|My rose (or, at least half of her!)..|
On this particular morning, a bright, sparkly shirt sporting a dressed up kitten caught my eye. I knew that this shirt would become a favorite of one my daughters! I glanced at the size and noted that it needed to be put away. It was a size 4...too small for the 5-year-old and too big for the 2-1/2-year-old.
Just then, the 2-1/2-year-old, Lucy, burst into the room. Her eyes quickly landed on the glittery kitty shirt. "Oohhh," she gasped as she tried to rip off her sleeper to put the shirt on NOW. I tried to explain that this shirt needed to be put away. There was no dissuading her. She managed to get it on and broke out in a huge grin. Besides the fact that the sleeves were too long, it didn't look that bad. I didn't have the heart to take it off of her, so I rolled up the sleeves and helped her pick out some pants (not too many pants would match such a busy shirt!).
The agenda for Lucy that day was errands with Mom and baby sister. She goes to school two mornings a week and LOVES it. She is quite disappointed when it is not her day to go. We went to the Girl Scout store because I had to pick up uniform stuff for my Daisy (Cecilia) and Brownie (Gianna). Lucy went into the small store and made herself right at home. She crawled under a table in the corner and found a bin full of stuffed animals. She proceeded to bring them out one at a time and present them with noises (most were correct, others were just humorous!).
The cashier asked how old she was. I said, "Two." Then the cashier, who didn't look old enough to have kids yet (but you never know!), said, "Looks like such a fun age!"
I should have just said, "YES!" Because, it is a wonderful age. So are ages 8, 6-1/2, 5, 4, and 1 (the ages of my other children!). And, 39 isn't so bad either :).
I often think of the quotes in St. Josemaria Escriva's book, "The Way," about small children. In particular, "Be little, very little. Don't be more than two years old, three at most." He goes on to explain that older children have lost their precious simplicity. St. Josemaria goes on in another quote to remind us that before God, WE (grown ups!) are smaller than 2-year-old toddlers!
Anyway, two is wonderful. The cashier saw it! And, I did too (she did look absolutely adorable making animal noises in her too-big kitty shirt!).
But, I said, "Yeah, but they get very challenging as they approach age 3." True enough! But, why did I have to vent that to complete stranger who was complimenting my toddler!?
It is easy to get caught up in the drama and meltdowns and lose sight of the big picture. I am praying for the grace to appreciate each of my children as they are...not as I would have them be! I want to see the rose (as the cashier did) and not the thorns! Yes, I do have to feel the thorns sticking in me...but, if the world just sees the rose...
That's awesome :).
I love this prayer...especially the part about our children...
Prayer to Our Holy Guardian Angels
Heavenly Father, Your infinite love for us has chosen a blessed angel in heaven and appointed him our guide during this earthly pilgrimage. Accept our thanks for so great a blessing. Grant that we may experience the assistance of our holy protector in all our necessities. And you, holy, loving angel and guide, watch over us with all the tenderness of your angelic heart. Keep us always on the way that leads to heaven, and cease not to pray for us until we have attained our final destiny, eternal salvation. Then we shall love you for all eternity. We shall praise and glorify you unceasingly for all the good you have done for us while here on earth. Especially be a faithful and watchful protector of our children. Take our place, and supply what may be wanting to us through human frailty, short-sightedness, or sinful neglect. Lighten, O you perfect servants of God, our heavy task. Guide our children, that they may become like unto Jesus, may imitate Him faithfully, and persevere till they attain eternal life.