Monday, March 1, 2010

Express yourself

Hang out with any 4-year-old and you can observe innate giftedness in its most purest, uninhibited form.
Many, many moons ago, our adventurous 4-year-old son burst open the front door eager to run in and share his exciting discovery. "Stopp!!" I blurted out, "your feet are all muddy. Hey buddy, I just cleaned the carpets."
Excitement drained from his little body as he pouted from the doorway, "What’s moh important, cawpet or people?
Ouch…the arrow of untainted insight hit its mark. Adam is a think-outside-the-box designer today.
And just the other day I was hunched over our 4-year-old grandson wrestling with the twisted straps and latches of his car seat. Getting him and his two younger brothers in and out of their car seats is about the same complexity as launching a space shuttle. Ryan compliantly watched as I struggled to get all the latches connected. He lifted his hands to mine and stroked the backs of my struggling hands. Such a tender, sweet boy.
His little fingers tenderly traced the pronounced veins on the back of my strained hands. And then he touched the backs of his hands. He went back and forth between his perfectly smooth skin and my veiny road map a couple of times.
And all of sudden my skin felt very thin…too thin to hide my blue, bulging veins, too thin to hide my insecurities, aka my junk. What if my precious, smooth-skinned grandson doesn’t wish to have these bumpy-skinned hands wrapped around him in hugs anymore? Whoa, where’d that nonsense come from?
"Granna, he interrupted as he continued to gently stroke the back of my hand, "Why are you blue?"
Duh, I got it that he was asking about my colorful road map. But how do these 4-year-olds do that other thing….cut to the core with such innocence, with such natural expression of who they are?
I think that beginning after the age of four, we start collecting junk from the world around us. And it’s that junk that can warp our perspective and prevent us from being who we were created to be.
Believe me, I could go on about the junk we accumulate and cannot seem to discard. But I have a date with my 4-year-old grandson; he’s helping me sort through some junk.