1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
I’m assuming that when Matthew wrote this, he wasn’t referring to the children who get lunch detentions and cause their parents to receive phone calls from the assistant principal on a beautiful sunny day when all she wants to be doing is walking with The Baby. No, that wouldn’t be the child who gets into heaven. Remember, dear, if consequences don’t work, perhaps abject humiliation will.
Which brings me to The Baby. Today we decided to walk to school to meet The Girl. I was giving her a piggy back ride and she laid her head on my back, said, “I wuv you, Mommy,” and did the cute little smacking sound that is her version of a kiss. She is right in the middle of that adorable phase between small, helpless wiggler and obnoxious, back-talking child. She is bliss. I missed this stage with the other two. The Boy never had the stage, and while The Girl did, I was so frazzled and sleep deprived that I don’t think I noticed. The next time I will experience this is when I am a grandmother.
The Baby takes things as they come. Wanna help me dust? Okay Mommy. And she flings the little swiffer around the room. Clean up? Okay, I help. And proceeds to put all my yarn in the trash. I think my husband has been teaching her that one.
But she is quick to forgive. Quick to forget. Quick to offer kisses. She doesn’t have an agenda unless it involves a meal. For the most part, she is happy as long as someone is willing to read to her, draw snowmen and robots, and take her for walks. She loves being with people who love her. Enjoys people who don’t know her. Has kind words to everyone she meets. And is quick to share everything she has. She totally lives for the moment and doesn’t have any reservations about asking for what she needs. I may not understand what she’s asking for, but she is always willing to try to explain it to me. Repeatedly.
Imagine if we–adults–were more like a two-year old (minus the diapers of course). Imagine if we were able to live for the moment– to forgive, forget and quickly to offer up kisses. To find kind words for strangers, smiles to friends, charity for those with less, and joy in life. Imagine if we could live each day, content to just be in the presence of someone who loves us more than we can even imagine. It would like heaven.