See that face? See the innocence in those eyes? See the total disregard for the mess that’s on her cheeks/nose/hands? That’s my girl, celebrating one year in the books. As I thought about that, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ statement to His disciples that “Unless you become as a little child, you will in no way inheirit the kingdom of God.” (Matt. 10:15)
Caroline was not self-conscious that she had icing all over her face. She wasn’t worried about what all her friends would think. She was in the moment. She was focused on the task at hand. She was enjoying what had been put before her. She wasn’t looking for what was next. She wasn’t obsessing about carbs.
Me? I’d have 10 napkins close by, wiping with every bite, trying to make sure I didn’t have a speck caught in my ‘stache. I’d be thinking,”I’ll have to run an extra mile tomorrow.”
Why don’t we enjoy the moment more? Why don’t we take life as it comes to us, instead of wishing it were different, and thus wishing it away? My little girl is a year old, and it feels like I just brought her home, blinked, and she’s walking. It goes by so FAST! I just want to try and enjoy every hug, every step, every smile, every late night wake-up-call, every point, every expression of joy, EVERYTHING!
And I want her to enjoy it all, too. Tonight, we ate dinner with the in-laws and their 2 grandsons. Caroline absolutely loves those boys, and when they walked in, she went into her “Gorillas of the Mist” impersonation, grunting, gesturing, and clapping her hands. It was pure joy. When’s the last time you felt like that, and expressed it? (Ok, Ted, excluding when Papi went yard last night).
I find myself doing it. When I’m talking to Caroline, I become a kid again, but when I talk to Amanda, I’m “husband/dad/businessman.” Well, businessman might be a stretch, but you know what I mean. I take so much for granted, and I don’t want to.
I think that may be part of what Jesus meant. Enjoy this life He’s given you! Savor every sunrise, every sunset, every up, every down. Because you know what? We shall not pass this way again. My little girl is only going to learn to walk once. She’s only going to be this exact age once. I’m only going to get to see her like this for a short time, and then she’ll be grown and stretching her wings. I want to see this world through her eyes, and enjoy it with her.
And I started a few minutes ago. I had to go in and settle her in her crib, and as I stood over her, I praised God for blessing me with such a perfect little girl. And I thought of how I’ve stood over that crib for the past year, and seen that little girl fill more and more of it.
And I was full of joy.