25 October 2010

to say okay

I spent the weekend with my 2-year-old niece, and I left knowing a few things for sure:
  • I'm jealous of her wardrobe. Now that it's fall in Minnesota, she gets to wear tights. Polka dotted tights, to be precise, and I bet she has striped ones, too, and I just didn't see them. I know that I could wear tights, but I honestly don't think I could pull it off as well as she does. I think it may have something to do with the fact that she's basically the size of a doll {we Walkers are petite little things}, and polka dotted legs tend to look better when doll-sized.
  • I should play more.  Not that I don't relax or do fun things.  And I'm also not about to turn into a surburban-stuck version of The Shining and start repeating, "All work and no play makes Kamiah a dull girl."  But over the weekend, I got to eat pretend food that my niece made in her toy kitchen, and those silly acting muscles are ones I think everyone should exercise more.  Then we can stop taking ourselves so seriously.
  • I want to say okay to change as easily as Adeline does.
Addie is a very content little girl, but like any 2-year-old, she cries and fusses and gets persnickety.

{I would like to self-disclose at this point that as a 2-year-old, I did more than "get persnickety." I threw temper tantrums until I passed out. I kicked, screamed, and was that kid that made all the other parents say silent prayers of thankfulness for their own, less volatile children. I had a shirt that said "Little Crabs Are Cute."

My crying is a thing of legend in my family, and so to be around Addie, a girl who cries a bit here and there, makes me pray that I get a little girl like her, instead of a little crab like me. I realize, though, that I fully deserve the little crab. Or a lobster.}

I noticed over the weekend that Addie cries a bit, but if you offer her something else to do—something other than what she's crying over—she often stops the tear build-up and says, "Okay."

End tears. End fuss. End persnickety.

She takes whatever you're offering her and seems to hear the logic of: "You can't have that other thing right now and here's why. Instead, you can have this thing."


Say she wants to bring a baby doll into church, but her parents want it to stay in the car. {Not that God doesn't like dolls or that dolls keep you from learning about Jesus, but I do have to point out that Addie's baby doll is more often than not naked, and that is not how we go to church. At least not in the Midwest.}

She'll fuss, quiver her lip, whine a bit. And then my brother or his wife will say, "Addie, the baby has to stay in the car. Do you want to go learn about Jesus?"


And she trusts that it really is okay that she doesn't have that other thing right now, that thing she was crying over .02 seconds ago. She trusts her parents, and she moves on.

I wish I could be like that.

Granted, I am never distraught by the fact that I can't bring a baby doll into church.

However, I am often distraught because I don't have what I think is so perfect for that particular moment.

That may be a boyfriend, a faster half-marathon time, more money, a book deal, more people reading what I write. It may be a lot of things because I am, like all of us, a big mess of desires and longings.

I fuss, quiver my lip, whine a bit because I think I know what I need, and yet I don't have it. I don't have my baby doll in church.

But at 2, Adeline knows to say, "Okay."

And in her okay is this concept she certainly doesn't have the word power for yet: that you may not always get what you want, but that doesn't mean you aren't in a good place.

When I get persnickety {I no longer throw obvious temper tantrums},
when I start feeling that my life is a little bit less than that girl's,
when I start focusing so hard on what I don't have that I forget that I like my life...

When I get to that point, that's where I need to say okay.

Okay, I see there are other good things around me.

Okay, I know that I don't have what I want right now, and okay, that hurts.

Okay, I trust you, God.


  1. Excellent, Mia. Godliness with contentment is great gain. We ALL need that child-like trust that someone is watching out for our best interest.

  2. Who knew we could all learn so much from 2 year olds? You are amazing, friend.



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