Those Who Would Raise Children


Many years back, in the early 1990’s, Tracey and I got married. We were young and with our lives before us we spent many hours dreaming what our lives would ultimately be. I was given to poetry and had recently read Laughter in the Walls by Bob Benson. It captured so well our own particular dreams at the time that I copied it down and made some ever so slight changes to accommodate our own lives.

I utterly forgot about, but Tracey hid it away safely in an album with other keepsakes, and this morning my daughter Samantha found it, read it, and brought it to my attention. I am amazed to realize, that our dreams have come true in a quiet manner that we never suspected. The sudden confrontation of this document from so many years ago and our current situation is an amazing thing. Allow me to share with you the dreams of a 21 year old man, newly married.

I will pass a lot of houses on my way home –
some pretty,
some expensive,
some inviting –
But my heart will always skip a beat when I turn down
the road and see my house nestled against the hill.

I guess I’ll be especially proud of the house, and way it looks;
because I’ll draw the plans myself.

It’ll start out large enough for us, I’ll have a study –
Perhaps two teenage boy’s will live in there.

And it’ll have a guest room –
with my daughter and her dolls as permanent guests.

It will have a small room for Tracey, maybe her sewing room …
and perhaps the two toddlers swinging on the Dutch doors will
claim it as their own.

So right now, it might not look as if I’m much of an architect.
But it will get larger … one by one they will go away
To work – to college – to service – to their own houses –
and there will be room for just the two of us.

But it won’t be empty – every corner, every room, every nick in
the coffee table will be crowded with memories.

Memories of picnics, parties, Christmases, bedside vigils,
summers, fires, winters, going barefoot, leaving for vacation,
dogs, conversations, black eyes, graduations, first dates, ball
games, arguments, washing dishes, bicycles, boat rides, getting
home from vacation, meals, rabbits, and thousand other things
that fill the lives of those who would raise children.

AND my love and I will sit quietly by the fire and
listen to the laughter in the walls.

My son Ethan is playing with the dog in the room behind me, Abby (in her room) is sorting her doll house, Collin (in his room) is engaged in a game of Lego’s, Sam is being self conscious about her new braces, Bethany is being excited about hers. Jacob and Corey are having a virtual fight of epic proportions with heroic avatars, and Tyler cheers them on, heedless of who wins while Nicole reads a book for school. My wife is relaxing with a book as well. I am in awe of how my God has so blessed me as I sit here and watch the walls filling up with laughter.


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