There really is so much joy when you're looking through an innocent pair of eyes. Everything is new. Everything is fascinating. Every car that drives by must be announced. Every task accomplished is applauded. Every good-bye goes with a kiss (no matter who you are). Sweet, new, innocence.
Last week, we went out to eat to my favorite local restaurant for my birthday. All four of us. We sat next to the window and Jude gleefully looked out at every truck and bus and car that drove past (vehicles are all the rage these days). Then, he glanced up. He saw this horrendous, creepy, giant face on the wall. (Poor taste in decor, if you ask me.) But he was terrified. And then started the lip. The fearful glances to Mama and Dada, as we tried to convince him, "look at that silly face, it's so silly!!" He screamed. Loudly.
There was no consolation except to cling to Dada with his back to it. He would absolutely not turn around. And he would not eat his dinner. At first it seemed a little sweet. But who can enjoy their dinner with a 30lb toddler crying in their lap? But the kid had apparently just met his biggest nightmare.
Finally, after some coaxing and distraction with the beloved cars out the window, Jude sat back down in his high chair. But only if I was between him and the face.
I had to step in the gap for him.
I know this won't be the last time. My Mama-Bear heart wanted to talk to the restaurant manager and tell her, "That face is too scary to have in a restaurant where kids eat!" But of course, that is ridiculous. But, I know this is only the start of me protecting my kids. Standing in the gap for them to make wise decisions for them. To protect them. To advocate for them.
But at some point in that crowded restaurant with screaming child, I realized that there are going to be things in this world that I can't protect him from. He's going to learn that not everything is fascinating and exciting. Not everything is safe and there is a real thing called evil.
It saddens me.
But as much as I wish I could keep my kids in a perfect happy little bubble, that does absolutely no good either. Not for them, and not for the sinful world that I pray they have a heart to change.
So, as I feel choked up thinking of my sweet boy growing up and seeing our twisted world for what it is, I rest in knowing that I also know the creator of the world. And the creator of my boy. And I know that He is sovereign. And my perception of control and protection is only within His arms anyway. The conquerer of evil. Of fear.
And that is Someone I pray my children will always know.
There will be no creepy, scary, horrible faces in heaven sweet boy.