This is my first go at Five Minute Friday, where you have five minutes to write in response to a prompt without backtracking or editing. Five minutes feels really, really short…and pushing “publish” feels a bit scary. Please be kind.
Living with a four year old is an opportunity. There are other words for it, too…brought to mind by things like the timer on my phone, which is set to 4 minutes on default unless I change it. (We need to take a lot of four minute breaks these days, when younger sisters are whopped upside their heads with blocks or bowled over by a bicycling boy in a superhero cape as he careens wildly down the hall.) Recently, he’s learned to “toot” on command, which means he can produce “toots” on sisters’ faces, on mother’s lap, at inopportune moments with great-grandparents. Once an adventurous eater, he currently shuns most foods that are mixed together with anything, preferring plain cheeseburgers without buns or every four-year-old’s favorite, the chicken nugget. We don’t even eat chicken nuggets, but he somehow knows they exist and would prefer them to be the sole component of his diet.
Most of the time, I feel lost where he is concerned…like I’m in over my head, like my years of training in early childhood and working with other people’s children are useless in the face of his four years. He challenges me in ways I didn’t know were possible. And yet, sometimes, when I look at him, I’m the one who is bowled over- by a sudden jab of love in my heart, by a stabbing realization that he is so much more than the sum of his annoying parts, by the reminder that my unrelenting love for this strange creature, my firstborn, pales in comparison to God’s love for me.