FFF #6–Castles in the Sand.

Aren’t those amazing??!!!  They are so beautiful and so perfect!!  It is difficult for me to believe they are sand.  But it is more difficult for me to believe that someone or more than one someone spent all of the time it would take to make something so amazing and beautiful and then to do it out of a medium as fickle and fluid as sand!  Seriously!!??  Your beautiful work, your time, your effort, your talent, gone in one rain storm, one gust of wind, or one rogue wave.

More than not, life is like that.   We choose those activities that are important and significant to us and that is where we put much of our time, talent, effort and even sometimes, our entire life.  Have you ever wondered if you were building out of sand?  Or are you building something that will last for eternity?  I don’t know about you, but when I look back on my life’s work, I want it to mean something.  I don’t want to look back and realize that I was using sand as a medium. 

I know, I know, I am talking in riddles.  I have something weighing on my mind.  I have a dear friend, whom I love.  She is amazing!  She is talented!  She is dear to my heart.  She is building sand castles and I don’t know how to tell her.  I don’t know if I should tell her.  She is happy and she is excited!  Her castle is beautiful!!  But it is still made out of sand, and not the things that will last for eternity.  I know she is not trying to use sand.  She doesn’t believe that is what she is doing, or she wouldn’t do it.  She has more sense than that.  I mean, how do you say to someone, “You know all that work you have been putting in, all that time and effort to express your amazing talent?  Sand.”  Because other people don’t see it as sand.

I have never been good at building castles in the sand, not real or figurative sand.  I don’t pretend.  I can’t make believe and play nice with the other kids with rose colored glasses on.  I have to live in reality.  For me it is the only comfort.  I want to know where I stand, in the gospel, in my relationship with you, in my job, in my parenting.  I only function in reality.  If I am not quite in reality, it is only because, for the moment, I believe it is reality.  But when the glasses come off and I really see?  Then I shift into functioning in the new reality.

When I become aware that a relationship is not what I have thought it was, even if the other person doesn’t see the difference?  My behavior toward them changes because I am functioning in a different paradigm of the relationship.  Did you know some people can’t do that?  Some people are afraid of reality.  When they realize you only function in reality and they do not, your friendship with them is over.  I do not worry about that with my sandcastle friend.  She lives and works in reality, which I appreciate and value.  But I have lost plenty of people who I had considered friends because they do not want to live or work or play in reality.  Which has been fine for me, because the truth be told, trying to maintain a friendship with those people is really exhausting because I can never remember ‘which’ reality they are functioning in.  I am feeling like all of this rambling is probably not making a lot of sense, but it does in my head.  Does that help?  Probably not.

This is the extent of my ability to build sand castles.

It is really difficult for me to write today.  I am sure my feelings are in the way.  How to say what I want without saying to much or offending someone.  It also doesn’t help that Spike Spike is sick today and bored and all he wants me to do is play with him, which I have, but he is not satisfied.  And so he is in my face.

When I was a younger mother, I asked a question of my religion professor once.  I had four small children, five and under.  We were talking about studying our scriptures and making time for the Lord.  I simply asked how that was possible when you had little children.  The response I received was not favorable.  Basically I was told (without anyone understanding my circumstances) that if I was ignoring the children to spend some ‘quality time’ reading my scriptures then I was missing the point of the gospel.  Ya.  It was not a pretty moment.  I left the class feeling awful and like a total and a complete failure as a mother.  I knew time with my Father in Heaven was important.  But seriously, with four small children five and under, I couldn’t go to the bathroom without assistance from one of them.  There was never time and all I was looking for was 15 minutes, not an hour, not three, not a day.  Literally, 15 minutes.  That was before you had scriptures on your phone.  Otherwise I could have read them as I walked home.

Spike is a much different child.  If I let him, he would take all of my time every day.  Seriously.  He will not use the toilet unless I am in the room with him regardless of how bad he has to go.  He will wet his pants.  He needs me to eat with him.  He wants me to sleep with him.  Still at three, he is like a wool sock full of static cling that just came out of the dryer…. A.L.L.T.H.E.T.I.M.E.  And when he is sick he is worse, even with ibuprofen.

Maybe my friend isn’t using sand.  Maybe she is just distracted.  Her distraction though, is evident in the lives of her children.  While she is building her castle, she is missing her opportunity to build in the lives of her children for eternity.  I have not been willing to make that trade.  My mother did it.  And I will not.  It is a little more personal to me.

This is my day.  This is my time.  These are my children.  Children do not stay children forever.  They are not pliable and mold-able forever.  If you have not built your relationship and taught them while they are little, they will not let you when they are older.  They won’t listen then.  Sometimes even when you have they don’t listen to you from about 13-21 (or returned missionary age).  Somehow when they return home from their mission you have become an all-wise parent again, but not usually before that.
My formatting is messing up.  It must be time to stop.  
Have a great day!

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