I’m cradling a perfect little angel right now. He’s just a little over two years and two months old today. Today he’s endured waking up with no adult next to him in the house (I was out on the front lawn walking dogs and came back in one minute), a runny nose which is the product of trying-and-failing-to-camp in the rain, a painful but-overall-minor foot injury, a mango-covered body because he’s a sloppy eater (which means he got a hose-down), trapping himself outside in my backyard, and an older brother who practices exerting control over little brother whenever he can in not-the-most-redeeming ways sometimes.
Plus, his brother told him to dump water all over the floor so he did that (twice) and they both had to clean it. His arms could no longer pry the bathroom door open so he could body paint with my make up… He tried. He can no longer spin the oven knobs because they are covered.
His greeting for me this morning was snuggles, spontaneous kisses, and random hugs. Throughout the morning he climbed into my lap for shirtless-boy-cuddles and made funny faces for me.
I know he’s frustrated his mouth can’t produce what his mind speaks, his creativity is stifled by the order I try to maintain thus withholding art supplies from him until the right time, his little hands are empty of the random treasures placed purposefully out of his reach, and he can’t coordinate potty breaks with naked moments.
Yet he cheerfully helped clean up big brother’s messy toys today, happily awaited a delayed lunch and is laying on my arm in bliss for some special mommy time.
Children always need more, more, more. More snuggles, more food, more patience, more direction, more clothes, more reading, more hugs and kisses, more tenderness.
But they give so much too. More love, more self-awareness, more selflessness, more meaning and significance, more importance, more improvement albeit slow sometimes, more deep thought, more affection, more health-awareness. Just more.
Children are a perfect mirror for us. Are you taking advantage of these tender times? Do you embrace the most important job of your life? Do you realize the shaping influence you have over these future leaders. Or do you snap, sigh and scream. Do you lose yourself in a Red Sea of angry and condemnation? Do you create harmony, seek peace and help their minds brainstorm solutions and understand the world? Or do you shut them down, point fingers and stomp them out?
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both had parents. And I wonder what kind of shaping their parents did for them. However, there is so much we don’t control as parents too. What happened there? What’s their story? How did they get to this point? My heart is sad for them, and for us.
Part of parenting is defined by the steady, scary, loss of control over the things that matter most. I implore you to take your job seriously as parents and drop to your knees daily. In a few days I have to make a decision over these elections. And it’s going to impact my children and their children. God help us all.