Recently I was visiting three of my grandchildren, and soon it became obvious that I lacked the energy to keep running around the house and neighborhood at the pace they desired. Getting older. So I thought I would sit on the couch and teach them about nature by watching some YouTube videos.
To my delight, I found some excellent videos of eagles snatching fish from the water, snakes swallowing deer whole, and crocodiles eating baby zebras. The grandkids were two, four, and six years old, and their mother gave me a look that clearly communicated that she did not want to get up in the middle of the night to calm the screams of a child dreaming of a baby zebra being dismembered. It seems that some people just have a different idea of fun.
So instead we watched some baby crawling races. Ten lanes were neatly taped on a large floor, and a father was positioned behind each baby to encourage his child to move toward the finish line. My first thought was that children would be crawling all over the room, but no, at the shout of “Start,” no baby moved an inch. Apparently nobody communicated to the babies that they were in a race. So some of the fathers nudged their babies forward, which only caused their arms to fold up and crash their faces to the floor. Then we had a crying baby race.
This was not going well, but suddenly one of the babies bolted from the starting line and scooted with considerable speed straight down his lane. As the camera panned toward the finish line, we saw the reason. At the finish line were the ten mothers of the babies, and one mother had simply called her baby’s name, gotten his attention, and beckoned him to crawl to her. He fairly flew into her arms, crossing the finish line before the other babies had any idea what all the hubbub was about.
It occurred to me that on many occasions people have told me what I “should” do, usually with mixed results. But when someone led me, either by voice or by the hand, I tended to follow the confidence of their example. Love works that way. We’ve all been told we “should” be loving, but generally nothing good happens until somebody shows us HOW to love and leads the way, flashlight in hand. Following is fun, being pushed from behind not so much.