Thursday, April 17, 2008
A Bead in the Hand
I hear people say all the time that they wish they could be a carefree kid again. I always nod like I know what they're talking about, but truly I don't. Carefree is not how I would describe my childhood personality. I often wonder how far back I would have to go to find carefree. Five? Three? Two? Do you remember what it was like to be carefree? Before things like responsibility, worry, guilt and fear nudged their way into that space?
This week, I found it. Not by reliving my childhood--as that's not even possible, much less desirable--but by being present for someone else's:
As I studied this little face, so bent on concentration, I saw something so much bigger than the task of putting a plastic bead on a string. I saw that the bead was my child's only care in the world.
Can you imagine? One tiny bead, his only worry. The one slid on the string beforehand was already forgotten; the one he will put on next--not even a thought yet.
Translated into adult language: I can guarantee you he wasn't sitting there letting his mind wander to the playground this morning, torturing himself with thoughts of "If I would have only got to the swing first, I could have rode it longer." Or "If I would have just not thrown sand in my brother's hair, mom would have given me that cookie. I'm such a baby." Or "Maybe I can put these beads on faster and then maybe the next thing we do won't be so tedious. OOO, I wonder what the next thing is?"
That would suck the fun right out of stringing this bead, wouldn't it?
So, go ahead--plan for the future, learn from the past...but give the bead between your fingers some attention, too.
(Thanks for the reminder, boys)