Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fit to be Tied

Most Sunday evening at our church, you can find worshipers wearing clothing that runs the gamut from business-casual all the way to gardening or bicycle-wear. We've got a tradition of coming-as-we-are to worship, secure in the belief that God loves us as we are and we don't need to prove our devotion with fancy garb.

However, the other Sunday a group of young men from the Mennonite Voluntary Service household showed up wearing neckties, something we'd never seen them do before! One of the volunteers is getting married soon, and they invited us to help him get used to the idea of dressing up for the wedding by wearing ties on Sunday evening in solidarity. So ties have been appearing around the necks of unexpected people at church recently.

Last Sunday I saw a delightful interaction. Joy's former daycare buddy has a younger sister, an adorable curly-haired toddler, not yet two. Little Sister was sitting on her daddy's lap during the service, giggling over his necktie, which he never wears ordinarily. She was trying to stick the end of the tie into his mouth, and he was playing along, lipping at it and then pretending to spit it out. Just the sort of playful little back-and-forth interaction that automatically happens when you enter the average little tyke's world during the peek-a-boo years.

Not every family gets to have that experience with their toddler, though.

Joy certainly wasn't interested in that kind of back-and-forth interactive people play at that age.

So I'm feeling extra-blessed and grateful that we're getting it now.

There's been just an explosion of back-and-forth giggly-games in the past few weeks, building on the "funniest things in the world" snippets that I've posted about occasionally this past year. The game might involve yawning back and forth. It might involve her greeting one of her therapists with an expectant "woof! woof!" at the door (shades of John Elder Robison!) There have been "in, out" games involving toys and a bucket. There have been "on, off" games around stacker-toys (and, less ideally, light switches!) Lots of peek-a-boo, with variations: "bye-bye / HELLO!" "Where's the turkey? / GOBBLE-GOBBLE-GOBBLE!"

My favorite recent game, though, goes like this:
Joy comes over and leans on me for a cuddle and says "NNNNIGH-nigh!"
Then I hug her, stroke her hair, pat her shoulder.
Then she pops up with a mischievous twinkle and announces "GUCK-guh!" (wake up!) And then we giggle and do it all over again -- JoyDad and Joy are upstairs playing the nigh-night game as we speak.

Y'know, I could tie myself into all sorts of regretful knots, in the comparison that Joy is only NOW doing -- at the age of almost seven -- what comes naturally to a kiddo five years younger.

I choose instead to rejoice in our blessings, and to enjoy this delightful interactive peek-a-boo stage to its fullest.

Maybe I'll celebrate by wearing a tie to church tonight...


. said...

This is really lovely! Enjoy the games and fun back-and-forth!


Anonymous said...

'Regretful knots' is not like you, but wearing a tie - so appropro! (Sorry if that is not spelled correctly.)

Must say "NNNNIGH-nigh!" as it will be too soon that I must "GUCK-guh!"

AuntieS said...

EnJOYing JOY as she is, at whatever "stage" she is at right now, is definitely a good choice to make. How beautiful this world would be if all were able to accept and enJOY each person and their accomplishments just as they are!! And I think those of us around Joy are reminded that this kind of JOYful fun and interaction is okay to enJOY at any age!! Sometimes, I have thought that one of the best things of having chldren was that I had an "excuse" to play with toys and games as a child again, to watch children's TV shows and movies, to sing silly childrens' songs and nursery rhymes, to color in coloring books and paint and play with play-doh. Joy is giving us the opportunity to still enjoy that fun and innocent child's play even longer. How can that be a negative thing? I look forward to playing some of these fun back-and-forth games with my niece the next time we get together!

JoyMama said...

We were able to take the "nigh-night" game to school. It was a treat to arrive to pick Joy up on Monday and see one of her little classmates run out of the building toward her hollering "Joy -- Joy! NIGH-NIGHT!" And she grinned and played right up.

Re the tie... I was told that the Diane Keaton/Annie Hall look was a winner for me. Might have to "tie one on" before worship next week too!

Anonymous said...

i just had to go play the clip of her delicious laughter while Joydad yawned. FILLS my heart. indeed, how blessed you are to share in the giggly games with her.

One Mom said...

How wonderful! I'm so happy for you and Joy, and this story warms my heart. It's so easy to think negatively, and I love that you choose to take the high road.

JoyMama said...

Granted that it's easier to think positively when the giggles are coming, and things are going mostly-well... it's still a choice, and the more often one makes it consciously, the easier it becomes to make it automatically!