Holy. Rascally. Toddlers.

By Jenny Harris

“All things are inventions of holiness—some more rascally than others.” -Mary Oliver*

I’m sure that Mary Oliver had a toddler in mind when she wrote this.

What follows are the doings and sayings of our resident toddler, some holy, some rascally, all worth remembering.

Jesus Calms the Storm

Lucy’s first favorite Bible story was Jesus calming the sea. It melted my heart, the way she told it. Her favorite line was, “Peace; be still,” and she said it with a hush. I was in a state of mental turmoil at the time, and her daily repetition of peace was heaven-sent.

A few months after the original telling, I asked Lucy to tell the story again. In this version, Jesus was on a boat with his friends and there was a terrible storm. His response? “Aughhh!! I gotta calm the storm!!”

I laughed at the frantic portrayal of Jesus, but immediately sobered up. Jesus sounded remarkably like me planning a Sunday School lesson.

I’m hearing you, God.

Potty Talk

I am of the persuasion that children should learn correct anatomical terms. I am also learning that thus arming pre-filtered mouths creates precarious social circumstances.

We were recently conversing with the neighbors when Lucy interrupted to say, “Chase, I have a vagina.”

Aaaaagh. That.

I blushed, we all laughed, and I pushed the conversation forward hoping to forget the anatomical report. Lucy was probably confused by my embarrassment; I usually applaud her vocabulary. Perhaps that’s what spurred an even greater divulgence.

“Chase,” she interrupted again. “My Mommy has hair on her vagina.”

Aaaagh.

Laugh, you may, just don’t bring it up in person. I’m still blushing a little.

Repentance Song

(Lyrics by Lucy. Tune not required.)

Repentance, repentance, REPENTAAAAANCE!

I asked Jesus for candy, but he said “no.”

Sometimes you really want to hit someone, but hitting makes God sad.

Repenting is good, but it really hurts!

Repentance, repentance, REPENTAAAAANCE!

Repentance, repentance, REPENTAAAAANCE!

Now I’m wondering—does she really want to hit someone? And what’s the deal with Jesus and candy?

One must always wonder in parenting: Are we doing this right??

Whether right or wrong, we thank God for toddlers–the holy rascals that prod our spirits Homeward through sweetness, ebullient creativity, and yes, even tantrums.

“Be watchful for the hilarious and the heartwarming, the silly and the sublime. This way will not pass again, and so there is a duty to be mindful of that which delights and keeps joy at the center, distilled from all that happens to us in a day.” -John Ruskin*

*Both of these quotes come from Greg Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart, a book well worth your time.

Jenny Harris

Jenny Harris

Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she's crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family's goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.
Jenny Harris

Jenny Harris

Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she's crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family's goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.

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