Happy Monday everyone! Here on the porch in Central Texas, the sky is clear, the screens are open, and a gentle Indian summer breeze is combing the winter-bare trees. It’s a good day to sit, and chat, and enjoy.
Valentines weekend turned out to be a man-child weekend around the Wingate house. A conspiring of events brought the college boy home all weekend, and our hard-working #1 son showed up on Sunday, along with his sweetheart. As family life drifts farther and farther into the grownup realm, it’s a special treat when everyone ends up here at once.
It’s my favorite kind of day.
If there was anyone in the house who enjoyed the busy weekend more than the mama of the house, it was Huckleberry, the new ENTP (Empty Nest Therapy Pup). For Huck, there’s just nothing better than having the big boys to play with. It’s a chance to deploy fun new skills, like the early-morning-stealth-pounce, the sly-shoe-steal, the superspeed-out-the-front-door-escape, the soda-bottle-taste-test, the-lap-plate-tongue-swipe.
The manchildren have the most delightful habit of leaving things where a pup a very small stature can reach them.
The coup de grace of these delightful items seems to be the amazing, the glorious, the fun and fascinatingly funky… used manchild sock. Huckleberry can steal one of these and disappear with it faster than a manchild can turn around and say, “Where’s my other sock? Hey… Huckleberry!” (Yes, manchild #2 has been known to recycle socks more than one day. In fact, he seems to treasure pre-worn foot gear almost as much as Huckleberry does.)
So, early Sunday morning, the War Of the Socks turned epic over a pair of black baseball crews that had been to both a sweaty umpiring clinic and a fishing excursion. Suffice to say that said socks could be detected solely by scent, even in a fairly large room. No matter how fast the manchild was, Huckleberry was faster. If the manchild managed to recover one sock, Huckleberry made a strafing run through the bedroom and snatched the other. If the manchild offered toys and clean socks in exchange, Huckleberry was uninterested. The manchild’s most vile creation was, weirdly enough, the object of Huckleberry’s greatest desire.
An odd parallel came to me amid the smell of dirty socks and clatter of running feet and scrambling puppy.
Please remember, I said this is an odd parallel, but…
This, I realized, is the battle we fight on a soul-deep level every day. Not with dirty laundry, but with the dirty pieces of ourselves. God is our adversary in the war of the soul-socks. He’s after our dirty laundry. He seeks it in our hearts and souls, and finds it, and we keep trying to take it back, to substitute something cleaner. We offer up things that are already washed and folded and prepared. We try to tell God the dirty stuff isn’t what he wants.
Yet, he does. He loves us so much that nothing is too filthy, too stained, too smelly. God seeks after the parts of us that carry, down to the very fibers, the soil of this world.
Which brought to mind this video, since we’re on the subject of manchildren. Those of you who’ve been following the blog a while may recognize the bearded manchild in this drama set to Lifehouse’s Everything. Though not a word is spoken in this performance, there’s so much truth here. It makes me cry every time.