One of the most fulfilling aspects of parenting is being so connected with your child that you are one. For better or worse in your parenting experience and in your child’s experience, you empathize, love, forgive, and rejoice with each other. When I say “one”, I mean that you and your child are relating with each other with unconditional love and godly acceptance. That you are so connected that it reminds you of the days when you were pregnant and were truly one.
The other day at dinner my son did something I considered very silly. It was so silly I almost reprimanded him for it. He took one of his orange slices, put it in his mouth and smiled with the peel showing. It was a great big wacky orange smile at our serious dinner table. His giggling was so contagious that his younger sister put on her orange smile, too. I told my kids to eat their oranges properly, not wanting to encourage this behavior that was probably a hit at the school lunch table.
Yesterday I was snacking on orange slices. I remembered my son’s orange smile. It was something I had never done and could not see why someone would ever do it. Admittedly, my son and I don’t have the same sense of humor. What would I have in common with a 10 year old boy?
It has been my prayer this week that my family and I are one (John 17:21). I long for them, specifically my kids, to know that they are unconditionally loved, as well as to be connected and loved by my family. I long for a spiritual maturity and discipleship in myself and my family that would glorify God. I know it will mean change, pruning, suffering even, because we’ve got a long way to go.
I wondered what it would look like for our family to be one. Playing together, reading together, holding hands, singing, praying together, laughing together. Wouldn’t it be fun to laugh together right now and show my son I loved him unconditionally?
So even though it was not my style, I went to check on my son who was dutifully practicing piano. He was feeling discouraged about his ability to learn piano as quickly as he hoped. I was eager for him to finish the piece he was playing and look up at me. I could barely contain myself. When his eyes met mine, I nodded approvingly and flashed him my great big wacky orange smile. He burst out laughing. I felt satisfied and connected, like we were one.
In my acceptance and appreciation of my son, I recognized that I had an opportunity to step into the life of my child and take his hand and follow him into childhood joy. My orange smile left such an impression on him that he even mentioned it this morning when we were getting ready for school.
Having an orange smile is not what I would call the highest and best experience of being one with your child. But it was a simple way to connect, to share a laugh and say I love you. Children need your love and guidance. Children also need to learn that we are called to a high standard of living and being. Teach them to love and be led to reach their full potential.
When have you felt that you and your child were one? Leave a comment below and share this article with your friends. I wish you much love and oneness as you continue to grow as a person and as a parent.