Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Look at Me

This salad contains scapes, which are garlic shoots.  They are very, very good.

Memorial Day weekend is a command performance in my father's world. All of his children, and as many of their children as possible, return to the farm for the Smaller Town parade and the featured band-on-a-flatbed conducted by my 85-year-old dad. (As an old violin player, my role is to clap loudly at the end of each Sousa march, but a full quarter of the band members were my parents' descendants.)

After the parade we have an indoor picnic, and this year my niece-in-law made the potato salad. When I say she "made" the potato salad, you might be imagining that she went to the grocery store, purchased a bag of potatoes and a dozen eggs, and threw in some Miracle Whip. You would be wrong. C made this salad by first GROWING THE INGREDIENTS. No, I am not kidding. Everything, from the vari-colored potatoes to the scapes she used for seasoning, were raised in C and J's gardens.

So that's impressive. What's even more impressive is that C and J have four children, and the oldest is six years old and the youngest just turned one. Oddly enough, that is the exact spacing of my own children. The difference between C's children and my children is that at similar ages, my own children were out-of-hand hellions and C's children are delightful, adorable, affectionate moppets.

And the difference between C and me (besides the obvious fact that she is GROWING HER OWN FOOD) is that I was a wild-eyed Mom Shrieks-a-Lot, and I did not hear C raise her voice at all during the weekend. Not once.

It turns out that C has at least one trick in her parenting arsenal that I wish I would have had in mine when my children were that age: When C wants her children's attention, she first gets their attention. "Look at me," she says. Then, when she has established eye contact, she gives praise or instructions or correction.

"Petunia, look at me.(pause for eye contact) You need to wash your hands now." or "Kane, look at me. You did a wonderful job coloring that picture."

No communication is given until the attention is in place. A couple of times, she repeated "Look at me" three or four times before the active two-year-old stopped for instructions, but the results were like magic.

It occurred to me that God often deals with me in the same way. He doesn't intrude on my life until He has my attention, and He'll call several times if that's what's necessary for me to look straight in His eyes.

During the past several months, I've heard Him saying "Look at me," even when I was fidgeting off in another direction. This week the call came in the form of a doctor's visit for one of the Boys that might turn out to be Nothing, or Something, or Something More.

God has my attention, reminding me again that He is in control and we are not. Now I'll wait for His next instructions.


  1. Very touching post, MomQueenBee!

  2. Regarding your boy: Hoping whatever it is turns out to be nothing. (I'm very thankful God has an abundance of patience.... he needs it with some of us doesn't he?)

    Impressive potato salad (especially the growing all the ingredients with 4 children under age 6 part).