On the Corner
BY ROBERT DOCTER –
Here are some lessons I learned from Griff:
Doing everything fast has a down side.
Make your needs known in a loud voice.
Nonverbal communication completes messages.
Have several books around.
Find pleasure in small things.
Make progress a little at a time.
Make eye contact.
Show your feelings.
Be a hugger.
Smack your lips when kissing.
Build your vocabulary.
Small chairs tip over easily.
Test rules safely.
Have confidence in those around you.
Make “happy” your favorite word.
Announcing happiness makes others happy.
Say thank you.
Know people’s names.
Accept that you don’t always get your own way.
If you fall, get up and go.
Rediscover older pleasures.
Take sensible risks.
Walk through them.
Laugh a lot.
Cry when you need to.
Know your limits.
Tell stories with your eyes.
Read, read, read, read.
Have a good support system.
Paint your world with a wide brush.
Inquire about everything.
Say “happy, happy, happy” ten times a day.
When Griff darts into a room, the whole world becomes brighter–everything seems lighter. His energy is contagious. His smile infects the total environment. His laugh warms the world.
What is it about children that allows them to enter your very soul–to augment the rhythm of your heart–to change the way you breathe? The leap into your arms, the eyes of faith which allows them to step out into the unknown, the struggle they have to learn and grow and communicate all reach down and grab your vitals and thrust flashes of fear through your mind and gut.
In a few short years Griff will be an adolescent. The culture and his own development will make demands of him. Our relationship will change, but not my feelings–not my love. I know that from experience with his adolescent cousins.
I know that “love never gives up. It cares more for others than for self. It doesn’t strut or force itself on others. It doesn’t fly off the handle. It never keeps score. It puts up with anything and always looks for the best. Love trusts God always.” (Peterson, The Message)
Did I tell you about Griff? His name is Griffith John Jennings. He’s 18 months old. He’s our eleventh grandchild, and his grandparents love him profoundly.
Also–we feel the same way about the other ten.