It’s one in the morning and sleep is eluding me like chasing after an important piece of paper that’s gotten away from you on a windy day. It’s right there, but every time I lunge for it, it moves just beyond my reach.
My tummy grumbles loudly. Chris shifts in his sleep. I am now convinced my tummy possesses the power to disturb slumber, so I wander into the living room and grab the laptop.
The room is dark, the screen is bright… My own personal spotlight. I should be asleep. I’m not. I browse Target’s website, looking for storage bins for our new closet configuration in our bedroom. (pictures soon.) I fill my little red shopping cart icon with storage bin after storage bin, only to remove them minutes later. This is exactly how I shop in real life, too. Interesting.
I smile as I recall the antics of my son from earlier in the evening. Chris, Ezra and I stopped in at the Goodwill down the street earlier today. We were looking for a dresser for our bedroom. A bigger dresser than the one we have now.
Because, we need more room.
Because, between the two of us, we have enough clothing to completely bury the island of Manhattan.
So, we popped in to see if they had anything that could hold such capacity, but they didn’t. It’s hard to find a good dresser for a small amount of money. Trust me, I’ve been searching for one for months. I asked Chris why he thought it might be so difficult, and he replied simply “Because why would you ever get rid of a good dresser?”
Ah, yes. Good point.
We were in the Goodwill for only a handful of moments before Ezra casually rounded a clothing rack and spotted it. It was just sitting there, basking in the gloriousness of all its glory.
Red. Yellow. A Little Tykes Cozy Coupe car, peeking out from underneath the children’s overalls section.
He gasped so hard that everyone within a four rack radius turned sharply to see what was so incredibly astounding. I worried that he’d finally managed to swallow a lung. He moved quicker than I have ever seen him move. He was in that car so fast, it was as if he’d been running for his life. Like a wild pack of vacuum cleaners was hot on his trail. The startled looks from nearby onlookers simultaneously softened into smiles. An older gentleman looked at me, chuckled, and said, “SOLD.” This big, plastic, Ezra-sized vehicle was only minutes away from being stuffed into our car. And this man knew it.
I laughed because I knew it too. Ezra drove the car all over the store for the next 20 minutes- completely stoned on the freedom that came from pushing that car up and down the isles of the poorly lit thrift shop. The wind in his hair. The flourecent light on his face…
So, we brought the mustard and ketchup colored monstrosity home with us. For just five dollars, Ezra’s infinite happiness was sealed.
I didn’t see much of Ezra for the rest of the day/evening. All I could see was the yellow top of the car zooming by me every few minutes, and all I could hear was the squeak! squeak! of the little horn as it passed by. Ezra and his car were inseparable.
This was cute and all, but it also made nap time difficult. And trying to get him to use the potty difficult. And dinnertime difficult. And bath time difficult. And putting on pajamas difficult. And brushing his teeth difficult. Bedtime? It was DIFFICULT.
He flat refused to get out of the thing without a fight. You’d have thought I was trying to separate salt from water. With my bare hands. It was that difficult.
I really would have begun to loathe the Cozy Coupe if he didn’t look so darn cute in it. He would drive it from the piano to the TV (a whopping 15 feet or so), then he would open the door, solemnly get out of the car, stand there for a second or two, and then proceed to get back in the car so that he could then drive from the TV back to the piano. He did this for a VERY LONG TIME. And the whole time, he was talking to himself. And you could tell that he’d pretty much found heaven on earth in his new mode of transportation.
He didn’t seem to see that the plastic was all faded and the vibrant colors had long gone. He didn’t see all the scratches or the missing sticker decals. He didn’t even see all the places it looked like the car had been CHEWED ON BY A DOG… He saw nothing but four sturdy wheels and the open road.
(An open road that looked a whole lot like our living room.)
(I long for that kind of ignorance in my own life- Like, so what if I’m scratched and faded in spots and bruised and missing my original, shiny decals? I’m still breathing, aren’t I? Did God himself not say that he uses the WEAK things of the world to confound the STRONG? The faded jalopies will always win the race! Go, jalopies, GO!)
I marveled at my child this evening. He’s gotten taller. Older. Less toddler, more BOY. I thought forward to the day when he’d be driving away in a real car- a car that would take him much farther than our living room piano. And I couldn’t help but wonder-
Will I feel the same mixture of awe and sorrow then as I do now? Awe at how fast time goes by? Sorrow at… how fast time goes by? And, without the confines of the living room walls to box him in, just how far will this boy go?
So, I stop. I stop and I pray that nothing will ever become large enough to hold him back from his journey.
And, while I’m at it, I pray that for me, too.