Thursday, October 9, 2014

Kids at play. Shoes not required. Why I choose the kids over your fears.

I've learned something, having helped my siblings from birth to adulthood.

You know how your child pulls his shoes off in the car? Someday, all on his own, he won't do that. Freaking out about it isn't going to make that time arrive any sooner, and only serves to stress you out and damage your relationship with him.

The same goes for the Christian audience and church. Take a look around the next time you go to church services. What do you see? Hundreds of adults standing, sitting, kneeling, hands folded, reading, singing, or being silent. ALL on their OWN. It will happen.

Neurotypical toddlers without underlying conditions grow into children who use underwear. You wouldn't believe it by the way your toddler screams at the toilet or hides behind a potted plant to poop, but soon enough, she will refuse to soil herself.

So, when my toddler is prancing with joy on the playground bench, I'm happy to oblige. When they throw off their shoes to better experience the park, I'll pull my shoes off and experience it with them.

When they get down on the ground to look at worms, I'll smile and remember what it was like to love insects instead of worrying about disease transmission, poison, stings, and the like. (Such as LYME LYME LYME! LOL).

An odd bug! RUN FOR THE HILLS!

You might give me the evil eye. You might call us uncivilized. You might suggest I'm a crappy parent. You might display stroke symptoms when my children run up the slide. You might loudly tell your children, "We don't do THAT" when mine all jump on each other, a huge pile of giggles and love.

Barefeet, breaking the posted rules, swinging AT ALL during infancy.
How will these kids survive?

We're busy exploring, learning, loving, and growing together. The thing is, when it comes down to choosing between a random stranger's approval or supporting my children in their joyful exploration, my children will ALWAYS win.

Soon enough, they will put on their shoes and leave them on for long periods. They will read the posted rules and (usually) abide by them. They will sit still in church and read the scriptures if they have the gift of faith. They will bake without throwing flour. They will walk quietly down a path instead of shrieking and throwing out cartwheels.

This time right now is ours. I will not threaten it for your emotional satisfaction.

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