Peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo! I duck under the kitchen chair and spring back up like a tightly sprung jack-in-the-box while my little 8 month old watches on in delight. He loves this game. When I duck, he will crane his head trying to find me, and when I pop back out, the biggest grin will cover his cubby face.
I walk to the kitchen to get some water. Wesley waddles on close behind me in his clumsy primary colored walker. I walk back into the living room, Wesley again close behind. I give him a toy to try to distract him so that I can get some cooking done. I walk back into the kitchen leaving Wesley in the living room, only about 20 feet away. Wesley’s absorbed with his toy. I grab out a bowl. “Yay, he’s distracted. This is looking good.” A few moments later he looks behind himself expecting to see me still on the couch, but I’m not there. He frantically looks around while wearing a gigantic pout on his face, like he’s about to gush forth a waterfall of tears. I call his name and tell him I’m right here in the most cheery tone I can muster. I want him to know all is just fine, so that he can feel at ease to cheerfully occupy himself while I’m trying to get some lunch cooking. However, it doesn’t work. He comes zooming over in his walker, ‘round the kitchen island, and crashing into the cabinet beside me. I hand him a bright yellow spatula trying to distract him, yet knowing exactly what he wants. He drops it on the hard wooden floor and holds up his little hands wanting desperately to be picked up. I sigh. “There’s so much I need to get done,” I think. “Can’t he just happily occupy himself for a little while?” I bend down to pick up my baby, who, once in my arms, instantly starts sputtering cheerfully with saliva spewing everywhere while sticking his fingers in my mouth. I leave my food in the bowl, dishes in the sink, and sit down on the couch with my son in my arms.
I pondered what I had just seen take place - my little baby desiring so greatly to be with me, and finding no enjoyment without me there with him. Instantly I am overwhelmingly struck with the comparison of God who is our Father and we who are His children, and I thought to myself, “Do I need God as much as my baby needs me? Do I find my greatest delight in being in the presence of God even as my son finds in the presence of his mother? Am _I_ earnestly seeking to be with Jesus every moment of _my_ day?”
As I pondered these questions that came flooding into my mind with a now happy boy playing on my lap, I realized with greatest determination that I want to be just like my son. I want to be just as needy for Jesus as my son is needy for his mother.
This was not just a one day scenario but rather a frequent occurrence. However, now I have a different mindset. Instead of sighing and the “can’t you just play by yourself so that mommy can do her own thing for awhile” mindset, I have determined not to deny him the immense pleasure that he derives from being with his mommy even though my to-do list may measure a mile long. I will joyfully play with and occupy my baby even if that means that I pull out a stash from the freezer for lunch, the house cleaning is put off to another time, or the laundry washed another day.
I think of the story of Jesus beckoning the children to come to him (contrary to the disciples’ judgment) even though He probably sincerely didn’t have the time. The Bible says that Jesus is full of compassion (Ps. 116:5) and I desire to have that same compassion towards my baby even though it may be at the most inconvenient times.
Having a child of my own has given me a much more beautiful picture of our Father's unceasing love for His children, and the greatest determination to be like Him, and like my son, to find my happiest place beside Him.