We've been living in our backyard this past month. Picnics at lunch time and dinner around the picnic table. Ryan has planted our garden and Lincoln and Simon have done well throwing rocks, digging in the dirt (or in Simon's case, eating dirt), checking out the birds and squirrels with the binoculars, swinging, collecting leaves--- pretty much just soaking in this perfect weather before we begin melting in the hot humid summers of Texas and become eaten alive from mosquitos.
A few weeks ago, Simon was sick, which meant quarantining ourselves home for a few days. We made it 4 straight days at home and then finally decided to make it out of the house for a "quick" trip to the grocery store. (I say "quick" because even though I try to convince myself that taking the kids grocery shopping for a few items will be quick and easy, it never is.)
We got to the grocery store and we were lucky enough to score the double-car carts for the kids to ride in. Those are one of the best inventions ever--- clearly invented by a mom. Anyway, things were going well the first part, but I was only half way through my list when Simon became fussy and wanted out of the cart. Do you know how hard it is to carry almost a 25lb baby AND maneuver that beast of a cart?? Very. That's the only downside of that cart--- it's nearly impossible to steer with one hand.
I started to become flustered because Simon is a hard one to pacify when he's angry. I picked up the pace to finish my list, racing down the isles as fast as "the beast" would allow. I busted open a box of crackers straight off the shelf to shove in Simon's mouth to calm him down. (Don't tell me I'm the only one who does that.) Unfortunately, when he's angry, food sometimes won't even do the trick. Luckily, Lincoln tried a different approach.
He started stroking Simon's head ever so gently and singing, "I am a Child of God..." And guess what?! Simon calmed down. He calmed right down and just stared all wide-eyed as Lincoln's singing continued "...and He has sent me here." I was so taken back by the effect this nursery song was having on Simon and that my two year-old was managing my cranky baby better than I was. So I joined in with Lincoln, "Has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear." (Or in Lincoln's words, "with parents kinda dear".)
And there we sat in the middle of the cracker aisle singing the rest of "I am a Child of God" together. "Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do, to live with Him someday."
It was a short-lived peaceful moment (I'm pretty sure Lincoln grabbed the graham cracker out of Simon's hand moments later), but nevertheless, a moment that I'll never forget. It was that experience that my little 2-year-old taught me a valuable lesson. He was an example to me. He was quick to turn to the Savior for help. I find myself wanting to accomplish everything on my own because I tend to believe I can do everything by myself! Why do I do that to myself? I don't have to feel that way. I don't have to do things on my own. And what a relief that is!! I would never want my kids to feel like they couldn't turn to me for help. I know God feels the same way; He wants us to turn to Him. He is there to lead and guide us, to walk beside us, and help us find our way. If there's one thing I've learned this past month, it's to rely more on my Savior--- to turn to him as my first resort, not my last. Allow Him to help me, calm me, and strengthen me through everything I do... even at a grocery store when crackers off the shelf aren't helping. :)