Brooke shows me everyday the joys of childhood. I watch her play, hear her sing, and listen to endless chatter. I am so excited to watch her grow and change. Yet part of me wants it to stop right here. Right were I can still hold her and where an imagination is still ok. One of the things Brooke loves to do is steal my high heels from my room. She thinks I am crazy because I do not wear them everyday of my life. Truth is...I hate heels. My ankles always crack and fall over when I wear them. But I will wear them once in a while, and she just gets so excited when I do. She has been begging me for heels of her own. This morning, laying in bed all cozy with her, she pushed on her super wiggly tooth and said "Mama, I just want heels to be beautiful like you. I just like the way they make you look fancy. Can I please get a pair?" I smiled and told her I would talk to daddy. As I lay there I wanted her stay little for longer, to hold onto these moments instead of rushing them.
One of my fondest memories as a child was the moments where I escaped into a reality of being just a kid. No one was telling me I could not do something...for in that reality anything was possible. I wrote before about the beautiful willow tree I played under as a child. I am fairly certain it was not as wonderful as I remember but to a 5 year old, it was magical. I remember my brother and I turning our beds into cars and we traveled all over. Normally we were trying to escape some danger, and of course we had to rescue our parents. To make it even more exciting we had cars that talked and ran themselves. I remember digging for treasure, mining for gold, and setting up Barbie and He-Man cities that would last for days. No one rushed us to grow up, or told us our ideas were silly. In fact my parents always encouraged us to use our imagination.
I guess sometimes I am sad at how fast we want our babies to grow up. We dress them up in grown up clothes right from the start. I am so old fashioned...I still like the pinafore dresses and big hair bows. Adult tv and music are thrown at them in stores and doctor offices. I have heard from so many parents.."But you do not want them to not know what reality is." or "You do not want to lie to your children." First off, my reality and others realities are drastically different I do believe. In my reality it is ok for a child to play at child games, and their parents to join in on that fun. Some of my best memories are of my mom playing pretend with me. Or of my dad telling his tall tales at the dinner table. Most would probably say I was sheltered as a child. And I am ok with that! Many "realities" escaped me, and some even found their way in a sheltered childhood. I do not think it is locking your kids up from the world, but teaching them how to fall at their Savior's feet when they can't cope anymore. For our family the only way we survive so called reality is to know who is in charge and let Him lead us.
Later in the day, over a math paper, Brooke's wiggly tooth fell out. She smiled at me with a big gap in her top row. She was so proud and excited. I smiled as I listened to her excitement over the tooth fairy stopping by that night. I remembered my own excitement waiting on her to stop in my room. I was thankful my mama let me dream big and imagine even bigger. I was thankful for all those times when she let me escape reality to find a fun place to play. I was even more thankful for her and my dad instilling in me the necessity to trust in God and fall at His feet when true reality became too much. As I kissed my kids and tuck them in I pray every night for their future. Not that it will be rich and prosperous, but that it will serve their King. Not that they will back away from criticism and judgment, but that they would stand firm in who God created them to be! Even if it is in high heels, with wiggly teeth!