I sometimes find myself getting a little jealous of my kids. You might be asking yourself why I would get jealous of my children.
Well, aside from the fact that they have virtually no responsibilities, they also have a maid (me), a live-in chef (me), and someone to bathe and dress them (me again). But there is another reason I often find myself in the throes of envy.
Have you ever noticed that kids can play with other children without even knowing their names? There is no pretension. No pretending. No expectations. The only thing they have to do is be themselves.
Why can’t we be more like that?
Recently Jonah joined a new soccer team. He has aged up and is now playing with 1st and 2nd graders. (More on this in a later post)
The problem is – we didn’t know a soul on this new soccer team. Not. A. Soul.
I was freaking out, texting Peter that I was a little nervous. Because frankly, I don’t like going into new social situations where I don’t know anyone.
But Jonah? He ran onto the field and started kicking the ball with the other boys. He didn’t care that he didn’t know their names. And the other boys didn’t care that they didn’t know his name. All they were worried about was kicking that soccer ball up and down the field.
Many times when I enter a new situation, I have a fear of rejection. A fear of not being included into an otherwise tight-knit group. It’s often difficult as adults to find our way.
But with children, particularly young ones, there is no fear of rejection. In fact, most times they play together easily with no stipulations. Because they have no preconceived expectations or beliefs.
Just yesterday morning, in the carline at Jonah’s school, Jonah noticed an older model car. It had clearly been in numerous wrecks, the paint job a splotchy gray and black. Jonah’s first reaction was this:
“Hey! That’s a cool car!”
Vivienne didn’t see the car yesterday but she did notice it this morning.
“Oooh, look at that pretty car!” she exclaimed with fascination.
Where I saw ugliness and damage, my children saw something lovely. Where I saw brokenness, they saw something beautiful and whole.
As I apply this revelation to new situations, new friendships, I am reminded that my kids are not tainted by the world’s opinion of beauty. And I shouldn’t be tainted by that opinion either.
Instead I should look for beauty in others and in myself, opening up to the possibility of new friendships with no expectations placed on the new people I meet.
And I must remember that there is beauty in the broken.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11a