We are (or me at least) are so misconceived regarding our role as a parent. We think we are there to teach them and to help them mature. We feel most days that they slow us down in our own personal walk, as we patiently wait for them to sleep through, be out of nappies, feed and dress themselves. We think parenting is about teaching them how to talk and walk.
But it is THEM that teaches us!
When we watch every word we speak and rethink every move we make because we know there are little eyes that watch, little ears that listen and little pitter-patter feet that follow, it is inadvertently them that are teaching us how to talk and how to walk …….. correctly.
How we learn to see the world again through the eyes of a child!!
I am forced to slow down yes!! But as I slow down to see why my toddler is lagging behind, or is suddenly quiet, I am forced to look at the bug he discovered. I am forced to linger long enough to actually NOTICE, that the “shongololo” or the house fly or the cockroach is actually beautifully crafted!
Before kids I looked upon them in haste, irritation and disgust.
But now I notice the shiny blue-green color of the housefly as the sun reflects on him. I notice how he delicately rubs his arms together and that his wings are silky and has amazing patterns crafted on it. I manage to watch as the shongololo’s many legs move as if in a wave form.
When my toddler tries to mimmic the “bzz-bzz” sound of the fly, I laugh warmly and find myself mimmicing it along with him. When he asks for the shongololo to be placed on his forearm and he screeches in delight as it moves along his arm, I laugh aloud with him. I am forced to find time to actually smile and laugh numerous times throughout the day … and the “feel good hormones” are released.
I find myself explaining to my boy each time he pulls his breath in when we walk outside that it is the wind. When it rustles through the leaves or through his baby soft curles I explain: “it’s the wind baby”. Previously a gentle breeze would have gone unnoticed by me as I rush around probably faster than the wind myself!
I find that as I carry him at night outside with me to lock up the garage and the gates, we stop to see the moon and stars and clouds in the sky. Yes, I am forced to slow down … but I am forced to see my Maker’s signature all around me and notice Him again.
It is in fact our children who teach US how to walk and talk and live again.
Recently, however, I have started to understand a new lesson, one previously misunderstood. The lesson on surrender and dependence on God.
As I hold my toddler at the end of the day in my arms, his willing surrender and total abandon as he snuggles his soft head in my neck, places his arm around my neck, just being still and happy to be with me and to know he is safe and loved. The feeling of delight that wells up in me is beyond description by words. When he runs to me arms lifted up when he is scared, lonely or hurt, conjures another strong and powerful emotion up inside of me.
That surrender, that dependence … it brings a new understanding!
It no longer holds such a negative hold on me. Somewhere the words from far off flood my mind: “be still and know I am God” … and “I will never leave you or forsake you” … and “If you call on Me, I will answer” … and suddenly I understand!!!
I for once truly SEE and HEAR
Not words on the pages of a Bible
but the beat – beat – beat of The Father’s Heart……..