Sometimes I feel like giving up. I look at what lies ahead of me if I continue on the path I’m on and I decide that I just can’t do it. So I take a break, or cross the goal off my to-do list, not because I’ve completed it, but because I’ve decided it no longer belongs there.
One of the greatest gifts of motherhood is being able to learn lessons from the unsuspecting teacher who calls me mommy. Each day, when I take some time to sit back (or run really fast to keep up) to watch my little guy’s mind at work, I feel inspired. God uses him as my little messenger to receive lessons that will teach me far more than books or professors ever could.
Here lately, I’ve been learning so many lessons when this boy has his red wagon in tow. One of the most powerful was earlier this week when we decided to go on a family walk, and we let Dash hop in the wagon per his request. We set out on our usual route, just under two miles in all, with Dash snacking in the wagon as Daddy pulled him along.
That picture itself was sweet enough as it was, but after a half mile or so, Dash was ready to get out and do his own walking. We agreed to his request, and out he happily climbed. I should have seen his next plan of action coming, for it is such a common sight when we’re at home with the wagon. He eagerly ran to the front of the wagon and asked Daddy for the handle so he could be in charge of pulling.
And so he ran down the sidewalk, pulling his red wagon. The picture of him, little head down in determination, with his light-up tennis shoes glowing every other second that they hit the pavement, is one I will treasure always. The greater treasure was watching that determination take him the other half of the mile to our turn-around point. I fully expected him to stop and ask for me to carry him or at least decide that he was ready to get back in the wagon after a quarter of a mile had passed.
“No!” He assured us when we would ask if he was ready for a break.
Then we turned around to walk the mile back, and his smile grew wider as his pace quickened.
Soon, he will be over this walking business. Or at least get tired of pulling that wagon behind him. I told myself.
But he didn’t get over it. He refused to give up the entire mile back home. As we reached the last leg of our journey, he would stop and proclaim, “Mama, I tiwed.”
“That’s okay, buddy. You’ve done a good job. Do you want Daddy to finish pulling the wagon for you?”
“No! I need a dink.”
So he would stop, take a sip, and walk a few more feet, then repeat the request for a drink while refusing the notion of giving up. As we jogged into our driveway, my little boy proved something to me that both humbled and challenged me.
He loves that red wagon, and while it takes effort to pull it up inclines he just kept moving. He endured the strain and exhaustion all the way home. Even his parents, who love this boy the most, were trying to convince him to stop, but he had a goal, and he didn’t back down.
What about my passions and goals? The ones that I convince myself are just too much to handle? I’m just too tired to accomplish them, or it doesn’t seem possible that someone like me could actually make it happen. My excuses no longer seem valid when my Dash could pull a wagon for nearly 1.5 miles before he reached the age of 3.
What about you? How have you been challenged by a child? What dream do you need to keep pushing to accomplish?
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