Some of you will have read my note Theology of a one-year-old – if not, now would be a good time.
This all came flooding back to me earlier this year at a classy establishment known to the elite as “Antz inya pants”.
If you’re not a parent (and therefore familiar with such ventures) it may take some explaining. Imagine a climbing fame, 40 feet cubed, with padded walls and floors, mangle-type rollers to squeeze through, tube-slides, zip-lines and other sundry madness. It’s a little like a multi-story version of the “House of fun” they used to have on TV when I was a kid.
So anyway, Mónica and I watched, as Oliver (4) and Dominic (2) went racing off to one of the entrances, with that enthusiasm that only comes from being small and very excited. But as Dominic approached the gloomy opening, he hesitated, stalled and stopped.
Like his brother before him, he was clearly unhappy with the idea of chasing off into the unknown. Oliver seized Dominic’s hand, and got ready to lead him in. But Dominic remained unconvinced. For once, Oliver picked up on this and, weighing up the options, reached a conclusion.
He gently led Dominic back towards us. Then carefully and deliberately, he placed his brother’s hand in their father’s hand. And we ran off into the unknown together…
So, when I feel someone else has failed to capture a message that I myself have learned, I wonder what I’ll do. Drag them kicking and screaming, or put their hand in the father’s, and let him take over.
© 2009 Paul Brownnutt
[Originally Published 12th October 2009]