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.