There are many times throughout the week when I look at what Riggs is doing to entertain himself, and I think to myself, I remember doing that. I remember when 'that' seemed so exciting and fun to me. I remember the thoughts of sheer joy I'd have as I'd do whatever it was Riggs was doing that I remember doing too.
Today it was playing in the kennel. It wasn't necessarily the actual setting that brought back so many memories for me (although I definitely played in the kennel as a child). It was just the look on his face, the mischievous and excited gleam in his eyes as he crawled in, shut the door, and gloried in the little space he had found to play in. He pulled his Tonka truck in with him and drove it around, making his 'truck noises' quietly, his chubby hands moving the toy where he wanted it to go. When he finally noticed that I was watching him, a wide smile crossed his face and his whole body quivered in delight and pride over being discovered on his little adventure.
When I saw these things, I instantly knew how he felt. I remembered these things from my own childhood. I remember how secure it felt to play, on my own yet still close to my mom or my aunt, always hearing them moving around the house in the background of my play.
It's times like this, when I watch Riggs' childhood unfolding right before my eyes, that I remember how truly beautiful and fulfilling childhood can be. I had an ideal childhood, and I am very thankful for it. Some days, I wish so badly that I could go back to that carefree happiness, without the weight of responsibility. I think it's because of how much I value my own childhood, that I want so much for Riggs' to be similar in nature, and for it to extend as long as possible.
I feel such conviction in regards to this, that it's my job, my purpose, to protect the sanctity of his childhood. I pray everyday that God will lend me the strength to be patient as Riggs grows and learns and tests and explores this world. I pray that I will nurture his exploration rather than stifle it; to encourage his curiosity and his sense of independence.
Do you think about your children's childhood? Do you have any special wishes or hopes for these precious years? Do you vividly remember how it felt to be a child, to play how they play and think how they think? Or do you feel out-of-touch with that time in your life and find it hard to understand what your children are thinking at times? Please share any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them!