Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Through His Eyes

No matter how fast my hands move, they still can't quite buckle up his boots as quickly as he'd like. After all, I'm taking precious seconds away from his opportunity to go outside- his favorite word and quite possibly one of his very favorite places in his entire small world. To him, a snowfall is not an inconvenience, it's an incredible mystery, one that he has yet to explore in his short time on this Earth. I scramble into my own coat, quickly grabbing the camera, feeling a bit giddy myself even though the bags under my eyes and the new gray hairs I keep finding clearly tell me that I'm not getting any younger. But there's a sort of magic when I see the world through his eyes.

To him, the cold is not enough to keep his little legs from powering through his first powdery inches of bliss. The wet snow that shakes off his freshy mitten-less hand is not enough to bring tears to his soft blue eyes. And the fact that his teeth begin to chatter ever so slightly is not enough to keep him from glancing up at me, cheeks glowing a pale pink, as he whispers, "Fun." Because it's new, and marvelous, and unbelievably fascinating to him.

Through his eyes, the world's a better place. He knows no stress, has no long to-do list beckoning him away from what he'd really like to do. Everything is new, and exciting, and full of wonder. He's not worried about what others think, not worried about deadlines, likes, or putting up a good front. He is who he is, a 21 month old who's slightly obsessed with barely reheated pizza, real or pretend tractors, and partially deflated restaurant balloons. And one whose joy completely captivates me and gives my heart permission to delight like a kid again- because somewhere in my world of freezer meals, dryer sheets, and online bill payments, I've lost some of that.

Through his eyes, everything is an adventure. Christmas is magical, the everyday is awesome, the mundane is surprising. When I pause to see the world as he does, I feel it again. Something as simple as plugging in the lights on our tree each night, or pushing the button on a musical ornament as he raises his arms to dance with me makes his eyes (and mine) light up every single time. Because it's new, and it's special, and he hasn't lost his joy. And I hope he never does, because he brings it to the rest of us.

Through his eyes, I'm mommy. His place of comfort and strength, the one he can run to without fear of rejection or judgment. The one who will give in to his sweet requests for "trick or treat" even though it's December, or who will pull him into her arms even when he's covered in snot, food, or some other lovely mess that becomes the norm to every "boy mom" out there. And I'll take every snotty snuggle I can get, because being his mama makes me strong, gives me purpose, and changes everything. He sees me as far stronger than I am, and as a result, I am pushed to be better.

As I lay him gently in his crib each night and slowly zip him into his Sleepsack, pausing to look at his sweet smile for just a few moments longer, I can barely stand how much I love him. I may be teaching him about the world, but sometimes it seems like he's teaching me so much more. Like he's reminding me what it's like to see the world as a place that's far more forgiving, far less stressful, and far more joyful- to see it through his eyes, even when all I can see are my own frustrations and failures.

That is my hope and prayer for you this winter- that you would cherish sweet moments, and pause to remember what it was like to see life through the eyes of a child. That you would see through those eyes once more, and that it would bleed into a season of joy and celebration as the worries of the world fade away. And that perhaps you would find time in these moments of wonder to reflect on how another sees you through his eyes: completely forgiven, completely loved, and completely cherished. Because, oh friends, you are.



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