Jump Little Children

I love my boys, these scruffy, loud, belligerent, tender, wild-eyed, questioning, always questioning, imaginative, sword-wielding, lightsaber (or lightsaver, if you’re Seth) slinging, bloody-nosed, scratched up, sweaty, pounding, breaking, crashing, spilling, creating, somersaulting, (have I already mentioned loud?) boys. I love ’em, I do.

Wyatt has entered that I-want-to-be-like-dad season. Yesterday, we gave our old cell phones to the boys, one for each of them. I thought they were perfect to serve as Star Trek communicators, but then they had no concept for anything Star Trek. My, how our public schools are failing us. Anyway, Wyatt immediately stuffed it in his pocket and said, “Dad, I’m carrying it just like you.” A couple minutes (and a couple imaginary phone calls to some fellow named Jake) later, he said, “Mom, sometimes daddy goes out on the deck to talk.” (I do, he’s right) So, Wyatt proceeded out on the deck where he stuck his left hand in his pocket, cocked his head to the right in order to scrunch the phone closer and chatted away as he paced back and forth across the deck. Who do you think he’s seen do just that? Pops.

On some recent dad-time with my youngest (the one mid-air above), Seth asked, “Dad, why don’t we see God?” His father’s son, he is. How do I explain to a five-year-old the complexity that, in one sense we can’t see God the way we see everything else – yet in another sense, God might just be the absolute plainest thing to see in all the world. God is all around us, in every conversation, in every hint of joy and passion and hope. In every hand we touch. In every star-littered sky that makes us stand, riveted, gaping and staring at the wonder surrounding us. And God is there, every time our heart breaks at injustice. God: right in front of our eyes, right at the edge of our fingers, right at the center of our heart.

Wyatt and Seth are watching me. But, truth told, I’m watching them too. Here’s what I see: Wyatt and Seth believe more than I do. They trust more than I do. They laugh and dance and sing and imagine and live more than I do. This image of my boys jumping (or in Wyatt’s case, about to jump) offers most of what I see in them. They are alive. They are hopeful. They play hard and cry hard and hope hard. They live full-throttle, leaping at life.

Jump, boys. Jump.

If you need an appropriate soundtrack to accompany this post, you may begin here.

7 Replies to “Jump Little Children”

  1. It’s a great thing to read this today. I just finished explaining to my seniors why we need critics, satiricists, authors, and journalists in this world to help us see its brokenness. At a public school, I wish I could add that we are also called to never lose our child-like qualities of unfailing hope and trust. Or, I can and do, but I wish I could say WHO we can put our hope and trust in and “jump” to.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. The “e” is silent, so essentially “hope” is “hop”, a kissing cousin to “jump.” You’ve got a coupla hoppers, man. Maybe they’ll rub off on us…that’d be nice, eh?

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