Friday, May 26, 2006

Young'Uns: They Teach You Stuff

Last Saturday morning David spent several hours on the front porch - cleaning everything with Clorox, clearing out cobwebs, making sure all the surfaces were ready for the coat of white paint that's coming their way.

Alex was inside with me since children and large amounts of bleach don't mix, and about once a minute he'd run to the front door, look outside, jump up and down and say, "I wanna see MY daddy. I wanna see MY daddy, Mama."

I've talked several times about A.'s ever-growing allegiance to and obsession with his daddy, but the whole "MY daddy" thing was new to me. There's OWNERSHIP in that pronoun, POSSESSION implied, and I got the message - loud and clear - that in Alex's mind, lest I harbor any notions to the contrary, David belongs to Alex and Alex alone.

Sometimes I have moments of insanity where I fancy that I can actually reason with Alex, that I can put my three key points into some form of multi-media presentation, explain them objectively while using my laser pointer, and at the end of the lesson Alex will look at me and say, "Oh yes, Mother. I understand now. The three critical components of playing nicely with others are 1) no pushing 2) no hitting and 3) sharing toys. Thank you for teaching me today!"

So when Alex started up with the "MY daddy" chorus Saturday morning, I tried to be fairly rational: "Yep, he's a great daddy...the best daddy in the world - but you need to come away from the door - there's no point in standing there all morning waiting for your daddy to come inside.""

Somehow Alex got the idea that I was trying to claim David as my own father, and he got very defensive: "NO, MAMA! He's not YOUR daddy! He's MY daddy! He's NOT! YOUR! DADDY!"

I explained that yes, I was aware of that, and perhaps after Alex finished with time out for ALL! THE! SCREAMING!, we could change the subject to something like Veggie Tales or "Finding Nemo." There's much less emotion involved with those two things.

But I couldn't get his insistence about "MY daddy" out of my head.

The older I get, the more I realize that every single struggle I have with God is a struggle I also have had with my earthly father. That father / child thing is huge, isn't it? I don't think we can overestimate how our relationships with daddies impact the way we interact with our Heavenly Father.

So I decided, as I re-played the scene from that morning in my mind, that if Alex wants to cry out to his daddy, claiming him as his very own, if he wants to stand at the door and wait for the second that his daddy comes back inside, I will let him. Because every single time that David returns to him, every single time that he comforts him, every single time that he throws his arms around our little boy and responds to him with patience and love, Alex is forming a frame of reference that His Heavenly Father will respond exactly the same way.

It was a total a-ha moment: I need to encourage Alex to seek his father so that one day he will seek his Father, knowing that he can trust him and Him, knowing that they both will answer.

And I just had to write that down.


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