Thursday, January 26, 2012

Everyday Miracles

Over the past couple of weeks several young people in my circle have reached milestones, making me wonder where the time has gone, and look with wonder on the way that we are created and grow. My younger daughter is engaged to be married and overnight her daily vocabulary has expanded to include words like tulle and fondant and cummerbund. Oh lovely language, bringing order out of chaos!

Language is an important indicator of developmental progress. Children can learn to communicate with a single word as early as their first birthday. By the time they start kindergarten they may know as many as 5,000 words. That works out to 3 or 4 words a day after their first birthday. It is amazing to watch this evolution in a child. As communication grows the distress of the infant makes way for the malapropisms of the preschooler. This is something to celebrate! Young mothers recently shared these word stories with me:
  • A trip to the dentist with 4-year-old twins yielded this distortion of mom's regular warning that this is going to be a new experience: "C'mon Sissy, there's more experience here!"
  • Another young one, upon learning the word and concept "edible", spent an entire afternoon pointing to things and saying "well THAT's not edible!"
In the midst of this extraordinary growth we are often too tired or too distracted to enjoy it. We catch only the funniest word-meaning twists and those that are glaringly out of context. We don't realize that last week our little one didn't know the name for watermelon and this week she knows its name and that it's a fruit. We labor over spelling lists without realizing that there will probably be only 100 of them before they are gone forever.

Last night, in confirmation, we spent a great deal of time discussing what "holy" means. We hit  on holy baptism, holy communion, and hallowed be your name . . . they all left that discussion capable of using holy correctly in a sentence, surrounded by good theology, and hopefully an internalized understanding - ready to pull out when something holy next crosses their paths. 

The time you spend with your children is holy time. It is a time when miracles rain down almost daily. As I look back I wish I had kept a journal and recorded each day's miracle of growth: slept through the night, recognized Daddy from behind, buckled her own seat belt, discovered that chopsticks are different in different cultures, developed her first crush, jumped off the high dive. Two children, hundreds of days, thousands of miracles - it's no wonder that God feels closer than ever. Imagine if I had been paying attention!

May you wallow in your particular pond of miracles today. 

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