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Growing into our shoes

August 20, 2011

It’s weird.  For all intents and purposes, my three older children are now young adults.  It happened fast.  Last week they were toddlers, underfoot and making messes.  This week they are paying taxes and learning to deal with insurance and even becoming parents themselves, which, of course, is both the pleasure and the revenge of their parents.

There are 18 months between the Jr. Spark and the first Sparkette, and only 13 months between the first and second Sparkettes.  That’s right– three kids in 2 1/2 years.  The youngest Sparkette wouldn’t make an appearance for 5 1/2 more years.  By the time she did we were well-versed in toddler-isms.  We had seen– and smelled– it all.

It’s strange and exciting to watch your kids move from the newborn larval stage into being real little people with their own preferences, personalities, and talents.  But nothing is cuter than young learners who don’t quite get something right but persevere anyway.  They wear their shirts inside-out and backwards (what parent hasn’t wanted to make their child wear a sign that says “she dressed herself”?)  They eat with their hands– even oatmeal.  And they say cute things that are cute because they are wrong.

The Jr. Spark used to call the telephone a tim-mim-eff.  And elephant was an eff-fa-funt.  With all three of the older kids the words kitchen and chicken were interchangeable for several years.  They’d ask to get something out of the chicken, and they’d want kitchen for dinner.  And they were well into grade school before they all three could consistently say music correctly.  It was always muse-kit.  I always wondered what their muse-kit teacher thought of what they called her class.

Insisting that small children have good taste in clothing, use flatware correctly, and pronounce all their words without flaw would be silly.  They’re kids, for pete’s sake.  They will get bigger and stronger and smarter.  They will mature.  They will stop making these sorts of mistakes.  And oddly enough , when they do, they stop being quite so cute.

It’s easy to assume that every adult we meet is mature.  We expect that a person who inhabits an adult body will have an adult mind filled with adult thinking and adult emotions.  But it isn’t always that way.  I think it’s more often not that way.  This is when I wish I could always see clearly with God’s eyes.  Because all the stuff I tend to quickly judge as a character flaw might be more of an area of immaturity that is far more fleeting than I can really understand.  While I’m grumping because I’m being annoyed, maybe He’s pointing at the subject of my annoyance and telling His angels “look at her!  Isn’t she cute? Take a photo to remember this, because she’s going to outgrow this faster than you think!”.

I suspect that there are days God would like to tack a sign on me that says “she dressed herself”.  But I suspect that on those days, He doesn’t really need to because everyone can tell.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2011 11:08 pm

    Every is insightful today. :)

  2. Joann permalink
    August 21, 2011 8:37 am

    To put into words what my heart feels is impossible. What a wonderful insight.

  3. hopetuttle permalink
    August 26, 2011 5:18 pm

    This might be one of my favorite ones you’ve ever posted.

  4. September 14, 2011 4:30 pm

    I like this. The last paragraph is my favorite. I may start using that line as a replacement for “bless her heart”.


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