Bean has been at our place for the past several days while his momma and Pa hike the Wallowa Mountains. This is an annual thing with Pa and his girls, this hiking into the high lakes of the Wallowas.
Much to my life-long regret, my sister and I never got to take hiking trips with our dad. It fills me up that the girls and their daddy have this thing that is just their time together. I could go. They’ve invited me. But I spend a good deal of time with my girls; I want them to have that alone time with their dad. Besides, Pa is as his daughters put it “a billy goat” in those mountains. He might have 30 years in age over them, but they’ve got nothing on him when it comes to sheer endurance.
Besides, the only time Bean really wants to spend time with me is when Pa isn’t around. Given his druthers, he prefers Pa. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. After all, I chose Pa, too. LOL.
We’ve had a good time, hanging out. We visited the splash pad, a couple of different parks, and played hours of Transformers.
My nephew Gabe, who has a son a year older than Bean, was in town last week. Bean was so taken with his cousins Transformers, that Gabe generously sent a whole set to Bean in the mail.
When my own son was a kid He-Man was all the rage. Had I thought the messaging through better in those years, I might have outlawed He-Man as unacceptable toys the way I did GI Joe and all manner of guns. Yes, I was that mom. The one who gave her son My Buddy dolls instead of GI Joe. No regrets whatsoever about that.
Bean never tired of playing Transformers. He would line up the Rescue Bots and one-by-one send them off on some life-saving mission that always ended with Bean hollering out “Transform!”. Then with a flick of the wrist, the police car, helicopter, or fire truck would mysteriously morph into a super-hero. Every now and then, Bean would hand me one and guide me through a transformation.
I wasn’t very good at it. The transforming into a Super Hero part.
Bean had to show me over and over again how transformation worked. Done rightly, the fire truck became a Super Hero almost effortlessly.
Finally, we both just had to admit that when it comes to Super Hero status, I’m an abysmal failure.
All my life I’ve found transformation a difficult process. I keep imagining that there is this point I’m going to reach in life where the wrongs and injustices of my yesteryears don’t figure into the reality of my tomorrows. But lately, it seems like Mercury isn’t the only thing in retrograde. It seems as if the whole country is in a time-spiral backwards.
If only I could figure out how the magic works.
If only we all had a deeper understanding of what it means to be transformed into a people who rescue others, instead of a people who repeatedly place others in peril.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. II Corinthians 2:8
Karen Spears Zacharias is author CHRISTIAN BEND (A Novel, Mercer University Press).