And I’ll Take it

nanny & terry in ',LakeWhen I was this little kid and my mom was teaching me the Lord’s Prayer I found one part to be a little ‘off.’

“Give us this day our daily bread”  sounded to me far too bossy a thing to being saying to God. And so I would stop just after that part and add, “and we’ll take it.” I didn’t want God to feel that He was just blindly giving stuff into the void. I wanted him to know I would be there, all set to receive this food and chow down on it.

I was three when I had those thoughts, and on this, the day I turn 68, I find that with each passing year I more vividly remember the child I was then: in this autumn picture above; and in my little sunsuit playing in the grass one early June morning;

Nan & Terry in Hinsdale

I was simple back then. I remember being  simple. I also remember loving absolutely everyone, from my stuffed dog Pinky, to my mom and grandfather, from hero of a big sister to the aunts and the uncles and the cousins. I prayed for them all when I knelt down by the bed each night to say my “God blesses,” as my big sister and I called them.

Today, I see how much I changed as the years passed. For almost a decade, from the age of about 12 to the age of 21, I thought that knowing things was the big goal, because if you knew things you could maybe succeed in life, and also nobody could make you feel dumb at a party. I could habe gone down that road forever had I not found myself, September of my 22nd year, standing before a class of high school kids as their teacher.

The kids were so lively and comical – but inquisitive and serious too. Plus they had such wonderful questions: about God and sex; about an adult world that seemed to them founded entirely on principles of hypocrisy; about the key question of how much a person should or could do for others without spending down his or her own stores. (There’s a question I still struggle with!)

So yes, I changed a lot in those teaching years and then changed even more when my husband and I had a couple of children. My happiness was simply tied to theirs…

the calm before the boy child

…and that was even before that third child arrived. Before the pets arrived. Before our old folks began needing us more and more. And well, after a while, I came to see that life wasn’t about knowing a lot of stuff at all.

So here I am all these years later, just happy to be going for another spin around that old sun. This wonderful Jesse Winchester tune sung by Jimmy Buffet pretty much sums it up for me here.

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15 thoughts on “And I’ll Take it

    1. hah! Clearly you WERE ahead of your time!
      That’s a very interesting study. Were you distractible and impulsive as an adolescent? I never was. Caught on much later that I had been much too serious a young person.

  1. Happy Birthday, Terry. I came by your blog a few months ago via my friend Bill Tammeus, and I’m always delighted when a new post shows up. Still wrestling with all the same questions, but more comfortable with doubt (see Bill’s new book!) than ever. Best wishes.

    1. well thanks so much Barbara! I used to post daily but in the last year found that I just couldn’t keep up. What is the name of Bill’s book again, or why don’t I look it up on Amazon? I think I have to read it !

  2. May God bless “you” on this memorable day and may you have a very Happy Birthday young lady. I too will soon be joining you in the three score and eight trips around the solar focus!

    Sent from my iPhone – Frank McCarthy


  3. Happy birthday, dear friend! You are still that serious baby girl with the black curls that I remember from Camp Fernwood. Aren’t you the toddler in the sundress in the foreground of the second photo? The kid in the background looks a little like you, definitely family, but not Nan either. Am I wrong? I love the picture of you with your young family. Gorgeous! Me, I’m six years short of 4 score trips around Mister golden Sun. I couldn’t catch the lyrics in the Jimmy Buffett song. Maybe my hearings going!

    1. hey Gwen I love hearing from you every time and if you really are 76 (?) you do indeed remember me as a baby. I’m excited to say that ultimately Gracie and Troy – and therefore I hope Nan and Chuck – hve their eye on Asheville area as a future abode. More via email but you have to KNOW I have never forgotten the beauty of that place and long to visit it – read YOU two! – more .

  4. i hope you had a fabulous birthday!! yet another song for you:

    “Here I’m singin’ happy birthday
    Better think about the about the wish I make
    This year gone by ain’t been a piece of cake
    Everyday’s a revolution
    Pull it together and it comes undone
    Just one more candle and a trip around the sun”
    -jimmy buffet and martina mcbride

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