This is one of my favorite pictures of my granddaughter, Penny Ruth. The likely scenario is one that's played out in every toddler's life.
Let's just take a closer look:
Oh, I can see the wheels turning..
No one likes that bitter word. Small, but a hard one to swallow-maybe more difficult than Supercalifragillsticexpialidocious - it chokes down, even with a teaspoon of sugar.
She's curious, as all toddlers are. Her mom just wants to protect her and at the same time teach her obedience. But, Penny has a will of her own. She wants what she wants and in this case, what she wants is inside the "no" cabinet. She doesn't understand the dangers involved. She's not walking or talking yet, but even at this young age, she has opened the gift of free will... and she's playing with it.
I call this the "Eve Factor."
I wonder what would have happened if Eve just moved her beautiful naked body down to the next tree? Probably just over there to her right. A few small steps across that soft meadowy foundation... no threat of weeds poking at her perfect little toes.
How about a pear? I realize its not our favorite shape...but take one for the team, Eve!
Have a pear, Eve.
Must have been one beautiful piece of fruit hanging there from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.
But, I understand. I'm just like Eve.
And therein lies the fragile, delicate balance.
"Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness"
Take your pick..
We were not designed to be automated robots - that wouldn't be a very satisfying creation.
The earth is like one big off leash dog park. No choke chains. Free to sniff out our own path. Woof.
Even if you don't believe the creation story, it's easy to see that man is potentially good or evil. It's a free will universe.
This is no paradise. Tragedies happen. Bombs go off. The good die young. Children are born with disabilities or even end up with little tubes sticking out from their tummies.
Last night, I got home late and snuck into Aidan's room to check on him. A little smile spread across his face but the first sign he made was the one for "pain". I said, "I know" and that I was sorry. He signed "go slow" telling me to be gentle and careful and he pointed to the white plastic tube on his tummy. I reached under the covers and started to count his toes like I've done since he was a baby - telling him it was helping to make him strong and that he was being so brave.
Then, like a coward I left the room, ready for a breakdown ..which happened later when I heard him cry from the room below mine. The doctors cut through muscle, it hurts and he is uncomfortable.
Pain entered me and spread until there was nowhere else to go. I wanted to squeeze it all out, like a great big sponge. But, it came out one drop at a time..tears are another silent language.
Then, in the midst of his cries I hear his mom's voice - and a little giggle slips out of Aidan:) I don't know where he finds this well of happiness, but thank God he does, because it's contagious and helps us all.
He's a fighter. (with cute little buns:)
This is one brave little soldier.
So, we choose to soldier on...