Well, I know that this probably wasn’t what was intended for this photo challenge. I realize that most of the photos will be small images enlarged to see every little detail. But I had come across this photo last week and just love it and think that it fits in the “close up” category as well! You see, these little guys are on their first family (with just mom and dad and siblings) vacation to the beach. All that day, we had talked about going crab hunting at night. They had their own flashlights with their names and their own little symbol drawn on them. They had their jackets and shoes on cause it was a little chilly and then again if there are lots of crabs, you don’t want them to be finding your feet! It was a sweet, sweet night…the first of many crab hunts to come in the days and years to come. (in fact these two brothers now in their mid-twenties have just been to the beach recently and said they were looking for crabs at night as well…but this time it was to use them for bait…not just to learn more about their always-opening up little world.)
There is nothing like the natural curiosity of children. They see wonder at every turn. They learn and appreciate things we take for granted. They stop what they are doing to engage in their little ever-widening worlds. Children help us to see the wonder and joy of what we may overlook in the day to day. There are those children as well, who want to be sure that the adults in their lives take notice of what these little people have taken notice of…and respond as these little people see fit!
When my oldest was learning to talk, he loved to see trucks. “There’s a truck.” “There’s a truck.” “There’s a truck.” It NEVER got old for him. Me, on the other hand did not really appreciate feeling the need to give him the awaited response. “Yes, Zac, there’s a truck.” “Yes, Zac, there’s a truck.” You get the picture. But what I so did appreciate was his desire to engage in his world, and then communicate about it with me. THAT is a crucial, yet often overlooked piece of parenting: It’s in the little moments of the day that the big solid rock foundation of communication is formed. Sometimes we think the most important communication is in the big heartfelt moments. But, as I look back, I think a lot of the sweetest moments, and again, the foundation of having good communication, is built in the day to day, “There’s-a-truck-yes-I-see-the-truck” moments.
There are definitely times for quiet and I think children should have a lot of quiet time so that external noise doesn’t direct and zap their curiosity and ability to think and wonder and engage. But I do think that there are times when I wish I hadn’t shushed my kids…when I was a tired mom who just wanted quiet at whatever cost. (Usually, it is my recollection that things always got louder on those days!) Sometimes the cost was the child’s knowing to the core of their being that their mom wanted to hear what they had to say. That’s a pretty heavy price.
But I’m thankful that, just like my boys who observed their little world close up with flashlights and magnifying glasses and eyes wide open with wonder, I can closely look back at situations and understand a bit more, learn a bit, and then see how God’s grace just fills in the gaps. As my kids one by one are ‘leaving the nest’, I find myself looking back at memories, incidents, and either smiling or just wishing I could have a do-over in some situations. But, thank God, there is grace. Rather than use a magnifying glass of scrutiny over past victories and defeats, I am looking back, like through a window…seeing in part, remembering, feeling, but not camping out there. Memories are a good thing. They can make us smile and feel joy, or they can make us run to the One who can fill in the gaps with the Grace that only God can give.
There is grace for my children. There is grace for me. Thank God for His grace. And thank God for the curiosity of a child who examines his world with eyes of wonder and faith and knows that he doesn’t have to have it all figured out. Praying to have eyes like that…and to trust that even though I will never have everything all “figured out”, that God so does, and I can put my trust in Him. Oh, and one more thought. I think the ‘there’s a truck’ scenario can be very similar to what God hears sometimes,…but I’m so thankful that as I pray I can confidently know that He hears and He cares and knows the need before I even ask Him. “Yes, Heather…there’s a truck.”