My world is fairly ordered and routine. Saturday afternoon my niece and her just turned, three-year old son came to visit and ended up spending the night. My own son is almost 19 and is away at college on the east coast, so sharing our quiet house with this young boy was a real eye opener. Now, if I could just learn to live my own life like he lives his.
He throws himself full throttle into the simpleness of his life. It isn't like he is out running a corporation or balancing a checkbook. Yet, the pure pleasure he receives from driving a miniature bobcat bulldozer up and down my leg and his peals of laughter as he sends it crashing off my hip, show his zest for life. This reminds me that I can experience pleasure in the everyday sameness and minutiae that are hallmarks of a life spent at home. When was the last time I was truly enthralled and finding joy in some simple aspect of my day?
When his 'apple cart' tipped over, everyone knew he was upset. But, the storm of crying and yelling and carrying on was quickly over. He is like a summer day in Oregon, sunny then rain with an occasional thunderstorm. His ability to openly express sadness, anger, and pain and then move on was admirable. I often stew and fuss and carry on over the smallest upsets in life-a rude clerk on the phone; a stubbed toe; or medical bill. Maybe I should be throwing one big tantrum and then let it go.
From the day he was born his mom and family have met his every need. You can see how well cared for he is in the confidence he has that loving hands will always be there. He is at the age of starting to separate from his mom and explore outside of the baby comfort zone. I would like to bathe in that same warm sea of confidently knowing that my needs will be met. To turn off the worrying litany that runs like a marquee banner through my mind. In my day to day life I am fortunate to have many people in my world--so many people who love and care for me. It is spiritually that I need to be reminded that God is present and He cares for me more than I can know.
He played hard all afternoon. Skipping his nap due to all the excitement of exploring a new place, new people, a patient dog, and to top it off--his first trick or treating. We went for a short walk and he was entranced with finding out that acorns have hats. Every mushroom we encountered he mashed with glee. He delighted in the giant blow up costumed Winnie the Pooh around the corner. All of this adventure and excitement led to one tired and grumpy boy and one frazzled mom. And then, it got quiet, his eyes drooped, and just like that he was asleep-sitting up and leaning against the couch pillow with his arms crossed behind his head. Looking more like a movie star sunning beside a pool than the cranky little man he was a few moments before. I wish I could sleep like that. Just fold up my troubles and slide into rest.
I remember reading, when my son was a toddler, that a top-notch triathlete tried to follow a 3-yr old throughout the day--walk, bend, sit, sleep at the same pace--and the athlete couldn't do it. My great-nephew loved to climb on my wheelchair and leap off it onto the couch with great abandon. He seemed to effortlessly understand my limitations. I was laying down at one point and he quietly came into the room and stood at the end of my bed. I asked him what he was up to and he held up his arms and said, "I came to kiss you." And he did.
Having my great nephew here certainly stirred things up. Our house seems a little too empty since he left. I hope he and his mom come back soon.