"Mommy", he said.
I paused from kneading the bread, wiped the back of my arm across my forehead and glanced over at the now open refrigerator. I could just see a tuft of his perpetually-sticking-up red hair over the top of the fridge door, and I said, "Close the refrigerator door, Brucie, there's nothing in there for you. Go wash your hands."
I think it was a day or two ago, when he was 3 and still had that beautiful, soft, lisping voice. When did that voice change to sound so like his father's, deep and strong and confident?
"Mommy," he repeated, as if perhaps I hadn't heard him correctly. Clearly that was the reason for my inappropriate and inadequate response to his salutation.
I smiled and shook my head."Mommy said to close the door, Bruce, and go wash your hands,|" I responded firmly, returning to my previous task of punishing the completely innocent lump of dough.
"No, no, Mommy, litten. Litten." I could see the tops of his raised eyebrows now and noted that he was fully up on his tippy-toes which peeked out from underneath said refrigerator door.
I was littening..er...listening. Pastor Somers says that when Jesus would say "Verily, verily" or "truly, truly" it meant, "HEADS UP", so I figured a small boy's "litten, litten" probably conveyed the same urgency, and so I gave him my attention.
"Yes, Brucie, I'm listening. What is it dear?"
"Mommy, may I had a Chewwwwwy?"
"No, Bruce, no cherries right now. It's almost time for lunch."
All I could see was the tuft of copper hair again, as I heard him sigh.
"No, mommy, mommy, may I PWWWWEEEEED had a CHEWWWWY?" He hiked himself up as tall as he could and I could see his eyes wide with the possibilities...he was casting a VISION.
"No dear. No cherries." Pop went the bubble, or so I thought.
He gathered all his strength and practically propelled his head over the top of the door, meeting my eyes...I could almost see the top few freckles on his little nose. "No, no, mommy. Litten. Litten. May I PWEED, had jut ONE chewwy. And dat be it."
Now Andrew will tell you...actually, ask anyone...I'm soft, man. I try so hard to be strong, firm, a solid proverbs 31 kinda gal, but I'm a pushover.
And so I put a hand up over my big smile, choked back a chortle, swallowed a snicker, gulped back a giggle and said, "Ok, Brucie. You can have a cherry."
Not able to bring his triumphant little head up any higher over the door, he swung round the side, still gripping the door with chubby fist to anchor himself and to make sure he didn't lose any ground. He blessed me with his widest, most angelic smile and said...
"Tan I had TWO chewwied?"
I know, I know. A child needs to obey his mom when she speaks...first time, every time and with 3 possible responses:
Yes, ma'am, I'd be happy to.
Yes, ma'am, I'd be pleased to.
or, my personal favourite,
Yes, ma'am, I'd be DELIGHTED to.
And I've had plenty of time in the few days that have stretched out between age 3 and age 15 to teach him this very important lesson.
But at that moment, I think the child was teaching the parent.
You see, up until then, if I encountered a no, an obstacle, a difficulty, a problem, it was in my nature to give up. It's still often my instinct and sometimes my reaction. Just to back down, give in, turn around, tuck tail and run. Lie down and cry.
But not my Brucie.
I've seen him focus and persist and strive and struggle so many times in his young life, and he continues to inspire me.
And wear me down.
Pastor Donald reminded us a few days ago (actual days, not mommy-doesn't-like to admit-her-age days like I used a few paragraphs earlier): "We don't have time to play church. We need to be about our Father's business."
We need to be about what we're ABOUT. Today.
Tomorrow is not promised and today is such a gift. Shouldn't we be at least as relentless in our pursuit of our purpose, our destiny, our mission, our vision, our values, and our dreams, as that little boy staring at his favourite treat? I think about that a lot lately. I want to be that persistent, that focused, that HUNGRY to do what I'm here to do. Them cherries are lookin' pretty good right now. And I think I can talk me into gettin' me some. I hear I'm a real pushover...
~ And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?~Luke 18:7&8