Monday, July 21, 2008

Pick YOU Up!

Our youngest son was not yet two years old. He confused his words on a simple request. Still today his grammatical error makes me chuckle.

Looking down into his toddler eyes, as he'd stretch his arms towards us as eagerly as he could, our son would say, "Pick YOU up?" What he really meant to say was, "Pick ME up", however, repeating our question to him word for word, his request came out backwards. "Pick YOU up?" he would insist! "Pick YOU up?" chubby fingers twitching and anxious arms reaching as high up our legs as possible. (I think he would have climbed us like a tree trunk if he had been able!)

"Sweetheart, you mean 'Pick ME up?" - our parental attempts to correct his english. Frustrated he would shake his hands in the air, "No! Pick YOU up!" he would yell. He knew what he meant, we knew what he meant, so rather than exasperate the child further, we decided to let him ask how he would. For almost a year when he would ask, "Pick YOU up?" - we knew he meant he wanted to be picked up and held.

Funny. I watch adults every day ask for love, acceptance, and closeness with similarly confusing ways. We want to be taken care of, yet we act independent. We want closeness, yet we build walls that keep us isolated. We yearn for acceptance, yet we keep our weaknesses and vulnerabilities to ourselves.

Luckily, people who do love us also know that we struggle to ask for what we need directly. They humor us, look in to our childlike eyes, and reach down to pick us up.

Thank heavens, God does too.