Friday, February 24, 2012
Are We There Yet?
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-3
When Ruthie, Eddie and Jannie came to visit one week, I was reminded about what it meant to be a mommy to junior munchkins all over again.
When my visiting trio walked into a room they exploded. Books, toys, craft supplies, dress-up clothes I’d forgotten even existed, were scattered about the house. Messes I could overlook. A sore back from bending to pick up after everyone could easily be soothed by a good night’s sleep. Who knew how many kilocalories I burned dancing around the kitchen with five-year-old Ruthie to the ever hip sounds of “Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo; How about You, You, You?”
Activity and creativity I could handle. It was the not-so-cooperative play part that sent me into colorful stages of bridling the tongue. Whining made me crazy. Bickering caused headaches. Telling tales grieved me somewhere in my teeth. That week I experienced a taste of all three. But I knew my junior relatives were going home soon. So I decided to grin and put up with it.
One afternoon we went swimming. I think the best question that day came from Ruthie’s lips. “Aunt Glynis. Why do you gots two towels?”
“Because I have a lot to cover,” I said with lilting laughter.
“Oh,” came the sweet little beep in response. Ruthie didn’t get the joke. She believed me. I could tell by the look in her eye. Now she would tell everyone I was fat and needed two towels to wrap around me. She didn’t hear me say I was kidding. I should have known better.
Night times were the best. I had no complaints then. Was it the anticipation of lights out and tender, young bodies resting peacefully between the sheets? Nah…it was the stories. I loved the stories. I loved to tell the stories. I loved to act the stories. Bedtime was fun.
“Stand back…I’m going to sneeze,” said the elephant. “Look out for the falling cloud!”
Ruthie, Eddie, Jannie and I dove for cover under the bed. I was a kid again. I loved it.
I sure do miss those kid-like moments. Big kids don’t ask for bedtime stories. Adulthood requires adult conduct – which doesn’t often involve high drama and various sound effects. Childhood is just too much fun.
My adult mind tells me the criteria for entering the Kingdom of Heaven involves a little more than whooping it up when the elephant sneezes, though. I’m thinking this is more about the flawless faith of a child and his ability to wholly trust. Can I do it?
I think it’s time to evaluate how childlike I really am.
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