Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Nothing Gold or Baby Blue Can Stay


My favorite month is a month of birthdays.  October 2014 is the month my oldest son, Luke, turns 22 and my youngest son, James, turns 15, and their mom turns something or another, the oldest she has EVER been.  Even though I was ridiculed a few times, I was THAT mom that kept her little boys in baby blue and overalls for as long as possible.  At the age of two, I didn't consider them little men; they were my babies, and I knew as soon as they wore khaki pants and knit shirts for the first time, they would resemble men in their attire from that day forward, and I was never ready for that. Once those years pass, they'll never wear footed pajamas again.


Each October, I love them more but don't know too many moms who don't miss holding their babies and being kissed by them in public without embarrassment.  Each October is one year removed from rocking them to sleep, holding their hands, helping them set up the train track, reading bedtime stories, baking special birthday cakes, and watching them sleep with a stuffed animal or blanket.  

What I miss about having little boys (and a little girl), besides them thinking I actually have some sense, is their innocence, not physical or legal, but
* freedom from guilt or sin through being unacquainted with evil : blameless
* freedom from deceit
*  lack of worldly experience, sophistication, or knowledge 

Baby boys in baby blue.  What could be more blameless or free from deceit? As babies, my sons' worlds consisted of people who loved and protected them.  As babies, they hadn't been left out of a crowd or bullied, failed a test, or experienced a broken heart.  Nor had they mistreated anyone intentionally.
But these days are special, too. I enjoy my sons as much as I did when they wore baby blue. Luke and I talk about college life and football, and he lets me call him My Sonshine Man when friends aren't around.   James plays my favorite songs on his ipod for me in the car, and he still lets me call him My Jaybird or JayJay, or any of his other dozen nicknames. Don't worry, they don't read my blog.   Through experiences, they have knowledge of the world and make choices. Each October, the people who love them most make fewer and fewer decisions for them as we pray about the loss of innocence and that scary concept of free will.

Robert Frost in "Nothing Gold Can Stay" gives us a reminder of the transience of life.

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Gold, as a hue, doesn't hold in nature. The gold spring buds on the willow tree quickly become leaves, and a golden sunset lasts less than an hour.  Life in Eden, with its river Pishon, where gold was found, didn't last.  It quickly sank to grief as Adam and Eve lost their innocence.  Why?  We know the story of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the shrewdest creature, and wisdom offered by the delicious fruit.  

You won't die! The serpent replied to the woman. God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil. Genesis 3:4-5

We grow up and become too smart for our own good, try to be our own god and rely on our own knowledge.  To grow up is to become acquainted with evil, to sin and experience guilt. October is when I watch maple leaves turn a rich red, then a bright gold, but as quickly as I had to pack up the baby blue blankets and pajamas, the gold disappears.  The trees are still there, however, and those two sons are still mine.  They've experienced life, sin and guilt, for 15 and 22 years, and now their innocence, and ours, is only found in God's wisdom, not the world's, and the saving grace of Christ. It lasts when our innocence is gone.  Grace steps in and declares us blameless.  

The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable that gold, even the finest gold. Psalm 19:10
You are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault. Colossians 1:22

Baby blue and gold may not last, but Grace can stay.
Happy Birthday to my wonderful sons, Luke and James,

Sticky fingers, dirty face,
rugs and cushions out of place.
Trains and trucks here and there,
blocks and boats everywhere.
Gold and silver I have none,
but worth a million is my son.
Author: unknown