Something happens when we talk to kids


Last week I got to listen in on a video-chat conversation between a friend of mine and her 4 year-old daughter.  It was beyond adorable.  Daughter was home in New York with Dad while Mom was sitting in a minivan at a gas station just north of Boston.

They talked about breakfast (she had yogurt) and about the day’s upcoming events (a half day of Pre-school).  The family also did a variation on the elf-on-the-shelf thing and we got to listen as the elf was discovered and a small present came with it.  (It was in her backpack and “completely unexpected” by daughter and both parents.)

It was a puzzle and the most adorable moment of the entire conversation followed the gift.

“Wanna do the puzzle with me?”  She asked in the most wonderful little girl voice.

“That sounds like fun.”  Said Dad and we heard the pieces spilled onto a table.  For a few moments, Mom was silent as Dad and daughter worked and played at the same time.

It was incredible.

There’s this thing that happens when grown-ups talk to their kids.  We forget the rules and regimes.  We embrace the impulsiveness and rawness of the kids and how their minds work.  We put off the manipulations and machinations that go along with our “normal” conversations and get lost in building a lego empire where everything can be a plane and a submarine at the same time.

We love putting all of that stuff away for a few moments and jumping headfirst into the world of kid.  Some of us talk funny.  We communicate in ways we would never otherwise consider.  We assume the characters we play with, we invent words and abilities and we suspend the reality of everything because we can.  It’s heavenly.

We put aside our grown-upness.  We ignore rules.  Textbook facts, statistics, world news and even the weather become unimportant.  Our jobs, areas of expertise, college degrees and fantasy football teams fall off the edge of the earth while we drink invisible tea and pretend it’s hot.  Our biggest words become “psghetti” and “moo-cow”.  I’ve been a princess on more than one occasion.

We intentionally walk away from maturity, reason, experience, adulthood and enter into a kind of foolishness.  A grown-up sitting on a chair that was only designed to support 40 lbs and wearing a tiara is either the result of a lost bet or of an afternoon spent with a 4-year old girl.

We do that because we love them.  We love them enough to be fools with them.  To immerse ourselves into their space and their world and their minds and to have a good time.

Is that what it’s like?  Is that what He does?

Does He love me so much that He steps away from omniscience and immensity and walks a step or two with me?  When I sit down with lots of disjointed ideas and a laptop, does He drop in for a moment or two?  Maybe I’ll put out a coffee cup for Him tomorrow.

I’m perfectly willing to admit that most of the time I am but an eager child who just wants to play with his Father.  And perhaps I’m the only one, but I look up desperately from the puzzle pieces on the table and ask Him to help me put it all together.

“That sounds like fun.”

And He sits down across from me, in a chair that has no business holding Him and He does.

Chris

Chris

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