Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Big Kids Playground

Today I took my girl to the park. We went to the big kids side, the one where the slides are higher, the the swings are bigger, and the other children are wilder.

She was excited, ready to take on the world. She rushed for the stairs, bounding up them with the enthusiam only a four year old could produce. She ran straight for the twisty slide, of course, the one that makes me the most nervous. I hovered behind her as she climbed. She didn't glance back, not even before she took off down the slide.

I watched her, offering suggestions now and then as she explored. She rarely looked to me at all, but I stayed right behind her anyway.

The sun was high and hot as a little boy shot past me to the ladder. He wanted me to watch him climb, so I did.

"I can climb without a mommy behind me!"

"That's awesome!" I said encouragingly.

Lily approached the same ladder right after the boy. I walked up to stand close behind her, my hands at the ready should she fall.

The little boy leaned over and looked at me.

"NO! Don't be behind her!" he yelled, frowning at me.

I stayed quiet, watching Lily climb.

"NO! She doesn't need you!" he yelled again, louder.

Lily stopped and looked back at me. I expected her to ask me to move away. Maybe she would be embarassed to have me hovering.

But instead she looked up at the boy.

"That's my mommy. That's what she is supposed to do!!! She LOVES me!" She was indignant and angry.

The boy took off and she kept climbing.

I thought about this alot as we drove home.

My girl wasn't scared to climb. She wans't afraid to go higher than she had before, or afraid to fall.

Because she knew I was there.

In many ways, my daughter teaches me about God. About how to trust and love Him. Today was a very big lesson for me.

I don't make a move without God being there. He is sometimes silent, and always unobtrusive, but he never fails to be by my side. He is there, waiting.

While I climb the ladders.

While I take on the heights.

While I conquer my fears.

He is behind me, waiting for the moment to be needed.

Waiting for me to to turn and ask for help, for a hand, for an encouraging word.

Because He loves me, loves to parent me, and in my Lily's sweet words- "That's what He is supposed to do! He LOVES me!!!"

I am so grateful to have my children. In a way, it is a backwards form of teaching. They teach me what my parents did not. I have grown more in my love and more in my walk with God in the past 4 years than ever in my life. I have learned a lifetime's worth of joy, and been blessed a million times over by these two gift's God has given me.

So here's to a lifetime of climbing the big ladders, sliding the giant twisty slides, and exploring the world, knowing there is love and care behind me, hands at the ready.