My littlest human turns 5 tomorrow. Baby & toddlerhood have walked through my house & shown themselves out. I am not honest if I tell you this doesn’t hit, though it’s a smaller Mack truck than I’d planned. So that’s nice.
One thing I will miss, besides chubby feet & dimply fingers, is how straight up Mari, my-tonight-only 4-year-old, is. We are not out of the meadow of childlikeness yet, of course, but I can see it from here. I have teenagers, after all. (Love you guys! XO).
When she has watched a cartoon that wasn’t her pick, she informs us with volume that she hated it. (also, melodrama.). She snuggles when she wants to & not otherwise, she doesn’t like the black toothpaste. She says “straight up” when she’s asking for clarity. & when she loves you, well. The stars have aligned for you, my friend, because her admiration is an ocean. There is no jumble of insecurity & posturing. She’s just a little girl who loves Gabby’s Dollhouse.
This is part of why Jesus asked us to be like little children, I think. There is nothing false in them. The world, us grownups, culture has not taught them that yet, says Pastor Levi Lusko. Or, we’ve tried to polish them, but they’ve refused. Swimsuit as wardrobe. No, thank you, to a straightened ponytail. No green things eaten to be impressive; goldfish crackers are fine, thanks.
If only we could be so bold.
& here, sweet friends, is where the key turns. We CAN be bold, & it is across a welcome mat that is luxury to our tired feet. We have walked a long way propping ourselves up, posing just right, filtering our words & our photos.
Bring back nap time, honestly. We are tired.
But we can choose otherwise. We are big grownups, after all. We can begin to be honest (or more honest) with ourselves & with each other. It will be alright. It might be amazing.
Those jeans in your closet not your size anymore?
:Totally fine. Get rid of them. We still love you.
Summer not filled with airplanes & postcards?
:Me neither. Stayed close. Still love you.
Having a hard time with ____________?
:SAME. Gosh, it’s hard. With you; love you.
Losing my hair (& eyelashes & underarm hair, ahem) to an autoimmune disease in my 20’s has been one of the better fires in my life. I wouldn’t (didn’t, couldn’t) have said it at the time, but here we are. You can’t maintain the lie that you’re only beautiful if you wear mascara when you don’t have eyelashes to put it on. Being seen is a little bit magical.
Conversely, making ourselves into something & someone we aren’t is exhausting. We are none of us without struggle & sorrow. Because we’re not on the other side yet. We WILL be perfect one day, but today isn’t it, & we don’t have to pretend like we are ahead of time. It helps no one, & it wears us out. Our energy is better spent elsewhere. Like Loving, for example. We can start with ourselves.
So let’s step inside a welcoming authenticity. It’s cozy & a little haphazard in here, & none of the walls are exactly straight. But gosh, it’s lovely pulling off the facade & chucking it down the stairs.
Come on in. Your soul needs a rest. You are Beloved exactly as is, no filters.