I attacked the bottom of the stainless steel pan, raking the S.O.S pad across the surface as if that cookware had affronted me personally. A little hand came to rest on the side of my leg.
Micaela happily announced, "Uh, oh, Mama. Can you help me put it on the tree?"
Her hands clutched a sparkly green ornament whose marketing promise of "shatter free" has been put to the test an exhausting number of times in the last few days.
It was my own fault.
Micaela's talking is so exciting. Last year she said a handful of single words. Now she is talking up a storm. Last year she thought the round ornaments on the tree were all toy balls that had accidently landed in their prickly perches. This year she loves to admire them and leave the where they are...except the sparkly green ones. You see, the first time she made one fall off, I patiently said, "Uh, oh. That fell off. Would you like me to help you put it on the tree?"
And the game began.
Poor thing. No one thinks this is as fun as she does. Out of desperation I've begun to hide those horrid green sparkling balls and even have got angry enough to put them in "time out." However, Micaela will not be ignored. She is fighting to connect with us. As her language grows she is discovering new ways to interact with her family and it is more exciting to her than almost any other activity in her world these days.
I think more a few of us can sympathize with that hunger. Humans are social creatures with an inborn love of connecting with others. Some of us need more connection than others but we all crave something. I admit to being very blessed during this pandemic. Living on a farm right across the road from my father and brother, I have regular meaningful connections with some of my family. In fact, with the work of ranching, we connect often with much of our extended family. It is an essential part of life. Still, there are friends and family I miss dearly. I can't wait for this to be over.
Micaela found this one, silly, but fun way to connect with us. It makes her so happy.
I think about all the loved ones I am missing these days and ask God to help me connect with each one in a way that brings us all some peace.
How have you been able to connect with the people you love these days?
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"...and God was already there with me."