Our granddaughter, Elena, is now seven months old, and already her personality is evident.
For example, when she awakens in the morning, Elena plays contentedly in her crib for ten minutes or so. She chews on her pacifier from every angle, rolls around, practices her pike position, and plays with a snuggle toy or the zipper on her sleep sack. Elena may also struggle to crawl or even pull herself up into a standing position, in spite of the confines of the sleep sack. Eventually she lets the household know that crib-playtime is over and she’d like to be rescued.
The rescuer receives rich reward–a big 1000-watt smile, a few squeals of pleasure, and panting excitement at what the new day might hold.
And though she enjoys songs and stories, Johnny Jump-Up and toys, her favorite activity has to be dancing with her daddy. Eric, our son, has created a playlist specifically for this activity, many tunes from Disney musicals.
I recently had the pleasure of watching Eric and Elena perform this ritual. Eric tucks her firmly in one arm, while holding her hand out with the other. True ballroom style. And though they may begin with a gentle waltz, Eric soon takes off with gentle jogging and polka steps. He adds his voice to Angela Lansbury’s and David Tomslinson’s.
But the other morning, my pleasure in watching them dance turned to uproarious laughter, as Eric mimicked a few of the chimney sweeps’ moves from Mary Poppins. Knees rising high with each step, and dips in between, he marched across the dining room. Then with broad, high kicks he pranced in the other direction. Elena bobbed in his arms, beaming and squealing.
And I thought, O, Lord, this is such supreme pleasure–to watch a daddy and his daughter do a silly dance, reveling in the music, the movement, and each other. Do you, Father, take joy in watching us, your children, delighting in all the pleasures you’ve given? Surely so. Otherwise, why would you have provided spectacular colors, intricate patterns, and incredible variety in creation? Why would serendipity blessings suddenly drop into our laps? Yes, we need to keep pleasure in its proper place, and not let the pursuit of it consume us. But I glory in those delights you have ordained. And I worship you for your gracious love, motivating you to make us laugh and smile. Thank you, God.