Sitting on the outdoor terrace of a great little Turkish café in Seattle, this past weekend.
The waitress notices the adorable 2 1/2 year old who is with us and comes over to offer his mom a plastic sippy cup for him to use. His mom thanks her, and with a smile lets her know that we are fine, that there is no need.
Because I have seen my friend raise her son in a uniquely powerful way from the beginning, I am looking forward to seeing why she has turned down what seemed to me like a pretty darn sensical offer.
It does not take long for me to find out.
As I sit across from him, I see Jackson pick up an almost full glass of water and present it to me, along with the baby-talk invitation of “Cheers!” He wants me to raise my glass to his, and gently clink it. A glass-glass. Not plastic. Not small. Not half full. A grown up size glass of water. The heavy kind. To give you an idea of the proportions we are working with, I would say that this is about the equivalent of me wrapping my hand around a flower pot full of water, and then raising it in the air with gusto, barely splashing any water in the process.
I am impressed, and even more impressed by how unimpressed his mom is.
As is her way, my friend is enjoying her meal, her son, and life in general. She is not worried about him spilling water, breaking the glass or even his teeth.
This is how I have seen her be with her son, his whole life. As an almost toddler, she let him free to explore, and often fall on his butt. When that happened, she would clap happily, and tell him what a good job he had done falling, and how great it was that he was upright again. He would look at her, pause for a moment, then smile and look for the next place to toddle to.
As a result, Jackson is growing into a super joyful, curious and confident little boy. A huge delight to be around. He is walking the world with a sense of being fully able to partner with it, and something about that is deeply affecting.
What a gift.
What a gift it is to receive this message, so young. To know that “we can do it,” and that if something messy happens, it’s okay too.
What if we walked the world feeling this way? What would we do more of? Less of?
And then: what if we saw the ones we love in that same light? A light that says that they are deeply competent and that we are not one bit worried about their ability to pick up that big glass of water and raise it in cheers?
Today, I invite you to join me in seeing the ones in our lives with a wide open set of eyes. I invite you to see the bigness, the capable-ness in them. I invite you to believe that even if a little bit of water gets splashed, or if they briefly fall on their butt, it is all perfect, that they are perfect.
And then I invite you, when you are ready, to extend this gift to yourself.
Wishing you a glorious rest of the day!