Walking sleepily to the kitchen I sensed something was different. Glancing to my right I saw a short, little person standing in the entryway of our home completely unclothed except for an overloaded saggy diaper. New to the neighborhood, I was unfamiliar with some of the habits of our new neighbors. Almost speechless, I managed to say, “Well good morning.” “What are you doing up so early?”
Speaking with a heavy lisp, the over grown four year old answered, “Can anyone pway?”
“Not right now, Sweetie.” “Everyone is still asleep.” “I bet your parents are looking for you.” “Now run back home before they miss you,” I strongly encouraged.
“Evewee one is asweep.” “It’s OK.” “I can pway now,” he insisted.
Trying a different approach to get him to go back home I said, “Shouldn’t you get dressed?” “It’s too cold for you to be running around without clothes on.” “Now go wake your mom and tell her you need her help.” As I watched him reluctantly agree and turn to walk back out the front door I thought, “How strange,” but went on with my morning routine. After making my hot tea and retreating back to my bedroom to put on my own clothes, I headed back to the den in order to have my morning quiet time. Standing in the entryway, once again, was the over grown four –year-old. This time he was holding a bundle of clothes in his hands for me to dress him.
“Jimmy,” I said. “We will come and get you when it is time to play.” “Now go back home and wake somebody up so you can eat breakfast.”
Later when he was running around our house with my little ones, I dared to sneak into my office to work. The next thing I knew, his little chubby face was standing next to me. “I spiwelled juice in the kitchen,” he informed me.
“Thanks, Sweetie,” I responded, thinking that was nothing unusual in this house. However, when I walked into my freshly mopped kitchen, a pond of grape juice greeted me. Pausing. Pausing, so that I would not yell at this precious, red headed, freckled, 60 pound four year old, I thought about what his life might be like at home. Yes, I guess you could say his life flashed before my eyes. I had two choices, I could give him a loud lecture listing our rules on pouring grape juice, or I could show him kindness and clean up his mess with joy. Why does it seem like the right thing is always the hard thing? I started to give the loud lecture and then mid sentence decided to do the right thing. It sure would have felt good to lose it, but then I would have felt like a dirt bag and blown my witness to this little one.
When Jimmy grows up I hope he will remember that the big family across the street thought he was cool, because he is cool. In the mean time I think I will remember to lock my front door and put the grape juice up high.
“What is desirable in a man is his kindness,”