Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lessons from a two year old

"A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up peson does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown -up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enought to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon.

It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we." Orthodoxy G.K. Chesterton

My two year old son is full of boundless energy. He simultaneously delights and exhausts me. Yet he also invites me to pay attention to the world in ways that I overlook. He opens the eyes of his blind father, who fails to notice the glimpses of God on display right in front of him.

On a more sober level, my son also invites me to ponder the junk in my heart that I would rather ignore, the anger that flares up so easily when I am annoyed by his stubborn will or his consuming curiousity, the reluctance I have to embrace him when he lashes out at me with the typical intensity of a two year old.

How have the ordinary relationships in your family served as a mirror to your soul or the world, revealing things unnoticed or ignored about yourself or God? What are your pint-sized teachers revealing to you?

How are your children raising you?


Sharon said...

This is an excellent post! Worthy of reflection.

Tracy said...

Great post, honey! My pint-sized teachers are revealing to me my need for SLEEP!!!, as well as how short I am on patience.

They also remind me of the joy of an uninhibited hug, the fun of imitation, and that the sweet coo of a baby makes the early morning hours worth it. :)

Autumn's Mom said...

My kids constantly teach me that while they are driving me crazy, they are also spreading their wings and learning to fly :)

Laura said...

I love it! Doesn't it make you appreciate God's endless patience and perserverance more and more?? I can't think of a more perfect act to imitate. ;)

Anonymous said...

The days are long but the years are short!

Anonymous said...

My teachers are no longer pint-sized, but they continue to show me my own flaws. I have found that the very things that drive me crazy in their behavior (be it stubbornness or laziness or distractability) are the things that bother me the most in my own behavior. It's as though God is using them to hold a mirror up to my own heart.

J at said...

Oh, how nicely done. Lovely post.

I've often noticed that when I am truly present, things go well in my life, be it my job, my marriage, or my parenting. If I let too many distractions get in the way, even if it's one of these things getting out of balance with another, everything gets out of whack.

I think about the task of going from 0 to toddler-2 year old in just a few seconds, like you and Brian, and I am horrified and amazed and impressed all at once. It's easier when you've known them their whole life, and know their capabilities and weaknesses. To learn these things at such an enthusiastic age, when they have SO LITTLE self control, must be exhausting. I think you're all amazing, all four of you, and your families as well.

The wonder of a toddler discovering the world is so wonderful, it's even enough to counteract the fight of a toddler trying to cope with the world.

ps, has anyone told you that 3 is harder than 2? Sorry, but it's true. Get through that, and it's smooth sailing.

(my favorite parenting books are probably those by T.B. Brazelton (sp), noted pediatrician and patient man to the hilt. It always seemed to me that he really GOT kids, and adored the hell out of them.)

J at said...

(ps, just went back and noticed that Brian wrote this post...YAY!)

Bridget & Josh Lee said...

It seems that having kids brings out the best and worst. I'm more "me" --sometimes that's a good thing, e.g. I can laugh and play pretend with the best of them or it can be a bad thing, e.g. I'm short tempered when it comes to answering the same question for the 37th time. I feel like I'm living more extremely, if that makes sense.