Thursday, September 11, 2014

On their littleness

My mind is swirling with ideas for blog posts. I've got to get that down. I've got to remember that. My current method for making loaves of bread. Family trips over the summer. More recent book favorites. Stuff about the kids. (Big surprise there!)

It's funny. The moment I decide to stop blogging for anyone else but me, I find enjoyment in it. I probably won't always blog this regularly, but I consider every post to be a bit of the past that I'll be able to hang onto. Even the dull and trite - let's face it, as much as I love my life I know there's much of that in the day of a stay-at-home mom - it'll be interesting to me someday.


I am captured, at this stage, by the littleness, the innocence, of my kids. Barrett, of course - at almost seven months old he could not be more innocent - but surprisingly, it's Will who elicits this emotion the most.

I suppose it's his big-boyness, his firstborn status, that causes me to expect much from him. He's the big brother. He knows his way around here, he knows the rules, he knows the consequences. I sometimes say things like, "dawdling," "bad attitude," or "he should know better." I sometimes forget that he is a tiny little boy, and then a minute later the realization wallops me with heartbreaking force.

It hits me when he's excited to put on his pajama shirt, the plain white one with the tiny teddy bear on the pocket; when he waves his hands in the air in his eagerness to wear that teddy bear.

It hits me when he pores over his own little magazine, reading the story of Kim and Carrots and how they share their blocks, over and over, and asking me with sweet shyness to "read 'gain?"

It hits me when he wants to listen to children's music. The cheesier and more obnoxious the song, the more his littleness hits.

It hits me when he's very tired, and I see him walking with heavy eyes, dragging his blanket behind him as he holds the silky edge to his nose.

It hits as I hear him fall asleep and begin clicking his tongue, just the way he did when he nursed to sleep as a little baby.

It hits me when he eats, oblivious to smudges of food on his face. Or when he sits at his little table, enjoying his snack, facing the wall, content to be in his chair.

It's heartbreaking in its vulnerability. All he thinks of, dreams of, are little boy things. I told Brian last night that there's pretty much no thought in his head that we don't know about. He talks about tractors, friends, people he loves.

Sometimes it presses heavily on me, the weight of responsibility and tremendous awe I have for this precious littleness. I can't think of a better word for it. I think - how basic, how simple are his needs. How vulnerable he is. How easily someone could destroy him.

And how, right now, there are children just like William whose littleness is being neglected, taken advantage of, abused, destroyed. It is painful, brutal to think about. For my own mental survival I often shut it out. I pray. I hope that someday I can do something besides giving.

I empathize strongly with those who question God in this matter. I can only tell myself that God is merciful. Jesus loved the little children. I believe there will be tremendous mercy for the broken, the cheated. For God to perform otherwise would be unthinkable.

Will always asks to listen to "Children Come," which is really the "Hide 'Em in Your Heart" CD by Steve Green, and track 1 is "Let the Little Children Come," taken from the same story of Jesus that's written in THREE of the gospels. And one of his favorite stories in his Rhyming Bible is the story of Jesus telling the children  to come to him. I've latched onto this coincidence and I try to remind him of the story often. I try to remind him that Jesus was so excited to see the children.

I show him the picture of the kids running toward Jesus. I tell him, "They were so excited to see Jesus, and to show him their toys, and to tell him all about their day!" And then I show him the stern disciples, and the sad children, and I say, "See? They're crying. The disciples are telling them, 'NO, you can't see Jesus. Go away." And William looks at the picture and he says, "Oh, boy cryin'?" "Yep," I answer, and we look at the sad kids for awhile and talk about how they were sad. "But THEN," I say, and my face lights up, "Jesus said, 'Hey! Don't send those kids away! I want to see them! I want to play with them! Come here, kids!'"

I love Jesus, I love how he came and how he showed us what was precious to him. And how he said, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father." I love how he loved the children. Makes me love Him more.

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