Close, but no Cigar

Drew is notorious, {aren’t ALL toddlers???}, for getting close.  ALMOST reaching his mouth with that spoonful of peas.  ALMOST walking all the way across the room.  ALMOST saying a word.  ALMOST being able to do so much, yet just not QUITE there.

At his 15 month appointment yesterday, I received a page about temper tantrums and the doctor reminded me that as important as it is to ignore them, they truly are a means of expressing frustration.  And in that vein, we should also be sure to temper our ignoring with true compassion and empathy.

And I get that.  I see the frustration in his eyes as he ALMOST makes it into Alex’s room, due to the mistaken open door, and it gets shut JUST in the nick of time.  Or as he ALMOST gets up on the chair, wanting to sit at the kitchen table like the big kids, but falls off.  Or ALMOST being able to communicate what he wants, but not yet having the words to do so.

I am the same way, Drew.  I get that!  I guess I have a bit more communication skills and physical agility or abilities, but even us “grown ups” are on a journey too.  This journey, while hard, frustrating and filled with temper tantrums and “close, but not quite there yet” moments are the road to growth, sanctification and change.

Luckily, Drew has “close” and “almost there” moments that are hilarious.  Currently, he is really into playing peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek, but instead of covering his eyes, it has become a game of covering his ears and laughing.  When we taunt, “Where’s Drew???”, he’ll cover his ears and then start laughing.  He is so sneaky.

I dressed him in his “ipood” onsie this morning, one gifted to us almost 18 months ago, and can’t believe he fits into it, but also find it perfect….sometimes it just makes sense to broadcast and be honest about our humanness.  I’m not encouraging us to share our bodily functions with the world {although I DO live with three boys—it seems inevitable…}, but let’s just be real here.  We ALL are working on our growing edges.  We ALL have places of “not quite there” moments.  We cover up these real, deep, painful places, feeling the need to sugar coat our lives, to not “give on” that things are hard under the surface.

Yesterday, I had a friend share some tough stuff happening in her life…things I would never have predicted or expected.  And that was a gift.  The sharing.  Letting in.  Honesty.  The reality of her current faults and growing edges that are really painful to admit and deal with.  And yet that honesty, about being close….but not there yet…..THAT is the basis and foundation for real change.  The kind of change and growth that makes us into the people God longs for us to be.

So, even though Drew hasn’t mastered the art of peek-a-boo yet, I love that he finds joy in the learning.  Joy in the process.  Joy in the interaction.  Even in the midst of imperfection.  Sometimes admitting that we’re just CLOSE, is the first step to arriving.

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