A Scrap of Paper

Plum asked me if golden is really a color, a question of high importance given this is number two on his favorite hues list. “Of course, sweetie, ” I replied while finishing up dishes. “But why don’t we have any golden in our house then?” I didn’t want to remind him that he had squirreled away in his treasure boxes under his bed all things golden, but instead explained that I prefer silver. This was shocking, who could do such a thing? Thus began my full explanation of my gold allergy, more shocking still. Grandpa had to be brought in for confirmation, still he didn’t believe. Much back and forth revealed the confusion, who could be allergic to a color? Still he decided it was pretty weird to be allergic to golden. Sighing, I shared that the list of weird things about gran is pretty long. “Nah, just a scrap of paper, gran.”

To be seen so honestly and still accepted, that is mercy. What a disappointment that his second favorite color makes me itch, that I avoid it at all costs. Could have been a deal breaker. He could have determined he need only try harder to convince me of the virtues of golden, convince me that itching was worth the joy of golden. Instead, he sadly allowed that I was weird but still ok. Mercy from a 5 year old is pretty great stuff. He knows I’m not perfect, still a scrap of paper worth of issues, but he loves me still.  Is it any wonder Jesus said to bring the children to Him? They are just smarter, kinder, hearts more accepting.

What if we all saw only the scraps of weirdness in each other, ignored the long list of offenses? What if mercy was our response rather than deep divide over such critical issues as color? What if we stopped trying to convince each other that our choice is better and let everyone decorate their homes as they chose? If we have some extra silver or golden, we could even share it. No pressure. It is easy to say a 5 year old hasn’t lived life enough to understand all the nuances but maybe adults spend too much time on those. I think kids get it. They talk it out, resolve it and move on to play cars and dolls and dolls in cars. They include until we teach them not to.

The list of my offenses is long except God and my grandson have already looked past those onto who I am today. I do the same for him. The fit he threw a couple of days ago is gone with our fresh start. We give those in our home. Each day, a new start. Sometimes we have to restart a couple of times, because we are worth it. We are all a little weird but just a scrap of paper weird. Nobody is keeping score around here, especially my Plum. I stopped my dishes, gave him a big hug, reminded him that he is my favorite. “I know gran, you tell me all the time.” What I did’t tell him is that he brings God closer to me every day, that he is my gold and I will never be allergic to him.

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