Wednesday, August 6, 2014


In an effort to make the most of the last few weeks of summer, this morning we went to a drop-in class at the children's gymnastics center. They always do a good job at making the experience both fun and educational. Today's theme was safety. During circle time there were introductions and each child was invited to answer the question: What are some things that help you stay safe?

There was a discussion about bicycle helmets and looking both ways before we cross the street. I always feel a secret glee when I get to listen in on my own children's comments, like a spy gathering information. What do they know and what will they say? Since they don't ride bikes yet and we live out in the country where there aren't many streets to cross, I was curious which connections they were making.

Sommer's turn came. What are some things that help you stay safe? She gave a fairly typical two-and-a-half year old's unrelated answer, "We have a trampoline at home!" Yes, she was more focused on the trampolines she saw around her than circle time. The teachers were skilled, however, at bringing it back around and they talked about trampoline safety.

Annike's turn came. What are some things that help you stay safe? She looked shy, then evangelized her class, "I pray to Jesus quietly in my heart."
Preach it, sister. Liberal Santa Cruz may not listen to me, but they will listen to you.

Responses like these are the reason I have named this blog "A Child's Eyes." I learn so much from the innocent perspective of my children. Over the years my contribution to a discussion on safety has been programmed to include something like: "Don't talk to strangers." But children only know what they know, without all of the programming.

This morning was one of those rare mornings when I was feeling brave enough to take three children on a summer outing by myself. The past few months with all the kids at home has tested and challenged me in this area as I have discovered the hard way that no matter where we go, I still can't predict the outcome of any outing where the ratio is 3:1. Hoping this will change shortly.

Gymnastics class went well, but like I said, I had an abnormal surge of bravery and decided to take the kiddos for treats at a local bakery. On the way out, because hot chocolate and a fruit parfait had clearly not sufficiently filled her tummy, Sommer ate "a green bean" from a mysterious plant by the doorway. I didn't see her do it of course because I was maneuvering the stroller through two swinging doors while corralling my children onto the sidewalk instead of the street, carrying three half-drunk cups of hot chocolate, attempting not to spill any on the baby or run over the toes of other guests.

When we got to the car Sommer told me, "My breath tastes spicy because I ate a green bean from that plant."
"You WHAT?!!?"
Approaching her I realized her "spicy" breath was actually the smell of vomit.

It left me acutely aware that while wearing seat belts and obeying traffic laws are all very safe and good choices, it is Jesus alone who keeps us safe when the child who should know better eats a poisonous plant. At the end of the day, it is He who holds our whole lives in His hands.

On the car ride home, Annike prayed quietly in her heart for Sommer's safety while I called Poison Control. It turns out that this plant causes gastrointestinal discomfort, hence the vomit, but in small doses most likely isn't toxic. We don't need to have her stomach pumped.

In the meantime we thank God for His grace to see us safely through another day.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4-5

Our family hands in cement.

1 comment:

  1. Whew! so glad that worked out so well! And that you, as always, glean something higher from thinking about the experience and what it really means to be safe. : )


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