I walked into an office one day and there she was – the cutest little thing staring up at me with those big eyes! She waved and said, “Bye!” as she tottered out behind her daddy. Oh my gosh! What complete openness in her face, in her heart! She was just being who she was.
Where does that delight, that freedom go? After raising five kids – and having been a kid myself – I thought about that wide-eyed wonder we are born with. We hit the world running, full of life, ready to express our joy!
And then we get told. Everything that’s wrong with us. Don’t do that, don’t touch, don’t talk like that. Make the bed this way. Say the word that way. Be good. Don’t be bad. And then we get schooled. Your answer is wrong. You hit the wrong note. This essay gets a C. Seems correction and expectations are the mainstays of childhood.
Oh sure, I realize we must learn. We have to mature and understand, and find out what works and what doesn’t. But must correction, must behavior be the goal of those around us… or could they trust us in the process a little more? Could they just delight in who we are – so WE can delight in who we are?
My friend loved to play the piano, but her mother pounced on every note she missed as though she would get a prize for it. She also hated the dissonant sound of the black keys and told her not to play them. My friend stopped playing for some twenty years. When he finally played again, she played only the black keys!
I wonder. I wonder if it could be more like the process of Michelangelo carving the marble statue of David. Michelangelo really did not create David; he simply carved away what wasn’t David, until David emerged.
He just lovingly let the stone develop into the David that was always there. I wonder if we had that mindset with our children, our spouse, or even ourselves – what would emerge?