Sunday, May 15, 2011

Get Dat Moon For Me

My husband took Sis to her first tee-ball practice. Mister went along with his mitt. That left Peanut and I home alone in the first of the much delayed Spring sunshine. We abandoned four loads of unfolded clean laundry and a sink full of dishes for the trampoline and the slanting sunlight of the backyard. We jumped and jumped, facing each other holding hands. “Dis is fun! Dis is so fun!” she kept saying. I agreed, my heart full and at peace with this third baby, both of us freed from the energetic tangles of sibling competition.

When we tired, we flopped on our backs. I closed my gritty eyeballs and pretended to sleep. Peanut poked me in the eye.

“Det dat moon for me,” she sweetly bossed. I squinted, finally making out the faint outline of the moon in the bright blue sky.

“It’s pretty high, Baby.” I said.

“Just jump for me,” she bossed again, tilting her head slightly for effect.

I got up. Jumped. Reached. Jumped again.

“Need a stool?” She asked.

“I don’t think so, Baby.” The moon is really high.”

“I do it myself,” she said without contempt and started bouncing, the chubby dimples of her ankles peeking out from under her skirt. After a few attempts, she conceded. “That’s okay,” she said. “Buzz Lightyear det it dat moon for me. Buzz Lightyear det it dat moon for me two hours.” She held up five fingers to confirm the math. “Jessie says yee-haw, yur my best friend.”

I love this baby. She fancies herself capable of anything. For a long time, she would tell people in earnest that she was four years old like her brother. I love to watch her mind work, surveying the processes of her often ill-conceived attempts to solve toddler problems, mostly organized around themes of height and strength, always focused on reaching things that need not be reached. The other day I pretended not look at she strained to flip the light switch that the big kids has expressly told her not to touch. They were huddled in piles of blankets pretending to sleep in preparation for the big move to a new orphanage or resting up after a long day of swimming as dolphins at a zoo where they feed the animals ice cream.

Since they wanted the lights off, she wanted the lights on. She reached and reached. And when she was sure she could not make due on tiptoe she began looking for something to stand on. I watched as she hunted around, finally decided on a single sheet of notebook paper. She laid it down carefully and stepped on it confidently with both feet, reaching again. Next she tried a pillow. Then an empty laundry basket. “Turn the basket over,” I suggested, feeling a need to reward her efforts even while incurring the wrath of the fake-sleeping eldest.

It worked. She turned the lights on and quickly spun around to defend her decision with a piercing scream and her teeth, if need be. The big kids decided it was time to get up anyway and take the train to Alaska. Since she can never be wrong, Sis thanked Peanut for turning the lights on. So Peanut whipped around and turned them back off.

I turned away to hide a smile and prayed – that as this baby grows, the laws of physics and mathematics will not hamper her spirit. I pray that the distance to the dreams that grow in her heart seem travelable with grace, patience and grit. And I pray that she learns to listen to her Heavenly Father if not her Mama, who longs to shower her with good and perfect gifts well beyond the reach of her imagination.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)

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