As of early this month, I am the proud parent of a two-year old; a wide-eyed, willful, excitable, whirling-dervish of a two-year old. Winnie the Pooh, Clifford, Mickey Mouse and Frozen are the only things that can get her to slow down and once they are removed from the equation you can expect a violent explosion of tears, sobs and flailing before moving on to the next thing (probably stickers). Honestly, I think I could supply enough electricity to power a small island nation if I could find a way to harness the energy that kid gives off.
From the moment that her feet hit the ground in the morning to the moment we lay her down at night, she is in almost perpetual motion curiously exploring everything, mimicking every motion and, to our newly discovered horror, picking up on a lot of things we say that we thought we could get away with for a little while longer.
Which makes the mornings so much sweeter. You see, I’m an early morning guy who likes his morning rituals: wake up, eat breakfast, have my time in Scripture and prayer, and then whatever else I feel like/need to do. So I’m generally awake when the little girl wakes up.
That time with her is my favorite part of the day. I’ll usually hear her yawn, stretch and sigh. From there, I hear her stand up in her crib and softly start to call, “Daddy.” Responding to her call, I walk in to find her holding her blanket and two stuffed animals, usually still rubbing her eyes. I kiss her on the forehead, tell her good morning, and pick her up. Like her dad, she wants to eat immediately so I will take her to get a small glass of milk. I sit on the couch with her stretched out in my arms as she sucks the sippy cup dry. And when she’s done a curious thing happens. She doesn’t slide down off of my lap and immediately start exploring, looking for stickers, or wanting me to read to her. Instead, she sits up and leans her head on my chest and stays there for a solid 15-20 minutes.
As her dad, I love those moments when she just sits with me. There’s no TV. There are no books. Stickers are completely absent. She doesn’t really speak and neither do I. She just sits in my lap with my arms wrapped around her and I soak it all up because I know that that time will soon be coming to a close and I won’t get time like that again until the next morning.
Yesterday, while soaking in my toddler cuddles, it occurred to me that my Father would probably like a little time where I just sat in His arms. You see, I’m a whirling dervish of a 31 year-old who, upon my feet hitting the ground in the morning, constantly has something to do: eat, get dressed, work, drive home, do chores, bathe child, etc. Once I gain momentum it’s hard to get me to slow down until my head hits the pillow. More often than I care to admit, my time with my Father becomes just another item on my to-do list to be checked off at best and a routine precursor to getting on to the business of the day at worst.
I know how much I love and cherish those moments with my daughter when she just wants to sit in my arms and simply be there. I get a little teary when I consider the fact that there will come a day when she won’t want to do that anymore because I’ll miss it terribly. And then I remember that, too often, I am the child who deprives his Father of moments that He loves and cherishes not because I’m too grown for it and it would be creepy for a 31 year-old to sit still in someone’s lap, anyone’s lap, for any period of time, but simply because I’ve convinced myself that there are more pressing things to accomplish.
So now I’m resolved to spend some time each day just sitting in the presence of my Father. Maybe I’ll talk. Maybe I’ll listen. Maybe I’ll just sit there and soak in His love as I feel His arms wrap around me. Fathers love that stuff. And I’m pretty sure it’s good for the child, too.