I had the delight and pleasure of spending an afternoon with friends at a beautiful pool yesterday. The entertainment was provided by one of my favorite 4 year olds, Clara Grace. Clara spent every second available to her swimming and diving and jumping and making up silly games. Oh, to have an ounce of that energy and freedom of spirit!
Her favorite game was to have her Daddy throw her “super-duper high!” Each throw was announced with the countdown, 1-2-3-Jump! The anticipation and delight on Clara’s face was priceless. She would beam and smile and ready her body for the toss – the higher the better. Coming out of the water she would wipe the water from her face cheerfully and immediately be ready to go again. “This time throw me higher, Daddy!”
Clara had complete confidence that her Daddy would keep her safe. But she also had complete assurance of her own abilities and such a level of comfort in her own skin. She trusts her body. She trusts herself. And she trusts her Father.
She was also convinced she could walk on water if she was wearing flip-flops. After all, they float, so why wouldn’t they float with her on top of them? After her experimentation proved that hypothesis to be a bit faulty, she simply carried on with her 4-year-old optimism, creating other opportunities for pool time fun. She became a dolphin, certain that she would be able to carry an adult friend on her back. She swam from the sleeping pool monster, laughing that adorable, mischievous, pretending-to-be-scared laugh of hers, all the while directing the monster to do whatever she deemed appropriate.
In one short afternoon, I learned so much from Clara Grace. I was reminded what playing is all about. Fun just for the sake of fun. Pretending. Laughing. Experimenting. Creating. Relishing. Being in the moment. I was given a perfect example of being friends with your own body. Clara’s mom was telling us that just the night before as they watched the Olympic trials, Clara began running through the house preparing to perform a gymnastics floor routine. No doubt. No worries. No second guessing. Just confidence.
Certainly Clara Grace has been raised by an earthly mother and father who have shared with her the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father – the Grace that saves us from ourselves, yet asks nothing more of us than to be ourselves and allow him to live through us. And have plenty of fun along the way. What a gift!
When I grow up I want to be just like Clara Grace!
Peace, Love, Clara, and Grace,