Getting small children ready to play in the snow requires patience. Change your agenda for the moment because this is going to take some time.
My child wriggles into her snowsuit, and then reports that her jeans are bunched up by her knees. I pull each pant leg down, digging up underneath her snowsuit and repositioning her clothing.
We’re almost there. Boots on, coat zipped up, hat secured, she stands by the door with her hands up and fingers splayed like she’s just been arrested. She only needs her gloves. She can hardly move within that bundle of snow gear, but still she manages to hand me two pink gloves.
Carefully, I hold the glove’s mouth open wide while she shoves each eager hand in.
We try again and again. Every finger has a slot–a place it belongs–and her task is to find it. I can direct her and inch her fingers just so far, but she needs to navigate the dark cave alone, journeying up until everything’s in its place. She’ll know when it feels right. Nobody can know it but her.
We try again, and this time, she’s figured it out. I push open the door and stand to the side. I send her into the bright, white snow, where all the other children play, and she doesn’t look back.
At some point (and it’s a different point for everybody), I became the glove holder and the door opener. This is a good thing. Living with flair means adopting–with flair–my adulthood. It’s not just parenting. It’s embracing adulthood for all its work for those who come after us.
I’m a glove holder and a door opener. And then I sit back with my cup of coffee and watch with delight as children tumble down the hills–only a boot clinging to the sled.
Adulthood means I am more concerned with facilitating the joyous moment for others than I am living it for myself. I give myself away to a new agenda, serving with the strength God provides, and mysteriously–miraculously–find the deepest joy.