Dear Little Bug,
Recently, I’ve noticed something about you that I want you to hold on to: you are so brave.
So many babies and children are whiny when faced with something new or strange. I can be very whiny when faced with something new or strange. But though I expect you to fuss or turn away, you go into every new experience with your determined, focused little face.
We took you swimming a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t expect that you would really like it. I thought that you would be scared of being in that much water–of it possibly getting in your nose and mouth (which it did!). I thought that pool water would seem cold after your warm baths. But instead, you started kicking your legs and flapping your arms immediately. Though you didn’t smile or laugh, you stayed resolutely focused on the swimming. You looked at me once or twice as if to say, “Mom, is this okay?” just like you did when you started taking baths. And though you got water in your mouth and spit up everywhere, you never fussed. Not once.
And when you fall over (even on your face), you are so calm. Sometimes your dad and I wonder if you can feel pain at all! You rarely cry when your curiosity leads to an accident, and even if you do, the tears are short-lived. You are willing to try again and even to fall again. Nothing quenches your curiosity and determination.
When things don’t go your way, though you might put up a fuss, you are never whiny. I love how strong-willed and determined you are (which, as you know, is the meaning of your name).
We loved the name “Liam,” be we debated giving it to you because it meant “strong-willed warrior.” Could we handle a strong-willed son? Wasn’t that a bad thing? But the more we thought about it, the more we wanted you to be a strong-willed warrior–to fight for what is true and right and good, to stand firm. I want you to be able to make decisions, to put up a fight when you should, and to be brave. And you are.
I’m not. On the inside–and sometimes on the outside–I am so whiny. I complain and grumble. When I’m faced with something new, I take lots of persuading and convincing, and I rarely go in with both feet.
You’re teaching me to be brave–to be focused and determined and curious about the world. You don’t fear because you trust us. And you look to our faces to see whether it’s okay. And when you’re delighted, it pours out of every ounce of you–the true look of thankfulness and joy.
Little Liam, thank you for teaching me to look to my Heavenly Father instead of whining and complaining. Thank you for teaching me to embrace what is new. Thank you for showing me what utter delight looks like–what it looks like to enjoy the goodness of this world. And I hope that you will always fight for that goodness and beauty and delight and against the darkness and pain. Be brave, Little One. As you are.
This post is Day 17 in my 31 Day series. I’ve carried it on because I want to be intentional about learning from my son and seeing things from the perspective of children. Find my series overview here.