Lenten Reflections #22
In fifth grade, I was unstoppable on the monkey bars. My favorite trick was the “cherry drop”. It was risky and exhilarating, and I did it close to a zillion times. Here’s how it works. Pull yourself up to the bar. Sit and balance on the top, point your hands straight out in front of you, fall backward, hook knees to bar, flip body over and land in front of the monkey bar. That’s a cherry drop.
Of course, the thought of doing it now scares the heck out of me, but the feeling of doing something like that when your nine…that stuff that sticks with you.
The best part was, I had someone to watch me land the flip. Someone who took time to be there. Someone who listened when I said, “Look!”
Today in backyards, schools, and playgrounds the words “Watch this!” bounce through the air carrying the excitement kids get when they have tried something so many times they HAVE TO have a witness to watch them succeed. At least one set of eyes to see their accomplishment.
I’m not saying respond to their every request to look, but…
what if…they finally drew the perfect rainbow, the colors are in order and they even found the wishy-washy indigo color? Stop and take a minute to look at it.
what if…they want to tell you a story about the baseball game when they finally hit the ball off the tee and ran like crazy to first base. Stop and listen.
what if…they found a rock on the playground and it’s the perfect shape of a heart and they HAVE to show you. Stop and admire their find.
It’s about not getting steamrolled by the day-to-day craziness of life and simply watching your child play. Even though our kids are a little older, there are still insane bike jumps to watch, swim dives to marvel, and trick shots I’m summoned to watch.
If I’m not paying attention, inevitably I turn my head and see my son’s eyes peering at me through the window waiting. Luckily, if I miss it there is always an instant replay, either spoken or delivered in slow motion. Much like in most sports these days, the replay counts for inattentive parents.
Maybe it’s a three-point shot or a monkey bar miracle but some kid somewhere is pining for their moment to be seen.
So right now. Just stop. Stop swiping and texting, streaming or tweeting, cooking or cleaning. Just stop and watch him take the shot. Watch the look on his face when he does it. Watch him keep trying when he doesn’t. Watch now because too soon he’ll stop asking.
Spiritual workout: Read the Beatitudes aloud. Digest the words and live them.
Workout: Happy Spring! Go for a walk today and if you have a pull-up bar, hang on it and stretch your body. Start with a 10-second hang and then work your way up to one minute.