.

  6. This was NOT the day for me to read this. We dropped Reagan off at college yesterday and this . . . is affirming in a positive way but I'm also kind of freaked out today about all the mistakes I made that are going to last. Sigh

  7. Very good. I enjoyed reading this. It brought back many memories. My children are all grown now and have families of their own, but I can, on occasion, look at each one and see some of the good things I've done in their lives did last. Now they're being passed down to my grandchildren.

  8. You have evoked so many memories for me through this post. And, like others have stated, I can only hope and pray that it has been the really important things that have lasted with my son and daughter. Another great post my friend!