My two little ones are 5 and 6. As they both had birthdays this week, I need to thank both of them. My life is so much richer for the time and effort spent with them. From little crying pooping blobs to running screaming children, my two have come so far and given me hope during times I just wanted to fade into the background.
Confession Time: As I think back, I find myself laughing at some of the bigger whoppers we’ve told over the past year. There are times where I think the best payback children give their parents comes from the things kids believe so easily. Life is simple.
Whopper number 1: Our cat had to be put down, but we knew our kids wouldn’t understand why. We didn’t want them to think an inability to go potty where one is supposed to go was a reason for removal from the family, especially as my daughter had legit bladder issues. After my wife took the cat in, she told the children Zekers had gone to live with a lonely old lady to keep her company. When my wife said her name, I miss heard it. She said “Ruth” and I heard “Youth.” I immediately added , “in Asia? Yeah she lives in Asia.” From that point on, Zekers has kept Ms. Ruth company on her farm in Asia. He is with “Ruth in Asia.”
Whopper number 2: At one point, my daughter wanted to ride her bike around the block, but my son refused to ride because he just wanted to run. I thought running was a fair enough compromise. So off we ran chasing my daughter when BAM, my son took a face dive on the side walk. He paused to assess the damage, letting me know he was OK, and then he started crying. As I looked him over, I saw no blood, but I noticed where he fell there was a crack in the sidewalk. As he started to get really worked up, I said, “O. Wow look at this. That poor side walk got cracked. That must have hurt. Here you are without a scratch and that poor side walk who was minding his business got a thumping. You better apologize.” He did with a trembling lip give a heart felt apology. I really hope 10 years from now he isn’t thinking his head is tougher than concrete.
On the beautiful belief spectrum, my son seems to be fixated on acceptance not from his parents or immediate family and friends now. Instead, he seems to have developed a need for acceptance from his great great grandfather and ancestors long gone whom he could never have met. I find it cute and endearing to watch him define himself in this world. I think he is searching for an acceptance of from whence he came.
On his birthday, he was given 5 balloons for turning 5. Somehow, he got the idea to release one of them to go to heaven for great great grandpa. So when we got home, it was around dusk when he let the balloon go. As the balloon faded out of sight, the sky had gotten dark. As the balloon left his sight, he realized he could see a star right where he had been following the balloon. He got very excited saying, “Great great grandpa got the balloon! He loves it, and he loves me! Just look at the bright star!” I love the look on his face and the assurance that balloon gave him of belonging.
May we all know that feeling of acceptance. Without even trying, he made me recognize another of the gifts I have received from my children.