Perhaps because it’s such a monumental step in the life of a child, potty training has become a source of inspiration for my writing. I wrote about it at least once concerning Gabriel (see “Mufasa’s Boy“). It’s such a basic step in parenting, to teach our children to take care of their own business, but also one that reminds me of our ultimate purpose — to prepare our children for life lived on their own, out from under our roof.
Micah and I were in a public restroom a couple weeks ago. I was trying to help him wash his hands, which proved to be difficult due to the height of the sink — we use a stool at home — and the faucet was one of those push-on varieties, the kind that you have to press every couple of seconds. I had to keep telling him that, no, we weren’t done yet: “I still see bubbles. Let’s get all the bubbles off.”
When we finished at the sink, I noticed an older man waiting rather patiently for us. I apologized for the delay which he gently brushed off: “Oh, no, don’t worry about it. A boy needs to learn from his daddy.”
Truer words have never been spoken, and I’ll never forget his. Indeed, a boy needs to learn from his daddy, and his mommy. At this stage, Micah is learning a lot from us, absorbing our actions and speech. He has begun aping his father, and initially I hadn’t recognized this. He is saying things like, “okay” and “come on,” words apparently I use all the time but hadn’t noticed before he began uttering them.
For my birthday — which was just a week or so ago, so you’re still welcome to send your belated greetings and gifts — our girls gave me a card that mentioned something about the acorn not falling far from the tree and how they are (and I am) a little nuts. My prayer is that the acorn will fall near this oak, this man whom God is strengthening each day to withstand the storms of life. They will resemble their mom and dad in their faith and devotion to God.
I spoke about all this in a sermon I preached a couple weeks ago called “An Ancient Temple, an Ancient Path.” Check out the audio/video here. A little warning, you may want to keep some tissues handy. I’m known to quicken tears when I talk about our kids.