And then, the unexpected occurred.
With one simple statement, my four-year-old granddaughter silenced the frivolity.
“Grandma, if you were still with grandpa, you’d have a dog!”
A look of horror went over my grandson’s face. Three years older than she, he bore the weight of propriety in that moment and quickly whispered in his sister’s ear,
“You’re not supposed to talk about that!”
Unfazed, my granddaughter frowned at him and then turned to check on my reaction.
I met her quizzical look with my own declaration, “I could get a dog if I wanted too, sweetie; in fact, I think I will!”
With that, she smiled and excitedly pointed to the neighborhood park, which she had just spotted. She wanted to play there—not later, “right now!”
Order had been restored.
I often think back to this exchange. The unencumberedness of my granddaughter helps me see how the “stuff” of life can color our perspective. She could care less about what had happened years before; she was focused on a dog.
And I wonder, when Jesus told his disciples, “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” was he speaking about this?
When I’m with my grandchildren, I’m brought into a world of play and immediacy that otherwise can elude me. Amidst the chaos of darting little feet and flying objects, I’m focused entirely on the present. I have to be! And in that space of frantic activity, I don’t think about politics, my “to do” list, or the past. I am simply present.
Author Eckhart Tolle wrote, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” I think children bring us into the Now, don't you?
Wow…another reason to visit my grandchildren!