Sherri Gragg

Juggler of words and children…collector of pottery shards

Sand in Their Hair and Hope in My Heart

Yesterday was a pretty good day….then my kids got off the bus.

Now, don’t throw anything at me.  I am without fail, waiting with a smile and a “Welcome home!  I missed you and I love you.” every single day.  It is just that yesterday, was one of those days when nothing much goes the way it should.  It was one of those days when it seemed 4 out of 5 of my children had brains and hearts coated with Teflon.  Nothing stuck.  Nothing.

My soon to be 12 year old led the way in driving me to the brink of insanity by announcing immediately upon entering the kitchen that he was impossibly behind on one of three major projects.  A large portion of this project was due the next day and he had accomplished virtually nothing.  He went on to deliver a well scripted excuse about how he had been sick and just “not had time” to do the work.  I reminded him that he goofed off all weekend and sent him to his desk.

Meanwhile, daughter number two revealed she had gone another day without eating or drinking anything all day.  It seems she too just does not have “time” to do so at lunch.  (My kids are so busy!)  Climbing the kindergarten social ladder during lunch seems to leave little time for the actual consumption of food.  While I was distracted with her, my three year old and five year old abandoned nap-time for outside play.  

Then, I began preparing dinner while simultaneously fielding homework questions.  A few moments later, my oldest daughter came in with an announcement.

“uuuhhh, Mommy, I think you had better check on the little ones.” she said.

 I went outside to find them in the sandbox, happily…….

pouring sand over the tops of each other’s heads.

Now, if you have never attempted to remove sand from the hair of a Black child, you can not appreciate this moment.  I however, have had this unfortunate experience before.

 Just not to this extent.rosmile

Roseline’s hair was white. 

I have to admit that at this moment there was a scenario in which I delivered a few choice threats which prompted the kids to run for their lives.  I caught them however, because I am fast and told them to sit on the back porch until I decided what to do with them.  I finished preparing dinner while I contemplated how best to handle the mess.  There is no reason to go into every detail but I can tell you that it involved stripping them down to their underwear on the back porch and a water hose.  One child thought it was a blast.  The other was sure it was torture, which illustrates the difference between a boy and a girl.

You see, I am telling you these things because I want you to know our family is real.  Not every moment is the kind we want to hold on to forever, and yet those are the moments we can never seem to forget.  Some days begin with a well spent hour in the gym but end with me finding misplaced comfort in half a dozen chocolate chip cookies.  It would be nice if all of the moments were sweet smelling and wrapped in a soft white towel, but the truth is that many of them are more like Afros coated in sand.  There are moments when encouraging, edifying words escape me and I find it is better to just be silent than say something I regret. 

kidsdinoworldBut God is in those moments too.  He is there when we forgive an offense for the hundreth time because we remember He has forgiven us so much more.  He is there when we doubt our call, hang our heads in our hands and say, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

And rise the next morning to do it anyway because we believe He is transcendent of our circumstances. 

He is there when we struggle to see progress and perservere nonetheless, because we believe He is faithful.

And because He is faithful there is always hope.miahbatman

Hope.

And I am so, so thankful.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

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8 comments on “Sand in Their Hair and Hope in My Heart

  1. mama2roo
    May 8, 2007

    I’m willing to bet that even the “white-afro” moments will still be some of the most treasured after the years pass. Hope, faith, and humor. Can’t live without any of those 🙂

    Thanks for the smile this morning!

    Em

  2. everydaymiracle
    May 8, 2007

    Yeah…it is probably one of those memories that will be funnier for me later.

    Much later.

    🙂

    Sherri

  3. Bowden McElroy
    May 8, 2007

    Sherri,

    You’re right. You win.

  4. mommyto5
    May 8, 2007

    What a wonderful post loved reading it and can sometimes relate:) God Bless you and your precious family.

  5. Amblin
    May 9, 2007

    What a great post! Those are the moments that we remember most, I’ve found. 🙂

  6. Thelma
    May 9, 2007

    Sherri, your page is a joy to read!
    I was given the link by a friend, and have become a regular visitor.

    God bless,

    Thelma

  7. Pericles
    May 11, 2007

    A young woman who fancied herself a poetess, and who had her own ideas about love, once came with her poems to the editorial office of a New York magazine. The editor asked her what she wanted. She told him that she had some poems that she would like to have published in his magazine. “About what?” asked the editor. “All about love,” replied the young woman, casting her eyes heavenward, “is gazing upon a lily pond at night, by the shimmering moonbeams, when the lilies are in full bloom, and-“.

    “Stop, stop, stop,” cried the editor curtly interrupting her, “you are all wrong. I will tell you what love is; It is getting up cheerfully out of a warm bed on a cold winter morning, at two o’clock, to fill hot-water bottles for ailing children. That’s real love. I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can use your poems.” – Christian Union Herald.

    Dear sister, your post made me laugh but it struck a chord deep inside. I believe that your struggles with your lovely family will be rewarded in the end. Just keep on persevering and know that God is watching, and that there are brothers and sisters praying… for you!

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

  8. Peetels
    August 25, 2008

    SO did all the sand come out because I am on day two with sand/salt stuck in my hair and my kids. I think I will try the water hose today on all of us…lol

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