I will never forget that drive to the doctor’s office to take my baby girl to her one week check up. It felt heavy. I cried the entire way. How could a mere carseat protect my treasure from the danger that was surely lurking at every intersection?
I felt incredibly troubled bearing the weight of her innocence. I wanted her never to feel pain or sadness or heartache. The world suddenly seemed darker.
And in three short, tiny years of motherhood, I can’t say much has changed. It is not debilitating the way that it was that day, but the same drive to protect her is deep within me.
One of the pleasures of this age is its innocence. And it’s what I want to remember most about her being three. In her eyes the world is exciting and beautiful and safe, and I long to preserve that. I want to bottle that up and cap it off and hand it to her to have forever. But time marches on, and she is growing and changing and learning every day. And everyday sin is going to creep in and touch her life a little more.
When I see a child on the playground shove her over for a turn on the slide, I want to tell her, “I’m sorry, Honey. I’m sorry that this world is broken.” And when I lose my patience with her and raise my voice and show frustration, I want to tell her, “I’m sorry, Honey. I am so sorry that I am broken.” And when I see her wrestling with her own sin and selfishness as she tries to figure out how to treat her brother and how to respect us, I want to tell her, “I’m sorry, Honey. I am so sorry, but the brokenness is in you too.”
Thankfully that is not where her story ends. Every time that sin seems to rear its nastiness His grace is more. And my heart bows in gratitude that I can give her that truth. I can not protect her from ever being touched by pain and darkness. It’s out there, and it’s in us and it can’t be escaped. But it has been conquered. Jesus said in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
And while I will treasure every single moment of joy and wonder that childhood offers her, I know that when she is face to face with the problem of sin, in others or in herself, I can point her to Jesus. For He cares more for her plight than even her momma can. And He made a way. And one day we will be in glory, and we will all see the world through the eyes of a three year old.