Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Flower for Mommy

After helping our son with his homework earlier and noting his subsequent frustration, I offered him a break in the form of a bike ride.  "Let's take Lucy Liu (our puppy) and go out for a quick ride," I suggested. Well, with this idea he was thrilled, and we set out to ride our usual course. After the pup had gotten her own share of exercise we put her back in the house and went on our own venture.  When we stopped to take a look at a beautiful sunset, an improper landing off of my bike led me into two very different emotional and physical states: agony and inspiration...

As many of you who have been reading my blogs know, I broke my toe a few weeks ago.  Well, to compensate for my lack of mobility since, I purchased a bike (see blog entry titled My New Bike).  I actually prefer a brisk walk, but the bike has not been without its own style of cardiovascular benefit.  I was even starting to enjoy the gifts offered by the two-wheeled vehicle - the wind across my face, outrunning our puppy, and speedy downhill descents.  Today, I even seemed to have developed a newfound toleration for the saddle seating. 

Well, Ashton and I rode around our block and then turned towards a small corner where the beauty of a day's sunset can be seen in the distance.  I stopped to show him yesterday, and naturally when we passed by this afternoon he wanted to stop again.  Initially I said no because it was getting cold, but when he asked again I realized I wanted to see it as well. "Okay, but just for a minute," I told him. As we neared our parking place, I slowly came to a stop but because of how I leaned, my body's natural twist caused me to place my left foot down first - the foot with a broken toe.  As my foot met the pavement, I quietly screamed in pain (you wouldn't think so, but it is completely possible to scream quietly).  Pain seared through every inch of my foot and a wave of nausea splashed across my core.  Tears sprang from my eyes and I bowed my head so my son wouldn't see what I felt, but he knew.  I suppose my quiet scream was enough to clue him in because he was within close proximity when it occurred.. Immediately, he rushed to my side, threw his arms around my leg, and kissed my hip (He's five).  "Do hugs and kisses make it feel better, mommy?" he sincerely asked.  I told him that they did, but that I needed a minute to just breathe.  As I prepared to take a minute and collect myself, he darted up a small hill full of purple flowers.  "Mommy, I'm going to get you a flower and that will make it feel better," he informed me.  As I stood there in agony, I just watched my son as he picked through the purple flowers in search of the perfect one, and I was inspired - inspired by how simple life is to a child, inspired by how genuinely sweet children are, and inspired by how he sees the world.  For him, the medicine for my pain wasn't in a tablet of advil; it was in a hug, kiss, and a purple flower. 

In Matthew 18, Jesus tells us the importance of becoming "childlike."  I always had my own opinion of what this meant, but today I see it more clearly.  I know the innocence I see in my son today will one day fade, but I wonder how much longer it will last in all children if we, as parents and adults, model our ways after theirs?  Life doesn't have to be complicated; We make it that way.  A genuinely sweet disposition isn't such an impossible attainment - it just takes using a child as the example and surrounding ourselves with people who have already attained it.  We can see the world through childlike eyes because afterall, we were once children ourselves and if Jesus said it can be done, then it can be done.  Though my son's hug, kiss, and purple flower didn't heal my broken toe - it was without question the best medicine I've had.

Take time to see the world through the eyes of a child.  Live simply, love with hugs and flowers, and don't over complicate life!  Watch the sun set, smell the grass after it has been freshly cut, and let yourself get lost in counting the stars in the sky!  Change your focus and your heart will follow!

Photo taken from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=587

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