My youngest has a daily ritual.
I must pinky promise every day that I will wave to him when we say goodbye. It started at daycare about a year ago. I don't know where it came from, just one morning he looked at me with those big beautiful eyes, and asked so sweetly, "pinky promise mommy". And, so the ritual began. I'd say goodbye in his classroom including the hugs and kisses and then as soon as I'd get outside, I'd go to the window and wave and throw kisses. He would stand at the window until I showed up. Even when I was stopped by another teacher, or delayed. He waited at that window refusing to be distracted by play, or snacks or anything until I fulfilled my promise. Poor Daddy, who was not aware of our ritual and dropped him off one morning. Isaiah assumed he knew, and went all to pieces when Daddy didn't wave when he got outside. He stood at the window, falling apart. So much so, the teacher went and retrieved Rex from the car to come and wave. Now, Daddy gets to do pinky promises too, on his mornings. Isaiah moved to a new class during the summer, and the ritual promoted too. This time, it was a wave from the other side of the 2 X 9 inch glass hole in the door. Sometimes the door was open. No matter. I pinky promised to wave when I left the room, and so I did.
Now, he is a big kindergartner and he rides the big yellow bus everyday. The bus stop is about 4 houses up from us, and 'bout the time we hit the end of our driveway, he starts. You wave to me Mommy? Pinky Promise?
Yes, honey, I promise.
And every morning I keep my word. I start waving as soon as he leaves my arms reach, as he climbs the steps. I have noticed, he is still so worried that I might not keep my promise, he looks back to me instead of looking where he is going.
This creates a small problem for him. This morning, as he has done many times this year he fell up the steps on the bus. He falls, because he isn't looking where he is going. After I do the obligatory mom reaction, you know, jumping as if I could stop it, I do enjoy the quick change of expression on the drivers face. She can use a change of expression, I'm just saying. Anyway, Isaiah quickly hops up and finds his seat, but keeps looking looking at me to make sure I'm waving, as I promised to do.
Seems silly sometimes.
After all the days we have behind us, the day after day of keeping my promise to him, he still requires his little pinky wrapped around my pinky as proof.
I was walking back to the house this morning, thinking about this ritual. God has made promises to me, better than pinky promises. And day after day, I look backwards to find assurance that the promises are true.
Looking back isn't all bad. The looking back gives us a basis to trust. Eventually, Isaiah will learn that I am a mommy who keeps her word. And, looking back gives me history of God keeping His promises to me. But there has to be a balance between the looking back and the onward moving, or we take a tumble. I am coming clean and admitting in my own life the looking back sometimes hinders me from moving onward.
I wonder if I'll ever get so secure in His promises that I can remain undistracted by anything that would take my focus off of His promises. So secure, that I can look forward and know that the promises are true. Will I ever trust Him completely and stop falling on my face in doubt?
Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward - to Jesus.
Philippians 3:13 (MSG)
I'm sure going to try. Onward friends!
Happy Thursday Y'all!