The Story. My daughter got new socks the other day. She’s three years old. New socks are nice for me. They’re super-awesome for a three-year-old!
These new socks have stripes on them. Stripes are super-awesome too.
Before we could leave the house yesterday, she insisted that I find her new socks. It was a really big deal. An adventure. Where could they be? Oh my, what if we couldn’t find them?
I had an idea…the sock drawer. Why don’t we check in the sock drawer? So we did.
Up the stairs we went, hand in hand, step by step, a pair of sock hunters; nervous, excited, eager with anticipation, and extremely hopeful. So hopeful we looked at each other and laughed a few times along the way.
Her hope was that the socks would be found so that she could wear them and show off her stripes. My hope was that the socks would be found so that we could reduce the excruciatingly extensive preparation-for-leaving-the-house process by even a few moments. It’s also fun to see her so animated and joyful.
At first glance she didn’t see them, but I did. Her face shifted from jubilant to distressed.
“There’re not here!” She shouted with the sharp agony of defeat.
I reached in. I pulled them out slowly. I smiled. I placed them in her tiny, eager, and outstretched hands. She beamed.
Again she shouted. This time, “Daddy…you found them…you found my new socks…see the stripes!”
I did see the stripes. They were super-awesome. I told her.
Then, she threw her arms around me and said, “You’re a good, Daddy…I think I should keep you.”
I was really glad to hear it.
The Point. Simple things can be really powerful too, the challenges and the triumphs. As parents and educators we mustn’t overlook the awe or the wonder with which kids move through this world. Everything is relatively new for them.
They need us, not only to guide them, but also to celebrate with them, even when we’re celebrating finding a pair of brand new stripped socks.
There are so many things we want to show and teach them, so many important things we feel we need for them to learn and demonstrate. It seems to me, the more we follow their lead the better able we are able to support each of their individual pathways to whatever it is they are each becoming.
The more we share in their excitement and rejoice in their happiness, the more connected we become, and the better we are able to serve them through the twists and turns we will inevitably face together along the way.
I’m glad that finding a pair of socks makes me a “good daddy,” because sometimes that’s about all I got sometimes, and I’m really glad that she thinks she should keep me, because I most certainly want to be kept.
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead. Thanks.