As I hurried to make a meeting on time, I realized my gas tank was almost empty. Then, I managed to hit every red light in town. When I arrived at work, the air conditioning unit quit working. In other words, it was just one of those days.
But suddenly I looked at my cell phone as my voicemail light flickered. That’s when one message transformed a hectic day into something special.
“Daddy,” said my son Will, who was 2 years old at the time. “I just tee-teed in the potty.”
His excitement inspired me to go out and shout to the world that my boy was ready to throw away his Pampers and move into his underdrawers. Hallelujah! Later that evening he ran straight to my arms and smiled with pride when I arrived home.
The next day I took Will and my oldest son Turner to Zaxby’s for lunch where we encountered my childhood neighbors Tommy and Linda Haney sitting near us.
“You boys are just getting to be so big,” said Linda as we walked by their table. “How old are you Will?”
Instead of answering her question, Will looked at the Haney’s with pride and answered her with a big grin — “I tee-teed in the potty.”
Maybe the words attributed to Jesus explain it best when he called the little children to stand around him and said — “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Perhaps it’s the children who are really here to teach us.
“We tell children to be serious, that life is hard work, while they remind us that life is an adventure to be lived,” writes University of West Georgia Professor Tobin Hart in his book “The Secret Spiritual World of Children.” “Albert Einstein, who retained a remarkable childlike wonder and imagination as an adult, knew this truth. Children teach us to play with life. They help us see that the spiritual is not a list to get through, but a story to be lived.”
My wife and I are once again going through another round of potty training. Although my 2-year-old Henry has learned how to accomplish job “Number 1,” he’s still trying to hide from us when it’s time to accomplish job “Number 2.”
So, what are we doing? We’re doing what most parents do. We’re embracing the fine art of bribery. Unfortunately, Henry is winning this current battle despite offers of M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies and Blue Bell Ice Cream Sandwiches. He is, however, expressing joy beyond words when he successfully makes a trip to the potty and claps his hands when he flushes.
Oh, the sense of adventure in simple things is a sight to behold. It’s even better when I experience it through a child’s eyes.
Garrett is a Carrollton resident and businessman. You can read more of his columns at joegarrett1.wordpress.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.