I was sitting on the floor of the living room–not necessarily an easy task at the moment with a 7-months pregnant belly out to there–and 18 months of pure squiggle (a squeal-fueled giggle) energy were coming at me full steam.
Running at maximum toddler capacity, my little guy flung himself into my arms with a resounding super squeal. I gave him a little squeeze, a big “I love you,” and a few cheek nibbles as the various oversized wooden screws in his hands made contact with eyeglasses, ears, nose, etc. Then, it was full steam back to the wall at the other side of the room to start again.
We repeated the process more times than I can count, with my little guy alternating between Mommy and a left detour to give Daddy a turn.
Full steam. Turbo drive. Volume 10.
That’s how my little 18-month-old gift does everything. He’s on a personal mission to prove that no matter what you do, you can have more fun and be more successful at it if you are also squiggling at the top of your lungs!
Despite the household craziness his approach sometimes creates, I often find myself just soaking it up. He’s reckless, giving himself completely over to whatever he’s feeling at the moment–whether it’s the trying times of hurt feelings, frustration that a toy won’t work right and disappointment at hearing “no” or the joyful times of shouting newly-learned words, a full speed, fully squiggled chase with brother and the ever-popular hug episodes described above. There’s no doubt that whatever it is, he’s completely abandoned himself to it.
It want to cultivate that caliber of freedom, to act without hesitation when I feel strongly about something. Or, to elevate the mundane to that level of love, joy and excitement. I can imagine it most powerfully chrystalized in that moment of an 18-month-old flinging himself into Mommy’s arms. No reservations. No holding back. No fear. Just pure joy and pure love.
It reminds me of another love:
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sin, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)
Can I be the one to fling myself without fear into the Father’s arms and bathe in His lavish love and grace?
Can I open up my arms and receive the one in need, ready to give His lavish love and grace in human form?
I hope so.
The tiny messages God continues to include with our gifts — 2 little boys and the anticipation of 1 little girl, each with open eyes, open ears, open hearts, and much to teach. “Behold children are a gift of the Lord…” (psalm 127:1)