Watch the firelight flicker beautifully over my polished furniture. Through the subtle aroma of dinner, the room holds a sweet scent of fragrant cleaners. The floor gleams, the dishes shine, the laundry sits folded and ironed in the closet.
But the plant dirt is still scattered haphazardly over the windowsill. Sometime tomorrow I will vacuum the brittle rocks out of my carpet. Tonight, though, I draw the curtains across the mess and bring my attention back to my relaxing surroundings. I'm enjoying a warm piece of blueberry pie. I'm comfortable in my softest pajamas, and I'm submerging myself in the sound of love and laughter.
I watched his antics all day long. With intrigue, weariness, and often horror, I observed him as he made his curious examination of the world around him.
This morning I smiled at his dawning awareness as he realized how to put his sandwich into his milk.
I carefully removed the scissors from his hands as he clumsily removed them from the table and attempted to imitate my maneuvers.
I sighed resignedly as he contributed to my efforts to sweep and dust, leaving a trail of toys and crumbs.
This afternoon my heart rate rose when I realized that he had learned to climb. With a broad smile and a childish giggle, he brought me an apple, his latest accomplishment, grasped from a destination far out of his reach.
Imagining the means by which he accomplished this feat, I squelched his pride with my concern.
Later, having found the flour tipped onto the floor, I took his hand and bodily removed him from the scene of the crime.
While I was busy disposing of the disaster, he was discovering the physics involved in pulling the bathroom tissue from the roll.
As I rolled it back on, he was feeding my lunch to the pet.
Then I saw him on the windowsill. He'd crawled up from the rocking chair; the dirt from the plant was sifting through his tiny fingers. I felt my patience finally reach its limits. Hair tied back and mop in hand, I heard myself speak his name in my harshest tone.
"What are you doing up there?" I yell, my fists trembling.
He looks at me with bewildered eyes, his mouth forming an uncertain "o."
"Why are you climbing up into the windowsill?"
A beam of light attracts his attention. A vehicle pulls into the driveway.
His innocent face breaks into a glorious smile, and he points out the window excitedly and claps his hands. In his happiest voice he calls, "Daddy!"
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society