Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Learning from my three year old

 Ian turned three this June and adored the summer adventures with his big brothers.  He is still lamenting every morning as they board the bus.  I was a little sad at first also.  This fall my days will not be filled with teaching art or ministry.  After three weeks Ian and I have fallen into a happy rhythm of exploration.  We are going to all our favorite stomping grounds but they are so different without two more boys voicing their thoughts on what to do and where to go next.  Instead of feeling lost without them, Ian has savored every bit of the unhurried, quiet pace.  

  Just the two of us exploring in silence.  The first week out and about I asked questions and would tell him the Spanish words for the things we saw.  Orchestrating the days to be full and efficient.  The park trips following after the errands and phone calls.  Now, they come first and I watch more than hurry along;  listen more than teach. Realizing that maybe this season he will be the teacher and I the student.

I am pretty sure Ian can stare at the lake surface for hours.  Watching fish dart under the dock.  Exclaiming that the water can hold the sky and his face together.  Wondering where all the miniature waves come from that crash into the dock without ever ending.  He could run up and down the green hills again and again just for the sheer joy of running so fast and traveling so far from me.  I ran with him at first and then sat watching for over thirty minutes.  I laughed as I saw the speck of red that is my son turn into a huffing and puffing boy with limbs flying.  He finally collapsed staring at the sky.  Clouds drifted over us as Ian said over and over, "I felt wind in my hair mom.  I didn't know I could run that fast mom."  His natural reaction to the world around him is to watch, experience, and enjoy it.  No rushing, no to-do lists, or even the feeling of accomplishing something useful.  He is just enjoying and exploring God's creation one leaf and rock at a time.

I feel best when there is a long to-do list that I can neatly cross off before dinner.  On days that are less productive I have been known to add *make breakfast or *do dishes to the list just to have more to cross off.  I love fun and spontaneity but never at the cost of productivity.  I have never mastered the art of relaxation or rest.  I read before bed every night but would never think to pick up a book during the day.  I sit to eat a meal with family but would not think to sit down when eating alone.  Ian might just change me by the end of fall.  I have laid in grass and stared at the sky more these last three weeks than the last ten years.  I have watched the waters surface and taken more pictures.  Felt wonder and experienced gratitude for the small things in life.  And I think I am starting to breathe deeper and trust more simply.  Finding myself more thankful for this moment instead of trying to constantly prepare for the ones unseen.  I still write out my to-do lists, but each day they are getting shorter and my ability to stop and rest a moment gets a little longer.

 Hoping you get to be the learner instead of the teacher for a day.  That you will get to feel the itchy after grass sitting feeling and count clouds knowing that the God who created them also created you.  And that we weren't just created to be productive and serve but to rest and thank the Creator of it all.

"Trust in the Lord and do good;  dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  
                Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."  
Psalm 37:3&4