Monday, April 6, 2009


Last week it was a gorgeous spring day.

I had determined to work fast and furiously down my to-do list for the day and NOT get distracted with all the wonderful silly little things that leave me frusterated and behind at the end of the day. Before I settled in to answer a ton of overdue emails, though, I was going to clean the living room. Fast. Really quick. It could be done in 10 minutes if I didn't get distracted or answer the phone or anything. Mom and Steve and the girls were out in the garden planting strawberries.

Ready, set, go! I started on the living room. Plumping sofa pillows, re-stacking and putting away the books stacked haphazardly on the rocker.... Legos under the chair that our dear little charges for the day had forgotten when Mom took them to the garden.... Mom's precious cabbage seedlings that they must have bumped over when they ran through earlier....

Suddenly the door burst open. Devin (3) came charging in breathlessly. "Come!" he panted, pulling at my skirt. "Come ou'side wif me! Come!" His voice was urgent, almost as though a rainbow was fading and there would be no time if I didn't hurry.

I could pretend I didn't understand his gibberish, tell him I was busy cleaning... that I couldn't come, couldn't stop. Or tell him to go show my sisters who were already outside with him. But one look at his sparkling brown eyes, the eager expectation of the joy he was about to share with me... How could I not grab his hand and run out the door, eager to see what he wanted to share with me?

I dropped the broom and raced after him. There was no time to ask what it was that I had to see. He was already charging across the yard towards the garden by the time I was coming out the front door. As he glanced back to make sure I was following, the look of sheer joy and happiness on his face was enough to melt my heart.
What on earth? I wondered. What is this treasure that I must see now... this once in a lifetime opportunity?

And then Devin stopped.
Right in front of the trailer backed up to the garden, heaped with topsoil.
I waited expectantly, smiling, nodding... Yes?

He wiped his dirty hands across his little orange shirt, and then threw them up high over his head, sweeping in the panorama. "Dirt!" he cried with a look of utter delight. "Dirt!" he laughed and giggled and grinned at me. "Dirt! Dirt for me and for you... and for evwybody!"

I smiled, then I laughed. This was the surprise.
This is what was so exciting when I was speed-cleaning the living room.

Devin grinned at me. Then he climbed up on the heap of dirt on the trailer and burrowed his hands deeply into the rich, crumbly mass. He giggled again. "Dirt! I garden. I help! I dig dirt!"
And with that he began scooping up the dirt with his hands and filling one of the buckets.

I grinned back at him and touseled his hair. Then I went and found him a little shovel so he could really dig the dirt. He grinned like I had handed him a million dollars and squealed, "Thank you! Now I scoop big dirt!"

I went back into the house... to my busy world of being behind with everything.... or so it seems at times. There were deadlines and studying and project completion dates to stress about. But did it really matter?

We own dirt! Lots of it! Happiness!

I'm trying to keep the Devin perspective. When I think about what I have, I can't help but have a grin like him. :)


Laurel said...

Great story, Mary! What a reminder the little ones are to us. So glad you took the time to write this down.

Nisbett Family said...

How very precious! "except you become as one of these little ones.."

Anna said...

SO precious!

Hannah said...


Rachel said...

I really needed to read this post! Thank you for taking the time to share it with all of us! How tragic that sometimes I begin to care more about 'my to-do list' then just praising God for His many blessings (like dirt☺). Thank you for inspiring me again to 'count my blessings'.I hope that I too can keep the "Devin" view on life! ♥

Rachel said...

How darling!

Beth said...

That's hilarious! Only a boy! Though the lesson is a good one too :)

Beth C