Summer legs

Every summer, this same prayer

Dear God, let me never forget 

these little summer legs and

the stories that they tell. 

In my scrapbook of skinned knees and such, you’d find…

his Batman bandaid from two days ago that celebrates the training wheels coming off; 

shin bruises as trophies for the handstand and cartwheel attempts; 

dirt splotches on her knees bookmarking the discovery of her latest worm friend. (“He’s beeaauitful!” she tells me, with sparkles in her eyes);

the pine cone nicks on all of their heels in remembrance of playing “What’s the Time, Ms. Wolf?” at dusk…IYKYK;

the scratches on her ankles signaling the daily barefoot scooter races;

pasty sidewalk chalk patches that tie dye their hands and knees and clothes: an ode to coloring in the rain puddles;

elbow and knee rashes hard-won from hours of pretend pirate play on the floating mat in the lake; 

the splinter from the dock that hitched a ride as she reeled in her biggest catch that day. (Worth it.);

the constellation of mosquito bites scattered knee to toe: a snapshot of the night we stayed up past their bedtime to hunt the backyard fireflies…

all found among the glow of their skin that speaks of a life well-lived outside in His good Creation.

Here’s to letting them wander knee-deep in the depths of childhood, living the dream of running wild and running free in the playground of Creation. Bruises, scrapes, bites, and all.

Oh if these little summer legs could talk, what childhood adventures would they speak of? 

Oh, hi, it’s me! I haven’t hit publish on a blog post here since January 2021. Thanks for reading this one today! This blog page you’re currently on is where I will continue to share my creative writing pieces and essays. In addition, I now have a newsletter that I send out about once or twice a quarter. My newsletter, Radiant, is where I share encouragement, beautiful things, favorite things, prayers, as well as current life happenings and musings. I’d love it if you’d subscribe! Talk soon, friends.

Motherhood is not a shiny thing

Motherhood is not a shiny thing. 
You don’t bring her home 
to hang on the wall,
Dust your hands off with pride 
and walk away satisfied. 

Or place her on a shelf
for admiration alone.
That’s not how this goes.

Mothers aren’t born,
Like they like to say.
They’re unearthed
Mined from the depths
Refined and
Chiseled away
They are utterly excavated,
I guess you could say.

is not gradual,
it’s not gentle.
The process is not pretty.
She’s thrust on to you, really.

Dents and dings
will accumulate.
She’ll become worn from use.
Her luster depreciates
quicker than you assumed.

She’ll feel heavy,
too heavy
some days.
Like your grip

But, know this:
you can’t lose her
drop her
or break her,

She’s resilient.
She’s brilliant.
but gracious.

With time
she changes,
takes on a new hue

Where she used to gleam,
a deep patina shines through.
There’s more to her
and more to you.

Every mark on her tells a story.
This is her testimony.

Unashamed she wears them –
Beauty from ashes.

Let it be so
Not a shiny thing, no
Something more valuable;
More tender, more pure

Can you see it?
her true radiance
no longer concealed
like the Velveteen Rabbit —
now she is real.

All professional photos on this site are (c) D. Crowe Photography

New rainboots

She slips her little feet into her new rainboots with my help. 
We head outside to our unofficial therapy, our reset, the surreptitious cure for bad attitudes and restlessness.

I watch her watching a bug, a bird, a truck, her siblings.
She sniffs the mums and shrieks at the katydid.

Taking her in more than I take in the news…it’s good for me.
My delightful counterbalance to all things crazy. 

Her blissful simplicity in place of my hyper-awareness;
Her eagerness to be captivated by beauty when it can’t seem to get my attention; 
Her easy arrival at a smile, when mine is more hard won.
Her relentless pursuit of fun when my own energy is depleted.

This year with her – her tiny hand in mine, through her eyes, at her pace – is exactly the reminder I need. Don’t forget to look up…look around. There is still mercy and grace and beauty to be found. Childlike wonder does a heart good. 

(New rainboots don’t hurt either.)

**This post originally appeared on my instagram @shanna.leigh