One of the things I love to do is to imagine what kind of adults my children will be when they grow up. What profession will they choose? What kind of friends will they surround themselves with? Or, what will their hobbies be?
After reading Darcy’s blog post, Play is a Child’s Work, I’ve been trying to give my oldest, Nora (2), the freedom to play more, explore more and get messy more. It’s in these moments of play that our kids are able to dream and as Darcy mentioned, often our children’s dreams do end up translating into their grown up realities. So why not let them play?!
Thankfully God helped seal this message on my heart a couple of weeks ago when I was given a sweet glimpse into Nora’s future at a recent play date.
Here’s how everything unfolded…
One of my friends had invited us over to her home with a handful of other moms and kiddos to spend the morning playing in their backyard. Nora entered the front door of our friend’s home with much vigor and excitement. This is pretty normal for Ms. Nora. Nearly every time she enters a (familiar) place she is full of smiles, “Hi’s!”, jumps and giggles. (Let’s just say she isn’t one to stand behind me clinging to my leg for the first few minutes of a play date.)
As I watched Nora enter the play room where all of the other children had gathered I noticed how each one of the children knew Nora by name. The minute she stepped through the doorway it seemed as if each child acknowledged that she had arrived by doing a little happy dance (as 2 year olds like to do) or screaming “NORA!” at the top of their lungs.
Now this isn’t the case for all of the children. It isn’t in any way a bad thing that not all of the children greet one another the same way they greet Nora – it’s just how it is. Let’s be honest, at 2 most children don’t understand the idea of social etiquette. Thankfully they don’t take it personally.
As I watched this little interaction unfold I couldn’t help but smile as I began to picture Nora at age 25. I could picture her walking through the front door of a friend’s home for the first Christmas party of the season, gifts (and yummy treats of course b/c I’ll have trained her well ;)) in hand and a huge smile on her face that screams “Come talk to me – I’m fun!” All of her friends will greet her with open arms and genuinely be thrilled that she had arrived. To put it simply, Nora was the life of the party and people loved being around her.
Just a quick little glimpse of what could be. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get us through the not-so-easy days with our kids, right?
You see, I’d love to say that all of her little friends know her name because she is so fun, nice and generous. Unfortunately that’s not the case for most 2 year olds and it certainly isn’t true of Ms. Nora. Although she can be fun, nice and generous, there are many play dates where she is more whiny, unwilling to share, and aggressive. And there are play dates when she’s a combination.
My prayer today (and for the next 18 years) is that Nora would know that God has designed her uniquely and that He has great plans in store for her. And that ultimately when she walks through any door that people would gravitate towards her not because she’s fun but because she knows the love of Jesus. And that is always attractive to people.
God let it be so. Amen.