Friday, January 23, 2009


Calvin to his Daddy in the car: There are three stages to life, Daddy. The first stage is when you are kid and you do what your parents tell you to do. The second stage is when you are an adult and you have to do the things adults have to do. The third stage is when you get thrusters on your feet and can fly.

I want to remember these images. You, flying down a hill at Gram's on a makeshift sled, laughing, arms up in the air, fearless. You, thrilled to stand up after following my instructions and seeing your first snow angel, wings spreading far. You, trudging back up the hill carrying that heavy piece of black plastic behind you, ready to go flying again. You, stopping halfway up when a patch of unsullied snow caught your eye. You, flopping down on your back on that clean, white canvas, spreading arms and legs and standing again to enjoy your creation. You, doing the same thing over and over again until Gram's yard had a half-dozen angels and even more sled tracks. You, hat tilted back so your ears won't be covered, rosy cheeked and smiling as the sun turns the white yard to diamonds. You, shining brighter than it all, so full of life and joy and adventure. You, ready to fly.

I want to remember, because I so rarely see this anymore. So often you are angry or frustrated or sad or serious beyond your four and a half years. So often we spend all of our days yelling and fighting and crying instead of laughing. I don't know what we have done wrong, your daddy and I, that we don't know how to teach you well without bringing out such anger and defensiveness. But I do know that the boy I see most days is not really you. The boy of clinched fists and wrinkled brow, angry words and violent temper. That is not really you.

You, goofy and smart and sensitive and curious, ready for an adventure, throwing your arms up to the sky. That is how He created you. If only I could help you find that boy. Unclinch your fists and fly.


Heather said...

Oh, this was very touching. I have some similar struggles with my four year old. She is a free bird, but often we spend our days fighting and tangled up in the grumps. I've ended up going to counseling in part because of my struggles with her. I just don't know how to be a good mama to her, the wild loud free spirit that God made her, while still being the quiet peaceful me that God made me. I am not trying to imply that you need counseling or that our issues are totally the same. I just wanted to say that I loved this post, feel it deeply and can relate. Blessings.

Catherine said...

This is beautiful, friend. Even though my oldest is only 2 and a half, I have recently realized that we are heading this way...and I can't believe how quickly the time passes between lullabies and cuddly nursing and fighting and power struggles...and I want to hold it off a bit longer...

wheelsonthebus said...

you've done nothing to create that. from my informal polling, that's what 4.5 looks like.

i can't wait for 5.

Em the luddite said...

I linked you.

God speed the day we all get thrusters on our feet and can fly! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

TwoSquareMeals said...

Heather, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm definitely considering counseling. He and I are so different that I just don't know how to parent him well. I'm glad you're back to blogging, by the way!

Emily, I can't wait for 5, either. I think that 4.5 is hard with all kids and harder with super sensitive ones like ours.