Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Chances are…if you’ve met my son, Cash…you know there’s something special about him. He has this way of stealing the attention of everyone in the room. He doesn’t know he’s doing it but people are so attracted to his spirit. You just want to watch him. Listen to him. Humor him. He’ll lock you in.
And for me, I want to be more like him.
Lesson #1: UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC
Cash has this innate confidence.
He has no fear of rejection or abandonment making him insecure.
He is accepted and loved perfectly as he is.
His life revolves around enjoying what he enjoys and he seeks out more of it.
He asks for what he wants. And he persists for what he wants.
He doesn’t look back. Doesn’t look forward.
He enjoys the present moment. And makes the most of it.
Whatever his range of emotion brings, you’ll know where he stands.
There’s no sugarcoating…nor brutality.
Just genuine, raw honesty.
Lesson #2: THEY FORGIVE QUICKLY
I read a book last summer by Jentezen Franklin called “Love like you’ve never been hurt” and the big theme of the book was about forgiveness. 70x7 forgiveness.
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.“ - Matthew 18:21-22
The book talks about how hard it can be to forgive when we’ve been hurt and in many cases, that’s understandable. But as often as possible, it recommends we have a good “forgettery.”
Just forget it.
Know that you were most likely not hurt on purpose and do your best to just let it go.
Kids have a good forgettery.
They accept apologies at face value, take them as truth, forget them and move on.
Sure, their brains are smaller and underdeveloped but maybe the purest form of love that children come into the world as is what we should all be looking at as adults.
Lesson #3: FEARLESS
“…she laughs without fear of the future.” - Proverbs 31:25
Cash has been loving the pool this summer.
I don’t know if all kids are like this but he wastes no time before jumping in the water.
But he doesn’t just jump in.
He runs - with laser focus - to the edge and without skipping a beat, jumps in.
And once he makes the jump, it’s not long before he’s getting out to jump again.
Over and over and over.
The joy is in the jumping in.
He loves the thrill and is not afraid of the water. He just goes for it and trusts that he’ll be fine when his head goes under the water. He doesn’t plug his nose. He doesn’t insist on goggles or closing his eyes. HE JUST GOES FOR IT.
A lady at the pool watching him said, “He’s very comfortable in the water, isn’t he?!”
And I said, “Oh, he’s very comfortable EVERYWHERE!”
Another day, I was getting Cash out of the car– like I do every day.
But on this particular day, my hands were full.
I needed him to wait before hopping out of the car and into my arms.
But he didn’t.
He full body jumped out of the car towards me and I had to drop what was in my hands to catch him.
He didn’t realize I wasn’t ready and could have dropped him.
It never crossed his mind that there could even be a possibility that I could drop him.
He didn’t double check to make sure I would catch him.
He didn’t ask me if I was ready.
He didn’t check all of his surroundings first.
He didn’t list the pros and cons of jumping out of the car.
There was no risk analysis.
He trusted me. And fully expected me to be there.
We don’t inspect a chair before we sit in it to make sure it can hold us up.
We just sit in it instinctively and expectantly.
Isn’t that the child like faith we all wish we had?!
To Cash – I will provide his safety. No matter what.
He doesn’t doubt me. And that faith he has in me makes me all the more excited, proud and joyful TO BE HIS PROVIDER. And his faith is not misplaced.
We’re not kids though. We’re adults. And we’ve been let down.
So we count the cost, weigh the odds, conduct interviews, collect data and spend time trying to avoid hurt. Understandably.
But what if there was a shift?
I felt like I understood God a little better in the moment Cash leaped with blind faith into my arms.
It was a light bulb moment like “Ohhh, this is what you want from us….”
To trust you….
I think the different people that enter and exit our lives shape the image of God in our minds.
I imagine that’s why he looks so different to so many people.
But if we all saw him for who he actually is…
Maybe we’d all see the same picture - one where he is worthy of our blind, child-like faith.
I hope to be more like my three-year-old in this way.
Lesson #4: THEY SPEAK THE TRUTH
Good or bad…they say what’s on their mind.
In the moment. Without any thought of the future.
I know it’s a good rule of thumb to think before you speak…
BUT NOT KIDS…
They’re not thinking ahead.
My therapist loves to tell me, “The future is none of your business.”
Maybe Cash and my therapist are onto something?!
This weekend, my dad came to stay with us for a visit with his grandkids.
He was playing with them, completely immersed in their world of dinosaurs and vampires and sword fights.
And in a moment of THRILLING JOY, Cash threw his arms around his grandpa’s neck and said, “I love you so much!” and kissed him on the cheek!
It was a genuine moment of pure love between them.
And it MELTED my dad.
Isn’t that what we all want?
For the word “love” to have power and not be watered down?
To be genuinely felt and understood in a moment.
Maybe a love story is just a bunch of moments like this one strung together.
Maybe our love is only as good as the last moment.
Maybe love only exists in moments.
And we should revel in them as they come because who knows when the next moment may arise.
Kids seize every opportunity AND REVEL IN IT.
My kids are always teaching me more than I teach them.