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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Childhood Whispers
Date Posted: November 12, 2005

The other day I was putting away my nine-year-old's new "church" shoes and noticed they looked really huge. Well, he did just make the transition from boys' to men's sizes. So I picked up one of my shoes and put them sole to sole. They were the same size!

Now I do not have dainty little feet by any stretch of the imagination or truth. After having two kids, my average eight-and-a-half's have grown a full size. Sometimes I even need a ten if the shoe doesn't come in a wide width. So to think that my son, who is NINE, has feet almost as big as mine is a bit scary!

Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled that he now sleeps through the night, in his own bed. Something he didn't do until past the age of three. I like that when we're having a hectic morning he can take a shower and wash his own hair instead of waiting for me to set the water temperature in the tub and dump the whale full of water over his head. (His first bath toy as a baby was a set of whales and cups. Nine years later we are still using it for hair washing.)

He can even find his own clothes and dress himself. Not that I always approve of the combinations or agree that they are weather-appropriate.

Besides, I still have the little one. Mr. about-to-turn-four-and-think-I-can-do-everything-big-people-can-do!

He wanted light-up shoes when we went shopping a few weeks ago. Guess what? They only come in the toddler sizes. He has, for the most part, moved into the boys' sizes. What did I say about still having the little one?

Well, at least he still crawls into our bed and can't manage to wash his own hair.

People keep asking me, "Aren't you ready for a third one?"

Gee, let's see . . . I have wonderful memories of those baby times and cute toddler antics. But I'm still sneaking in naps to make up for not sleeping for three years.

We all have our own ideas about the "ideal" family. But I think my husband and I are content, perhaps just exhausted, with the way things are.

Besides, everywhere you look in our home there is a whisper of childhood, from the disaster zone play room to the sticky spots in the kitchen to the faded photographs of children from generations before us.

Nearly an entire wall in my older son's room is crammed with children's books. Picture books from my childhood. Chapter books which he now likes to read. In my younger son's room are two children's rockers. One is red vinyl and set on spring rockers, quite comfortable as I recall. The other is antique, pressed oak wood. It belonged to my grandmother as a little girl.

The walls whisper, the furniture whispers and just above those whispers God speaks in a still, small voice. He who created childhood reminds me to cherish my children and let them be just that, children, for as long as they can.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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