Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leaving Crazy Little Footprints!

"Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your kids."

After what happened with my four-year-old son yesterday, I’m positive that whoever said this oh-so-true quote may have also known my sweet little Judah...or at least had a “free-spirited” child like him!

Parenthood: welcome to the battle of the wills.

Yesterday's battle went down in the usual location and time, outside our boy’s preschool after class.  Who would ever have imagined how many detours can be discovered by a kid in the twenty feet of sidewalk that it takes to travel from the front door of their school to a nearby car?  Nearly every day since school began, Judah has managed to find a way to do anything when I pick him up EXCEPT to quickly get into our car.  It has been the very reason I have to grip the steering wheel on the ride home to keep from turning into our local mental-health hospital to check myself in!

The majority of the children walk with their parents in an orderly fashion and get into their appropriate vehicles, but not my Judah! He is the one hanging from a tree, jumping into a mound of snow (with OUT his boots on of course), grabbing a limb, plant, etc. and sword-fighting with the wind and (my personal favorite) doing “The Worm” break-dancing move on the sidewalk while inching towards our awaiting car.  

Call it his creativeness, craziness or cool-ness but I have been totally cure-less for this dilemma!  Heart-to-heart talks, punishments, and rewards have been added to my list of options; then just as quickly crossed off as yet another fruitless attempt to get my son to walk those notorious twenty feet and-for PETE'S SAKE-just be NORMAL!!

It was during this infamous walk the other day that one of his teachers followed us out to share with me something that happened that day.  I listened with one ear while steam poured out of the other as, once again, Jude dive-bombed into the nearest pile of snow.  

“I just have to tell you how much I love that kid,”  She was saying while I grabbed at Judah’s hood and whispered “sweet nothings” in his ear in my (once again-FRUITLESS!!) attempt to redirect him to our idling vehicle.

“Oh, yes, I LOVE THIS KID TOO!”  I smiled...or maybe it was really a grimace.

“He just so blessed me today...” She continued and I nodded in agreement, he was really BLESSING me too at that moment!!  Covered head-to-toe in dirty snow, he glanced at me just long enough to flash me his toothy-grin but not long enough to catch the evil-mom-eye (you know that look: the YOU-ARE-IN-BIG-TROUBLE, KID-look!).

“He told me I have the prettiest eyes he ever saw and I just about bawled, it was so sweet.  He's so very sweet!!”

I was ready to bawl too right then but for a very different reason!  I stopped breathing fire long enough to take a deep breath and, in spite of that little snow-covered rascal standing before me...or more truthfully, because of him, I realized that I was one lucky momma.  I have been given a boy that the world sees as sweet, a kid that has blessed many people with his caring words and genuine hugs.  In my quest to help my children always be the best they can be, I’m pretty sure I get too focused on trying to smooth all their rough edges instead of celebrating the gifts God has wrapped up inside their hearts for a waiting world.  

This world won’t ever be the same now that Judah has left his footprint in the lives of his family, friends, teachers...and in the gardens and snow piles outside of his preschool class!!  In the same way, the world needs your precious boy or girl with their unique gifts and takes on life.  

Though it may be easier to see in our children the areas that need some refinement (or an extreme make-over to be more accurate sometimes!!), thankfully, the people their little lives touch see their dimpled smile, hear their sparkling laughter and feel their tender touches, and they are BLESSED!

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