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  • Katie Smith

River Rocks: girl raising boys

Boy moms are everywhere. Wrestling, noise, and grotesque ideas fill many homes regardless of gender or quantity of children. There is nothing easier or harder about raising one gender over another, and plenty of sojourning mothers know this sore thumb plight; an orbiting "Venus" among a constellation of "Mars." Many articulate women have spoken about this "boy mom" reality before now. Still, I must add my own revelation as an allegory for life today and for those new moms wondering how on Earth they could actually LOVE living on such a rocky, red planet while their pressurized, opaque beauty stems from an entirely different planet.

I have an important rule in our home: NO rocks in the house. Boys LOVE rocks. No matter the age, skippy rocks, stacking rocks, and throwing rocks is always fun, but such fun is best played outdoors for everyone's safety. However, I forget that even with all the right rules in place for protection and sanity, boys are themselves rocks, river rocks to be exact.

Mountains trampled by warriors breaking them into pieces from the fierce fighting century after century. Mountains withstand the pounding of feet and mother nature's elements. Eventually they can't help but crumble into smaller pieces. Rocks, like those on Mars, surface with jagged edges. They chisel, tumble, and crack into smaller deposits that still possess pointy edges. They will remain rough until water rushes over them.

Moving water in rivers and streams continually collides with the riverbed rocks creating a new type of rock: smooth stones. As the stones are repeatedly exposed to the movement of water they don't stop being rocks, they just look and feel a bit different, but what about the water? Does it undergo changes from being struck equally as hard by the obtrusive rocky road?

Rather than sitting as a stagnant lake or pond, the clear liquid looks, feels, and sounds different as well. It's still water, but rushing along jagged rocks creates a new type of water: a waterfall. Weather it's an itty bitty one or Niagara Falls, those collisions create something powerfully beautiful. Two completely opposite elements living harmoniously. Yet spots along the river always contain dynamic changes with protruding jagged rocks and calm clear waters.

I am the water constantly colliding with a house full of rocks. There are times when I just need quiet, calm stillness only to receive a beating of brutal edges. I desire other streams to meet me in an ocean of understanding only to see that those ocean waters can collide themselves into giant waves. When I am frustrated by the intrusive rocks forgetting I have a path to clear, I soon see the pleasure in bringing those rocks with me or changing my course all together.

Rivers might make rocks cleaner and smoother, but rocks make rivers more delightful, more playful, and more enjoyable. Instead of living on a different planet, God in His ingenious creativity united rivers and rocks helping each one from being too sharp or too stagnate. I love raising up strong and smooth stones even if it means falling down a mountain a time a two or three or in my case four.

~Careful and Careless River

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