Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tying Shoes

"Can someone help me?"


"Can you tie my shoes?"


The little voice rose from the entryway, and I had to go: there were not many more opportunities like this left. Seven-year old Caleb is growing up fast, and as he was telling me as I helped him tie his shoes, Dad was teaching him on to do it on his own.

As I double-knotted the little tennis shoe, I looked up into his darling blue eyes. "You know what?" I said. "What?" he replied, a small smile enlarging on his smooth face, his dancing eyes twinkling. "When you're big and old, and perhaps with a big Southern Gospel group someday," I began mischievously, "I'll come to one of your concerts and tell people, 'That's my little brother. I helped him tie his shoes.'" He grinned his broad 'Caleb' smile. "Mom and Dad would be really old by then!" he said, hunching over to demonstrate their way-future age.

I then began a walk down memory lane with him. "Yep, I used to help tie your shoes, help change your diaper, help feed you baby food. I was there when you started to crawl, when you started to walk. Ben was the first person to make you laugh." Caleb laughed as I told him stories of his babyhood and the times when Mom asked me to help out with him.

"Oh yes, and I used to put you to bed sometimes," I said with a hint of annoyance in my voice. "Did I make you tell lots of stories?" inquired Caleb, scrunching up his darling face. "No, we used to sing, and SING! You wanted to sing all the Cathedral songs. Your favorite was 'Roll Away Troubled River', and you would make me sing that over and over again. Your favorite part of the song was when George [Younce] would go down a scale like 'Rol-ol-ol-ol-ol away'. And you would sing along in your baby voice. I would leave you, and then pretty soon I'd hear you call for me to sing some more. And then I'd hear you singing to yourself after I finally said 'No more'."

Caleb looked down at me from the bench in the entryway, his little stocky legs swinging over the edge. "I'd ask you when I'd change your diaper, 'Who are your favorite Cathedrals?' And you'd say, 'Scott [Fowler], and George [Younce], and Glen [Payne], and Ernie [Haase], and Roger [Bennett].'" You wanted to be a bass singer even when you were little [two-years old], and you wanted to be like Scott and George." He laughed. (Ah, even now I can hear his little lisp!)

To some questions of his, there were no certain answers: "When was the first time I ate popcorn?" "Boy, I don't remember, Caleb!" :)

We sat there, brother and sister, in the foyer, just talking for perhaps 15 minutes. As he finally went out the door, I said, "Have fun outside!" He turned back in the doorway, and grinned his Caleb grin. "Okay! I will! And you have fun inside!" We both laughed, and I watched my little brother charge onto the deck, filled with youthful ambition and all the joys of childhood.

If I had said I was too busy to help him tie his shoes, I would have missed that beautiful time of investing and sharing in this precious life.

"Lord, help me treasure these times while I can."

Several months ago, during my nightly journal-wrting session, a song idea came into my head about celebrating younger siblings. It's been sitting in my desk for a while...along with so many other of my song ideas! While the word flow is still very rough and the music sketchy, I thought I'd share it anyway, as it fits so well with this post.
Vs. 1
He runs in the yard and falls in the dirt,
Getting mud all over his shirt.
He picks dandelions and asks to play ball;
Will he always be this small?
Then I think how fast it will go -
Watching the little boy grow -
I learn to be patient, I learn to be kind,
And suddenly I don't mind...

Treasure all these things in your heart,
Hold them tight in your hand;
The little boy will soon be a man;
Treasure it while you can.

Vs. 2
Our time here together will go all too fast
Soon these moments will pass.
I look o'er the faults and see all the smiles,
Counting them off with the miles.
There is no one I care for more -
Of this you can be sure -
So, God, help me to show it to him today
Before time slips through my hand...

Treasure all these things in your heart,
Hold them tight in your hand;
The little boy will soon be a man;
Treasure it while you can.

Treasure it while you can.

("Treasure" - Copyright February 24th, 2011 Words and Music by Taylor Garms)
How can you "treasure" your siblings and family today?


[This post was first composed in April, and shortly after the completion of this post, my dear Caleb successfully tied his own shoes. What a bittersweet moment!]


Hannah said...

Thank you for sharing, Taylor! What a sweet reminder of how we need to treasure those moments with our siblings! :-)

Miss Taylor said...

You're welcome, Hannah! :-D

yankeegospelgirl said...

I always wanted to have a little brother... you're making me jealous. :)

Miss Taylor said...

I'm so sorry! :-D Little sisters are great, too; I know, because I'm a little sister! Just kidding... :D

Welcome back to cyberspace!

yankeegospelgirl said...

You don't suppose I could, uh, borrow Caleb for a few days? I'll trade you for my little sister! :D

Thanks for the welcome back. It feels great. And I hope to be more regulatory of my "surfing" from now on too. You know it was amazing to come back and see how comparatively little had gone on in a week around the 'net. Just goes to show I didn't need to be checking obsessively every few hours. :o

Miss Taylor said...

NO!! What would I do without my precious buddy Caleb?! Plus, we have a few concerts this weekend, and every team member is needed. :)

I also intend to be more restrictive of my own website hopping; it eats up too much of my time! Time management can be such a struggle for me, and I know website hopping doesn't help! :)

Kathryn Grace said...

This is so sweet. :-)

Miss Taylor said...

Thanks, Kathryn Grace! :) I think I almost made Mom cry when she edited it!