My Little Red Wagon

When I was a little girl, I had a little red wagon, well by the time I got it, being child #6, it wasn't so red anymore and it was pretty beat up, but it still had four wheels that were more or less still round and the handle still worked even will all the rope wrapped around the handle from my older brothers trying to tie it to their bikes. I still loved it.

That wagon was as many things to me as I could imagine. It was a covered wagon when I wanted to play "Little House on the Prairie." It was my station wagon when I played "House" with all my baby dolls tucked in with their blankets. It was front row behind the home team dugout when we played ball (the baby dolls had to cheer me on). It was a dump truck when I played in the sand. It was many things, but mostly it was where I put my treasures as I went around the neighborhood. Leaves, flowers, "gold" nuggets, "silver" nuggets, bottle caps, chewed tennis balls, and sticks found their way into my wagon. I recall with fondness the day I found a bicycle reflector and taped it on the back of my wagon. It was wonderful.

Now that I’m grown up and have responsibilities (or that's what they tell my I'm supposed to have done these past almost 40 years) I still have a wagon that I get to put things I find as I walk around the neighborhood. Today I found a book on nutrition that I might want to thumb through later tonight. Yesterday, I found a website on protozoa, that might come in handy when I want to study microbiology. Sometime someone suggests something I should put in my wagon, like the scriptures. I find all sorts of wonderful stuff to put in my wagon as I take this journey called life.

Every now and then it gets a bit heavy and I need to take out some of the stuff that was once a treasure but is now baggage, or stuff that I really don't need anymore, or that I've already used and it is time for someone else to find it. That's when I sit down and examine what is in my wagon.

Today I found an article on how to study the scriptures more earnestly that I had placed in my wagon in 1999. After reading the pages, I think I will keep this one for a little while longer as I ponder on the words as I pull my wagon along. I found an article on how to potty train a child; don't need that one anymore now that my youngest is five. Out it goes to make room for something else. I'll put that in the give to someone else pile. I found an Ensign article on how to talk to teens; I knew I would need it, just didn't know when I would need it. I think I will sit down and read it from beginning to end right now since my teens and I aren't communicating so well. I found the set of scriptures I keep in my wagon, dog eared, well worn, well marked and well loved. These have yet to leave my wagon and every morning they greet me on top of my wagon load of things to ponder on, today, tomorrow or eventually.

As mothers we collect a lot of information on how to better ourselves, our families, and our relationships. Sometimes the information isn't applicable today or may even seem like it will ever be applicable to us, but if we just place it in our wagon, we can decide later to use it or toss it. Our minds can remember remarkable things if we just let them. Here is where pondering on what we have in our wagons is so important. They work even better when we listen to the Spirit direct us.

Just the other day I came upon a parenting situation where I needed something from my wagon that I had heard many moons ago. Thankfully, I hadn't tossed it and quickly found it in the dark recesses of my wagon. I quickly looked at that information that so long ago in a Homemaking Meeting was presented (see how long ago that was) and refreshed my memory. I then put what I had learned into practice.

Just the other day on a homeschooling emailing group there was a discussion on parenting techniques and how each of us use different techniques on different children, but all in the same family. I thought about the techniques I have learned about and put in my wagon to use for later.

I'm thankful I have placed them there because what isn't the key to a child's heart might be tomorrow or next year. What might work for one child might not for another, and I have a bunch of keys to try when the time comes.

As Alma tells his son, "O, remember, remember…." we too need to remember the things we place in our little red wagons that we carry around with us. What we hear about today, might not be pertinent today, but who knows what tomorrow will bring? If we listen to the Holy Spirit tell us what to put in our wagons and what to take out and when to use it or where to find it, our lives will be better because we hung on to treasures we put in our little red wagons.