As you may have read, I’ve opted for a theme word for 2009 rather than a set of resolutions. In my pursuit of harmony, the word that chose me, I’ve been prompted by some conversations this week to consider this question: How do you achieve harmony between folks who don’t agree? Different people with differing view points–not just life circumstances, but life choices and priorities and beliefs. Is it really possible to agree to disagree? Can friendship occur in that situation? Can harmony? Building relationships with like-minded pals is pretty easy. But, building and nurturing relationships with the unlike-minded is advanced harmony. It’s harmony coursework at the 5000 level. You have to want it, because harmonizing at that level takes some work.
As is often the case, Little Drummer Boy inadvertently taught me something. He reminded me that true harmony with my fellow man, woman and child has a ground rule. And, the lesson came in another episode of the “doo doo chronicles.”
Last week I was sitting at the dressing table in my bedroom trying to minimize the look of not enough sleep so as not to frighten any Saturday morning fellow grocery shoppers. Hub had been supervising while Squiggle and Little Drummer Boy watched a movie and Baby Girl watched Squiggle and Little Drummer Boy. It had given me the opportunity to grab a quick shower before morning errands, and I’d vacated the bathroom just in time for LDB’s second cup of juice to convince him it was “tee-tee” time.
His jaunt in the bathroom was suspiciously long, and I vaguely remember that no flushing sound preceded him bounding out of the door on the way to not missing any more of his movie. As I glanced down the hall between eye liner and blush, I caught him in a hurried shuffle with the back side of his Thomas the Train underwear in plain view and his blue jeans down around his ankles. How I love the innocence of a just-shy-of-four-year old’s utter disregard of pants down around the ankles, but… Cue concern: There are still a few finer points of potty ettiquette we haven’t covered yet–at least we haven’t covered them convincingly enough. And, no time like the present.
Mommy: “Sweetie, we don’t need to come out of the bathroom with our pants down.”
LDB: “Why?” [I love that boy]
Mommy: “Because it’s not modest.”
LDB: Quizzical look.
Mommy: “That means we need to cover ourselves.”
LDB: “Yeah, so we don’t show anyone our knees.” [If only. I’ll remember that one for Baby Girl.]
Mommy: “Well, it’s ok for people to see our knees, but we don’t want to show anyone our bottom-boo.”
LDB: “Yes. Because if we doo-doo on them, it will get all over us.”
Righhhht. My insistence that Little Drummer Boy pull his pants up before going one step further was punctuated by giggles and reflection. Harmony in relationships does indeed have a baseline, a ground rule, reiterated in a hundred different refrains of the same tune.
What goes around comes around. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. “Whatever a man sows, this will he also reap.” (galatians 6:7)
So often that verse is used as a weapon, an accusation against the “opposition.” But, “if we doo-doo on them, it will get all over us.” It’s the basic principle of life God created and set in motion: you get what you give. When I give peace, when I give love, when I give hope, I can much more easily recognize it in others around me. I can’t make someone’s choices for him, but I can choose to extend love and peace and joy and hope. Harmony isn’t about agreeing. Harmony is about finding the common ground and the largeness of spirit to give what I want to receive. So, I’m thinking our doo-doo is best put in the potty, lest it get all over us.
The tiny messages God continues to include with our gifts — 2 little joys of boys and 1 little jewel of a girl, each with open eyes, open ears, open hearts, and much to teach. “Behold children are a gift of the Lord…” (psalm 127:1)