In celebration of my son David’s birthday today, I wanted share a couple of my favorite stories from his childhood (and important lessons learned along the way). Enjoy!
Anybody who has ever given birth knows that a having a baby can turn your life upside-down; however, after experiencing this phenomenon twelve times over, I can testify that some babies turn it upside-downer than others.
Some babies cry and are colicky and sleep just as little as possible throughout those first weeks and months and years of life.
We’ve had several of those (although they eventually grew out of it and were definitely worth the trouble — in fact, we saw one of our crankiest, most inconsolable babies blossom into one of our most caring, compassionate adults).
Other babies are all smiles and sunshine and seldom complain about anything. We’ve been blessed with a couple of those, too (and are glad to report they did not grow out of it, but are still just as pleasant as ever).
Our third born is a prime example. David was as easy a baby as any mother could hope to have. He was quiet, happy, and content all the time. If he got bumped or startled or scared, his eyes would get as big as saucers, but he wouldn’t utter a sound. Even when he woke up hungry, he’d coo rather than cry.
David slept all night from the day he came home from the hospital (which means I got to sleep, too). He slept the better part of most days, as well. He basically slept around-the-clock for twenty-four months solid.
But then he turned two and stopped sleeping altogether.
Suddenly, my incredibly easy baby was wide-awake, insatiably curious, and into everything! He lived in constant motion, but was still extremely quiet (translation: he was sneaky), which meant I had to watch him. Every. Second.
A few days after his birthday, I made the mistake of bending over to pull a weed while David was playing with his older siblings in our backyard. By the time I stood back up, he’d clambered over our fence, dashed down the alley, and climbed into our neighbor’s yard to pet their dog. Of course, I was only a few steps behind him, but that is beside the point.
The real question is, what’s a two-year-old doing scaling fences in the first place?
That was a game changer for which I was woefully unprepared.
The following month, David discovered that by climbing onto the workbench, he could reach (and operate) the switch to our automatic garage door opener. One bright Saturday morning,his Daddy heard a cry for help and, upon investigating, found our toddler hanging by his fingertips from the ceiling of the garage! He had apparently caught a ride up on the moving door, but was uncertain how to get back down.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying, sometimes LIFE can feel a little like that. Know what I mean?
Have you ever wondered, like I sometimes do, O what’ve I gotten myself into now? Have you ever felt like you’re barely hanging on by tooth or by nail? Do you desperately cling to an old way of doing things, a way that no longer makes sense, because you’re afraid of what might happen if you let go? Are you hoping against hope that someone will happen along who can help?
Maybe that’s why God allows us to get into such predicaments in the first place — because it makes us so acutely aware of our need for Him, our need for wisdom, our need for balance.
And that’s a good thing, for we must recognize a need before we can ever hope to meet it (or, in twelve-step lingo, we must admit there is a problem before we can find a solution).
My two-year-old’s response to the garage door incident is a reasonable response for adults, as well. Whenever life leaves us hanging by our fingertips, we must remember to:
- Cry out for help
- Be willing to let go
- Learn from past mistakes
- Avoid the things that throw us off-balance in the future
Our tireless toddler is now six-foot seven, out of the nest, and in his second year of dental school (mothers of energetic two-year-olds, be encouraged: this stage will pass, all too soon). In all those interim years, we never had to rescue that son from the ceiling of the garage again (from other heights, perhaps, but never again from that one). He learned his lesson well.
Here’s a picture of David today (along with his colicky-turned-compassionate sister/classmate Bethany, who is equally amazing):
The Bible teaches that “the beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom,” (Proverbs 1:7) and that if any of us lack wisdom, we should “ask of God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and it will be given.” (James 1:5)
Prayer should be our first response to any problem, for God is the ultimate source of every solution.
Isn’t it a comfort to realize that, just as my sweet little David called for his Daddy so many years ago, we can cry out to our Heavenly Father, who stands at the ready to rescue us, to take care of us, to plant our feet back on solid ground?