I really do have a fun job. I say I get paid for playing with other people's kids, and in a way, it's true.
Today's story comes from a day at the pool. Yes, I said the pool -- I told you I have a fun job.
I had a child whose daddy had custody of him -- but daddy had an amputated leg and wore a prosthesis. He was unable to take his son to the pool for the playdates that were held weekly for children enrolled in our program because he couldn't go in the water lest the prosthesis get wet (and obviously he didn't want to hop around in a pool on one leg) and of course he couldn't allow his two year old son to wade in the pool without him -- so I agreed to meet him there from time to time for therapy sessions.
The great thing about early intervention is its emphasis on "natural environments" versus clinic settings, which means not only a child's home or daycare, but also parks, restaurant playplaces, and yes, even pools, are all fair game as they are all places that are naturally a part of a young child's life. :)
So to the pool we went. As the little boy and I were wading through the water side by side, he stumbled and started to fall forward. Instantly he reached his hand up to me, and I grasped it and steadied him before he fell. The entire incident happened in less than a second and we continued wading.
Later, when we came out, the little boy's father mentioned it, as he'd been watching from the edge. "That's my favorite part about being a father," he told me.
I was confused. What could he possibly mean by that?
He explained further. "The trust they have in you," he said. "The way he instantly reached up for your help, KNOWING you'd be there and would save him from falling -- as a dad, that's just the best feeling in the world to know your child has that much confidence in you and knows you're there for him."
I pondered that one awhile.
Isn't it a perfect example of the way we ought to be, with God? That if we even start to stumble, we instantly reach up for His hand, in full confidence that He will be there ready to save us from falling? Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He instructed us to have faith like a child. If we had the same faith in Him that that little boy had in me that day, how many falls might we avoid in life?
I hope the next time I begin to stumble, and every time after that, I'll remember that day at the pool, and the lesson I learned from that little boy... and his father.