Something got me this morning when looking at my son.
And strangely, it wasn’t anything different than what I have seen the last two dozen mornings or more. In fact, it wasn’t any different than something that has brought me frustration on many of those same mornings. It was just that for some reason, this morning, I saw it from a different perspective. A view I have been missing for a long while. And I almost burst into tears at the reality of the sweetness of the moment or really at just the preciousness of what I saw before me.
You see, as I watched my two-year-old come down the stairs with his outfit on backwards (as it has been most every morning since Christmas when he began dressing himself), I couldn’t help but chuckle at his feet. He had taken the time to pick out socks that were inside out and put on a particularly over-sized pair of blue Nike tennis shoes on the wrong feet.
And when he looked at me looking at his outfit choice, he smiled with such pride. Really he just beamed. His long shaggy blonde curls and dimples seemed to extend out from his grin. Because he was just so proud of the effort and work he had put into making himself look like a total and complete ragamuffin. And that’s what he looked like–a total and utter mess.
But his joy was completely oblivious to the fact that his shirt was dirty and turned the wrong way or that he was wearing shorts that were the wrong clothing choice for the temperature that morning or that if he tried to run in his over-sized shoes, he would likely trip and fall on his face. He was oblivious to it all. He was just happy because he had overcome the feat of dressing himself at two-and-a-half. And he felt accomplished.
And in that moment, I just stopped and thought about the innocence he still has. I thought about the reality that one day his worries will be so much more than dressing himself. There will be a day when he carries real stress and burdens. One day in the not-too-distant-future, he will be a grown young man getting dressed for work, maybe in a suit, with adult thoughts and responsibilities flooding his mind. He might be worried about paying bills or making a presentation or keeping his marriage strong or something else.
But not today. Today his main worry was getting clothes off a hanger and over his head. And he had succeeded. And life was good. And so often, I’m so frustrated at the way the translation of his desire for independence affects my daily desire to get things done in a presentable way. I don’t want him dressed in backwards clothing. I don’t want his shoes on the wrong feet. I guess I want him older than he is. Or I act like I do and forget to appreciate his innocence.
But today, I was reminded that I do not. In fact, today I was reminded that the only thing I want to savor is the fact that he is still so little. And so precious. And that he’s mine. And that his mind is still free from the worries of the world. Thank God. And I don’t want to rush him out of that. Ever. Instead, I want to beam over him with pride for those small successes that he feels so good about. And to enjoy the ride as he grows from a ragamuffin toddler into a handsome young man.
Today I hope that something ordinary causes you to stop and see your child for the extraordinary gift that they are despite everything else in the world that is going on around them. Today I hope you can just stop and see THEM. Today my hope for you is that something gets you in the same way my son’s shoes got me. Because we all deserve moments just like that. And so do they.
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