She steps out of her shoes and into rare form. It’s people time. My megaphone mouthed mini me begins to melt down.
Maylee wants to bowl. She loves bowling. But her bowling shoes bring with them a big bawl – and I don’t mean the kind you roll. Just like with the way too heavy bowling ball, her five year-old strength is scarcely equipped to be thrown down the alley alone.
My soon to be six year-old is an introvert. She gets nervous around new people, unfamiliar places, and unexpected experiences. This is a girl who, by age three, decided that opening her Christmas presents was far less important than having to hide her reaction to them. She clams up. She falls out. And when all else fails, she lets her fear and fury fly the only way a normal non-social knows how. The equation for all you analyticals like me goes something like this: mommy + volume = safety.
Yesterday was daddy’s turn, though. As expected, despite her superhero cape, her turn came up and her countenance fell down. All I can say is, I’m glad bowling alleys are used to a high number of decibels.
Stripping off her borrowed shoes in self-protective defiance, she began to wail. He scooped her up swiftly and began the universal daddy fix – fast hand motion on and off the crying mouth. After obtaining the desired mouth in front of a fan noise, the crying turned to laughter. She lay in his lap and I watched her change. More than a few moments mounted before the shoes went back on and the first turn was taken. Meanwhile, I studied. I learned. I saw my need and I saw the solution plain as the tears running down both of our faces.
Despite the fact that I do prefer books over people any time prior to eight a. m., I am not an introvert. Nerd, yes. Instrospective, yes. Introvert, not so much. But the truth is that I have lived my entire life guarded. I am extremely self-protective. Where Maylee avoids social interaction, I try to control it. I hide myself until the game is over. Maybe everyone does to a certain extent. I mean, we learn this. Pain is a powerful teacher. We swear after the first time we are rejected for being who we are that it will be the last. We become someone else more pleasing, less pleasing, or altogether absent. One way or another, we hide.
Little wonder! It is a fearful thing to be vulnerable; exposed; honest about who we really are. Rejection often gives way to isolation, anonymity, and a general superficiality with everyone all the time.
This is a problem for everyone, but it is particularly a problem for deep, analytical thinkers. We need our schematics to connect. Our world is very complex. Superficiality has no place. Our circuits must close and open properly, lest we get shocked, start a fire, or stay in the dark alone.
What we often fail to realize is that rest in Daddy’s arms is the only place true peace is found. Even if it all made sense; even if life’s math all worked out; even if I wasn’t afraid or anxious or hurt or lonely – the only place closure and connection could truly be found would still be lying in Daddy’s lap allowing him to know me; learning to know him.
I read a blog about an old study about scientifically trying to make people fall in love recently printed in the New York Times. (Apparently it doesn’t work for people who are already in love. My husband and I tried it and ended up arguing.) Anyway, the writer did get one thing right. She said, “…the story isn’t about us; it’s about what it means to bother to know someone, which is really a story about what it means to be known.” ~Mandy Len Carton
Only my heavenly father can give me the confidence it takes to get my borrowed shoes on and throw the balls I can barely lift down life’s alley. Because at the end of the day, that’s all our time and space in this world is – borrowed. The things that belong to us are better.
My dad was electrical engineer. Maybe that’s why I’m often a resistor in this circuit we call life. I believe it’s who my heavenly father made me, though. Without resistors, current won’t flow. It’s not about who does or doesn’t like resistors or what we have to say. It’s about the grand schematic and the glory to come with it.
Regardless of who he has created us to be or what our vices or voices are, the solution is always found resting in our father’s arms. When we do so, his name is hallowed.