Think about the incredible delight of biting into a cold, squishy grape and experiencing the wet sweetness that fills your mouth…or what about the startling sour first bite of a Sour Patch Kid candy that morphs into chewy sweetness….or the multiplicity of flavors that we graze through on Thanksgiving Day? Using our senses to taste is a wonder, an aspect of pleasure, and another characteristic of experiencing beauty.
The goal of exploring the everyday beauty, wonder, and pleasure that God created is this: It is a way to build an infrastructure that can hold the awesome idea of the great miracle of intimacy (when we get to it). Appreciating the beauty and wonder of our bodies is a foundational concept for children to grasp. Having laid this as a base, it will serve as a bridge. Children will be able to expand the discussed ideas to make room for the beauty and wonder of it when they are presented with “The Talk” at the age of eight.
Running free with her classmates, little Zoe zipped up a grassy hill behind three of us teachers, talking. One of the teachers was her mommy. When I waved to Zoe, her mom turned around, which brought Zoe in a quick tumble to her mommy’s side. “Hi, Mommy!” she laughed as they exchanged hugs. Then, Zoe was off to play.
As I watched this delightful interchange, I saw that I, too, am part of the same cheerful moment with my lovely daughter, Judith, who is now grown and working as a nurse. On her way home from the hospital, (while she’s running up the grassy hill) she often calls me just to say, “Hi!”, and sends me her warm and cheerful love and laughter. I am so glad to perceive not only that the joyous interchange I was appreciating was mirrored in my life, but also to recognize that these moments of love aren’t gone when our children are grown.
I have never been good at talking with other people. I developed a little talent at one-liners in high school and college. That cost me a good friend. I have a propensity for puns but that tends to hinder conversation unless you want others to talk about you. . . or groan.
Where I have struggled is keeping a conversation going with a new acquaintance, with my own children, with my co-workers, with my boss. I watched others have conversations and I wondered what they did that I was not doing. I just couldn’t figure it out, which is probably a comment about my inability to observe.
Imagine this: an airline without any posted arrival and departure times.
This guy goes up to the desk and asks, “When does the plane board for Nashville?”
The answer: “We’re not sure, sir, but it could be any time.”
“Do you know when the plane will arrive from Orlando?”
“We’re not sure, sir, but it could be any time.”
He persists, “How will I know when to board?”
“We’ll make an announcement sir.”
Later he is reading a book, and an announcement is made. He misses it. Frantic, he asks someone, “What did they say?” For the fifteenth time it has nothing to do with him.
Approaching the desk again, he asks, “Why don’t you post schedules?”
“We don’t like to straitjacket ourselves, sir. Just look at it this way; we are never late.” The attendant smiles, showing that two teeth are missing. Our frequent flyer understands why.
It seems crazy, doesn’t it?
The wild thing is that we often run our homes like that. We don’t want to straitjacket ourselves, so we play it loose. Our kids are like the frequent flyer (more…)
Timmy was learning to ride a bike without training wheels. This was his first attempt to ride without their aid. He had learned to start and stop while the wheels kept him from tipping over; but the day had arrived when his sense of balance had to get in gear.
So his dad got out the tools, and Timmy helped him take off the training wheels. Excitement was building. Then they pushed the bike to the driveway and dad was coaching Timmy for his first “solo” ride.
Timmy’s mom came out to watch. Timmy had asked her to see him ride on his very own. She was not convinced that he was ready. “Are you sure you can do this?” she asked him. Then she turned to dad, “He won’t get hurt, will he?” (more…)