Let me start by saying that auto-correct occasionally changes “Theo” to “trouble.” This is not ironic. It’s accurate.
I do a lot of writing at night. From my office in our basement I can hear the pitter-patter of little feet if Theo decides to get out of bed. It is usually a pretty fool-proof method, but the other night I must have been caught up in what I was writing because I missed Theo’s initial bedroom breech and by time I heard him, the destruction was in full swing.
I found him sitting on our bathroom counter, in front of my vanity cabinet, with it’s entire contents spread out around him. Lotions and perfume was dumped out. Lids were off. Of everything. A bottle of almond oil was poured all over my pile of clothes. And nail polish, oh the nail polish. On the counter. On his hands. On the cabinet.
At first, I was mad. I mean, really, really mad. It is infuriating to have such a curious toddler because he is fascinated with e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. And what catches Theo’s eye will eventually makes it’s way into his hands, and soon after that, the garbage.
As we talked with Theo about what he had done, I suddenly had a rare moment of clarity where I looked at him and really, truly saw Theo for Theo. I could see how he was intrigued by what I had, by the different textures, smells and colors. I understood that after opening the first bottle, his mind suddenly went, “ooooooh! But what’s in this bottle? And THIS ONE??? AND THIS ONE???” And so on.
And in case you are thinking that this is an isolated event…it’s not. I don’t have time to tell you how much stuff this kid has destroyed. And the thing is, it’s not because he is “rough” or mean or a terror, he is just intrigued by the world. I get that, but sometimes, I just want him to be fascinated with a book. Or his toys. Or maybe with sitting quietly. Ok, ok. That’s a stretch. I know that will never happen.
All this got me thinking, though, and for Day 16 of my #LifeOnPurpose journey, I decided to be intentional about noticing the special little things about Theo that makes my heart melt. Here is what I came up with:
♥ I love the way he yells “mommys home!” every time I walk in the door. Even if I was just gone 20 minutes.
♥ I love the way he loves his friends and talks about them and prays for them constantly.
♥ I love the way he announces his love for things. Today he told me he loved: string cheese, coffee (no, I don’t give my kid coffee. geez.), and singing.
♥ I love, love, love how friendly he is. He says “hi” to everyone he meets, he is always ready to give out hugs, and he will sit down and talk with anyone, anytime, anywhere.
♥ I love how he pretends to make me coffee. Now we just need to work on teaching him how to make me the real thing…
♥ I love his sweet little voice and his amazing giggle. They are simply the best.
♥ I love how he tells me I look pretty when I’m getting ready.
♥ I love the big boy look of pride that comes into his eyes when he helps me with his baby brother.
♥ I love hearing him talk to himself…this kid never stops talking.
♥ I love how he likes to pretend that he is a baby puppy and I’m a mommy puppy. I love being included in his imaginative play.
♥ I love that there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t ask us to go on a walk.
I have a list where I jotted down ideas for my #LifeOnPurpose challenge and when I woke up on Day 17, I decided to give “take the long way home” a go. Wow. Boy did I.
I won’t go into too many details because it’s just embarrassing. Let’s just suffice it to say that I got horribly-completely-called my husbanding sobbing-lost with a capital L.
When I finally got myself turned around and calmed down (ok, I wasn’t calm yet), I did one of those angry/annoyed prayers that went something like this:
Me: “What the heck was the point of that? What was I supposed to learn from that experience?”
God: “Nothing. You’re just a really bad drive.”
So Day 17 wasn’t really a huge success. You know that saying, “Not all who wander are lost”? I wish I had some cool realization to tell you after this experience, but nope. I was just really, really lost.
This post is part of an on-going series, #LifeOnPurpose, where I’ve challenged myself to do something each day for the next 40 days- no matter how small – to slow down, notice my surroundings, and be intentional. It is part of my effort to live less on accident and more on purpose. You can read other posts in this series here: