good gifts

     For the past few days, I have watched parents giving good gifts to their two-year-old.

     They enjoy him. They enjoy watching him discover things (like the splash that pebbles make in a stream). They enjoy watching other people enjoy him. They enjoy him just the way he is, without any shoulds.

     They’re patient with him. When they want to get him dressed and he wants to be a dump truck beep-beep-beeping as he backs away from them, they wait. They know he’ll come back.

     When he’s tired of playing or he bumps his head or something scares him, he goes to his mom and sinks into her for a while, all limp and content. He stays until the holding is enough, and then he runs and plays again.

     They are his safe place. They pay close attention to him. Their eyes and ears are always open to him, no matter what else they’re doing. They let him explore and they give him small choices, but they’re always keeping him safe.

     His little days are filled with the good gifts of good parenting.

     So are mine.

“If you . . . know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts. . . ?” Matthew 7:11