You stood at the perimeter, every part of your little body tensed as you watched the water splash and the children squeal with laughter.
You watched your little brother crawl straight into the water, mouth open. His approach to everything is the perfect contrast to yours. You are careful, calculating, and cautious. Samuel is impulsive, fast, and knows no fear.
The more the people around you tried to talk you into all the fun, the more you resisted it. You stood sullenly by the fence, muscles tensed, jaw clenched, studying the fun around you, assessing the risks.
Finally, everyone gave up. They left you to what you were comfortable with. They stopped pestering you to try, just a little. You kept watching, observing.
About fifteen minutes in, you asked me to hold you in the water. I grinned and tried to hide my enthusiasm. If I got too excited, you would have shut it down. I'm more like your little brother, loving the thrill of new things and never looking back to make sure it's safe. I hate to see you miss out on fun because of your uncertainty. Your father, on the other hand, fully appreciates your caution as his mind is always on alert for our safety as well. You give him comfort while Samuel and I give him ulcers.
It only took a few minutes for you to realize what you had been missing, and you were ready to play. Water splashing everywhere, you still needed the comfort of my arms, but you were laughing and splashing and enjoying the fun that had been there all along.
Finally, at the end of one swing into the fountain, you landed on your feet and never stopped running. There was no fear in your gait, no caution in your steps as you jumped head first into the water that had scared you minutes before. You had warmed up slowly, but now there was no restraint.
Eventually, we had to pull you from the water amidst strong protest and a few tears. The moments you had missed at the beginning were longed for as you grumpily left the park and changed into dry clothes for lunch. The fear was all but forgotten as you waved goodbye to the fountains of cool water, splashing, laughing babies and screeching toddlers.
My sweet, cautious one. I pray that God will use your gift of caution to make you a man of discernment, stability and wisdom. I pray you will let Him shape your tendency to observe first, look twice, and calculate carefully to do His work when the ones around you are being shifted by every wind or the foolishness of the world. I pray you won't be paralyzed by a spirit of fear, but will be filled with the power of the Spirit, the wisdom of His Word, and the hope of grace. I am here, little one, to help you ease into things as you learn about this great, big world. I am here to hold you as you step gingerly into the wild unknown. And sometimes, I will be here to give you the nudge you need to experience joy uninhindered.
And please, for the love, watch out for Samuel. He's diving down head first, careening out of control, or jumping off a high surface somewhere, all the time.
I love you sweet, careful one.