Mulberries, Warning Signs and a Teenage Daughter

As I age, time with family is becoming increasingly important to me. A couple days ago my daughter and I went mulberry picking. In case you don’t know, mulberries look somewhat like raspberries or blackberries. When ripe they are dark purple to black and have a sweet flavor. Anyway, we had seen them on a tree on our rural church property and I suggested we should go over sometime soon and pick some.

It was definitely a memorable experience. We had gotten all we could from the lower branches, but the plump, juicy ones were higher up where we couldn’t reach. Well, not to be beaten by a mulberry tree, I took the necessary action. Amy seemed a bit concerned as I stood atop the ladder—which was slanting downhill—and she was at eye level with the black and yellow warning sticker that reads: “DO NOT STAND ON TOP OF LADDER.”

“Uh, dad…”

“Don’t worry, Amy. That sticker is for other people.”

I lived to tell about it and we got those sweet, juicy mulberries.

Well, I really didn’t have time for mulberry picking. I was pretty busy that day. But I realized I didn’t have time not to go. You see, she’s my baby and she just graduated from high school. (I have no idea how she could have graduated when she just started kindergarten a few months ago.) At this point, I know I don’t have much time left with her at home. So we went. Together. Just Amy and me, picking mulberries and making memories.

I wasn’t a bad parent when the kids were younger, but I fear I was too busy. Truth be told, I still am most of the time. Yet I’m learning that, like the old saying goes, love is spelled T-I-M-E.

This morning my son and daughter-in-law were leaving on a trip. We won’t see them—or eight-month-old granddaughter—for several days. So we stopped over to drop off some things they needed for the trip. Don’t tell them, but the bigger motivation was to spend a few moments with them before they left.

If you have family, love them today!

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8 Responses to Mulberries, Warning Signs and a Teenage Daughter

  1. Eric Brown says:

    Thank you Uncle Tom for these words of wisdom! Even when at home there are times that other things are pressing or the parent is doing chores and the childis there but not paid the close attention they need. I find much joy in drawing or coloring with Dominick or just going to the park. He has actually taught me a lot about simplicity again. I’ve been told I should still do what I want, but thats by people with no children. I’m so glad my son is changing my life in all good ways!! If I went through my life and all the terrible things in it just so I can be a great Daddy, then I no longer regret it nor want to be full of anger because of it. I have to teach him the right things! God is awesome!! He’s carried me through my whole life. Like the footprints in the sand poem, instead of one or two sets of footprints, in my life there has been one set of prints and big drag marks!! Praise God for his grace and mercy!! I’m no longer scared to be Daddy!! I want to treasure every moment with my son!!

  2. Beck says:

    Great advice for me with my growing little ones. It’s so easy to think they’ll wait and you can come back to that sweet time when you’re not busy and then it’s gone. Sounds like you had a memorable day with your ‘baby’.

  3. Betty Lutz says:

    As for me, it’s a time I am blessed with spending time with my grandchildren. It is so important to take the time with your children so they feel blessed and want you to spend time also with thier children. Thank you, Jesus for teaching us to love, and to spend time with our family!

  4. You brought tears to my eyes Tom. They grow up too fast. They leave home too soon.

  5. Ron Ferlito says:

    I love the comment about “Love is spelled T-I-M-E”. I am taking that to heart as it relates to not only my children, but my wife and all who are important to me.

  6. Nick Ittzes says:

    So true and absolutely priceless! Judy says your article as well as Eric’s response brought tears to her eyes too. Mine too. And your kindergartner turned HS grad is a credit to the Lord, you, and Barb.

  7. Mark Lopez says:

    Love is spelled T-I-M-E–that’s awesome.

  8. Laura Cooper says:

    I so enjoyed this article, Tom. It reminded me of how Jesus spent T-I-M-E with people he came in contact with on the streets, in their homes……….wherever they were; he was, too. Thank you for these words that have prompted me to spend simple time with my family; my “baby” being 19 now! In the days to come, I will cherish those times more preciously than I did before I read your article.

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