Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's a Small World ...

Snuggled up with my little girls the other night, we read a Sesame Street book called "It's Not Easy Being Big".  It's a fun book that tells about the woes of being too big, as shared by Big Bird; and the woes of being too small, as shared by Elmo.  Big Bird is too big to play hide and seek ... aren't those his tail feathers sticking out of that playground tunnel?  Elmo is too small to jump from rock to rock and ends up sitting in the middle of the stream ... too small to cross.  Poor guys.  In the end they discover that by being together they can balance each other out:  Elmo gets his kite stuck in a tree and Big Bird helps him out by lifting him  up to reach it.  It's a simple story, but I think that it speaks well to our family:  big people and little people.  All trying to get along.

One of the biggest challenges of having big and little kids is finding a way for each child to enjoy their own toys without issues.  Specifically:  without the Lydia-issue! :)  When our big kids were younger, we never had such wonderful contraband for the babies to get into!

Aaron and Norah are now the proud owners of some of the tiniest, teeniest little toys:  Polly Pockets, Star Wars action figures and Legos, to name a few.  Lydia loves to sit and inspect each piece, and while I'm not worried about her putting them in her mouth, I am worried about her putting them in her pocket and depositing them somewhere else .... lost.  Forever.

Ashley loves to craft ... Lydia loves to de-craft.  As soon as Ashley pulls out the craft boxes, Lydia comes running from whatever corner of the house she has been playing in and trouble ensues!  Lydia loves to color, sticker and cut just like Ashley ... she just hasn't figured out how to do that with her own creation.

For her birthday, Norah was the recipient of a glorious, silvery-purple bag full of big-girl goodies:  journal and pen; little glittery containers for her trinkets and lip gloss.  She has had to find the ultimate hiding place for this treasure or risk her baby sister "enjoying" it for her ... that lip gloss is tasty!

And, of course, there's the Mommy and Daddy toys that look like fun, too.  Lydia is completely taken with our computer, camera, phones and iPod ... and understandably so.  They blink, flash and make noise.  But they can also be scratched, dented, re-programmed and can dial 9-1-1.

In spite of the wonderful treasure trove of toys that Lydia does have access to ... it's the off-limit gems that are the most attractive.  Isn't that the way?

We also see this spectrum of big and little played out in the abilities of our kids.  There seems to be little that Aaron can't do physically:  ride his bike, scooter, shoot hoops, pour beverages, water plants, vacuum, and kick his mommy's bahookie at Wii.

Norah, too, is very physically adept, and not just in the gymnastic department.  She is great at folding clothes, setting the table, serving dinner plates, dusting and typing on the computer.

Ashley, on the other hand, wants to do a lot of those things, and yet finds that her skills are limited.  It doesn't stop her from trying or us from letting her ... but it often times results in some frustration and perhaps a mess.  Ashley's definition of folding her clothes is more along the lines of wadding them up and stuffing them in her drawer.  Proudly.  Setting the table can often be a haphazard placement of napkins, spoon, forks and plates.  Whose is whose?  It's anybody's guess!  And nothing is more frustrating for her than not being able to keep up with the big kids while riding bikes.  Poor girl has to hang back with her walking parents!

And then there's Lydia ... if success was determined by pure persistence, stubbornness and willpower, she could do anything.  Unfortunately for her ... she's only 2 feet tall and that does limit her!  Lydia climbed on Ashley's bike this weekend and if the seat were a tad bit lower, she probably would have taken off across the cul-de-sac.  She wouldn't have had a clue about steering, but she would have figured out the speed.  She also helped herself to some milk at the table the other day ... my milk.  She poured herself a cup and then some.  All I heard was, "splash ... trickle, trickle ... 'Uh-oh'."  (With Liddy being baby #4 ... I knew to get the camera first, then the rags.)

And nobody even cried. :)

The fact of the matter is that Ashley and Lydia are small.  Little.  Compact.  Half-pints.  And I love that.  They are still my wee ones, full of innocent wonder and fresh curiosity!  To them, their world is small ... this home, this family, this sphere of life ... it's all they really know!  I love when we drive into town and when coming over the hill, Ashley exclaims, "I can see the whole world!"  To her, that is true.  This is it ...  All she really knows!  And that's a blessing!

Their little hearts are not yet tarnished with the reality of our world.  Even Aaron and Norah are aware of divorce, abuse, drugs, and death.  We have had to have those conversations when they have come home from school with questions or confusion.  There is no way to shield them forever ... although Brett and I try!  Life tries to get them to grow up far too fast.  I hope that we have been able to give our older kids just the information they need to understand the ugly side of life, without over-burdening them with worries or concerns that their little eight- and seven-year old hearts can't carry.

But wouldn't it be grand if we could each hold on to the innocence of our own small worlds?  The simplicity of life of a little person:  carefree, untroubled, free from anxiety ... just looking for the next opportunity to be silly and giggle!

My goal is to try not to let this world with its burdens weigh me down.  Not an easy task, but definitely an important one.  Jesus told us in Matthew 6:33-34 that each day has its own trouble, so we aren't supposed to worry about tomorrow or the next day.  First, we are to seek God and His will for our lives and He promises to take care of the rest.  So I'm going to try to make my world smaller ... just today, just right here, just what I can be in charge of ... and look for ways to be silly and giggle.  That's one thing we big people can learn from little people!

Here's a perfect example of a shift of perspective:  learning from the little people...

I wanted to take a couple of pictures with the girls and some tiny produce we have.  We had one last mini-zuchinni and a tear-drop-eggplant from our garden, plus it's the wonderful season of itty-bitty clementine oranges.  Perhaps a perfect photo-shoot with my own tiny produce! :)  Or, maybe not.  More like typical snapshots of my life!

"Put them up where I can see them, please."

"Okay ... down a little bit."
"Yeah ... that's about right."  sigh...

Today's Ringleader of Silliness!

How will you get silly ... and get the giggles today?


Check out this week's KEBL ... really get your hands into it! :)

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