ONESIE> A few months ago, Matt and I had dinner with some good friends of ours. After the meal, we gathered in the living-room to continue talking. Their two boys, ages 3 years and 8 months at the time, played peacefully on the floor. The oldest eventually fell asleep in his mother’s lap, but the youngest remained wide awake. Sprawled out on the carpet, perched on a round belly, he laid there cooing and drooling happily onto his toys. Occasionally, he looked up into our faces with a huge, gleeful grin adorable enough to melt any heart. He was truly enjoying himself. This was the pinnacle of existence as far as he was concerned.
Then it was onesie time. His dad scooped him up off the floor and began the process of carefully sliding one tiny arm and one little leg at a time into their designated sleeve. It was slow going. Familiar with this ritual, the baby’s face began to twist into an indignant, miserable scrunch. He arched his back like a pro, making it nearly impossible to maneuver his squirmy limbs into pajamas. He was devastated, frustrated, and heartbroken. No more toys to drool over, no more living-room kingdom, the end of his concept of happiness.
As I watched this normal interchange, it struck me so strongly that we are that baby. We are so content with our toys on the floor where we lay immobile and helpless, drooling our way through life, and feeling what we believe to be the most joy we will ever experience. We fail to recognize that we are being silently planned for in love. We have no idea that our onesie isn’t for the purpose of constricting, but for keeping us warm while we sleep, and no idea that what’s coming is even better than what we’ve just left behind. We despise the hands that are holding us, wail in frustration, and arch our backs in contempt against any sort of progress. We mistake change for discomfort, and help for control.
Someday that precious baby will outgrow his onesie, and the new struggle will be learning to tie his own shoes or ride a bike, remembering to brush his teeth and make his bed, and choosing to be kind. I know that parenting is a powerful tool God uses to directly teach us about His character, authority, and wisdom. But even more importantly, He uses it to teach us about His love. I was so thankful for that glimpse into a world my husband and I hope to soon join, and humbled by the realization of my own humanity. May we never be so content with our current state that we miss the opportunity to grow; so blind in our selfishness that we forget to say, “Thank you”; so proud (or bitter) that we refuse to surrender.