Tuesday, May 22, 2012
In Your Eyes
I was gone overnight this weekend, getting home after bedtime the second evening. It wasn’t a long trip. The first grader did the math and reminded me as I was doling out good-byes and kisses, “You are only going to be gone for 30 hours.” And I was only gone for 30 hours. But Mister, sweet old soul that he is, missed me anyway and came down to my bed early in the morning, cupping his hands around my face and telling me so. I had only been asleep for four hours, but had the presence of mind to tuck, deep into my heart, his sweet little voice and gentle hands. I know these tender days of little-boy-ness are numbered.
But while they last he and I like to have staring contests to see who will smile first. The other day, as we were staring and fake-frowning, Mister leaned in an extra inch. “Hey, I can see myself in your eye.” Its true. When we stop moving and really look at each other, we see a little bit of ourselves. I really like the me I see when I look into my little boy’s eye. In the glow of his rich brown eyes I seem smart, fun, strong, and present. And I think he likes the him he sees in me. Mister reminds me, when we crawls into my lap – heavy and all elbows – of my own need for connection, recognition, reflection in the eyes of those I love.
By some combination of personality flaw and the endless mountain of laundry forever waiting to be washed or folder or put away, I move too fast, yell too much, waste my passion and attention in tasks with eyes averted. And the tasks do need to be done. It’s not okay to send my children back to school in yesterday’s shirt, sleeve cuffs starched by snot. Neither is it okay to leave the lunch box I found under a pile of jackets growing yogurt cultures until June. But maybe there is a chance I can do, do, do while still making eye contact, still bending in stillness long enough to see the me I want to be in his eyes.
I love Psalm 131. It reminds me that I unnecessarily put extra rocks in my pack. It also reminds me of the peace I can bring to my heart and home when I remember to slow down.
Psalm 131:1-2 “Lord, I have given up my pride and turned away from my arrogance. I am not concerned with great matters or with subjects too difficult for me. Instead, I am content and at peace. As a child lies quietly in its mother's arms, so my heart is quiet within me.”