Norah Rose sidewalk-chalking it up at the Morgan's last month!
Lately Norah has had a mantra… in every situation, no matter what, she has one thing to say: “I do it all by myself!” In everything from getting in her high chair, putting on her shoes, brushing her teeth, putting in hair bows and everything in between, she desires independence. Now on one hand, this is a very good thing. I want her to get to a place where she can pick out her own clothes and successfully place them all on her body in a socially acceptable way. I want her to be independent in a ton of ways and in fact, one of the biggest blessings in the past couple of years has been the way our oldest little girl Anna has been doing so much for herself, by herself. The only problem with Norah’s intense yearning for independence is that she can’t do a lot of those things yet and with the advent of this desired independence, she’s losing the ability to ask for help.
The clearest example of this is the process of getting in the car. First off, Norah wants to open the door, so if I go anywhere near the handle, she freaks out: “No! I open it all by myself!” But she can’t, so she turns to me after grunting and trying and says, “It’s locked, Daddy.” So, I open the door and try to pick her up to get her in the seat, and yet again, she freaks: “No! I get in all by myself!” This is actually doable, but it takes around six or seven months and usually involves a few slips, bruises and tears. Then comes the seatbelt… wow. She wants to do this so badly, but she’s just not strong enough yet. She needs me, but she doesn’t want my help. If I touch the seatbelt, she freaks yet again: “No! Daddy! I do it all by myself!”
It’s like I’ve been watching someone simultaneously mature and regress. You see, babies love asking for help from their Daddies and Mommies. They are awesome at crying out when they are in need. When they first gain control of their limbs, they show it by holding them out to someone bigger in a cry for help. As we grow though, we become more able, tougher and more self-sufficient. This is a good thing when it comes to being able to feed yourself lunch, but it’s a very bad thing when it comes to spiritual matters...
One time people were bringing babies to Jesus and He was pumped! His disciples thought this was a waste of time and tried to stop the influx of infants, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
You see, when it comes to understanding what it takes to know God, babies are pros. They know how to cry for help. In watching Norah lately, I’ve been able to see in myself so many things I’m trying to do that I’m just not strong enough to do… things I need my Daddy in heaven to do for me… things I need to cry about instead of huffing and puffing and trying harder. I can’t clean myself up… I can’t be good enough or acceptable enough on my own. I can’t prove how awesome I am at this… I’ve been thinking that a big secret to growing is immaturing… going backwards to days when I wasn’t so strong and self-reliant… days when I knew how to need, and when I knew how to cry about it.
3 years ago