Bringing the two clovers like trophies, I thought he would celebrate how wonderful, how amazing I am. It is difficult to impress him these days, this child who prefers back-flipping on the trampoline and concocting ever more intricate battles with powers that always overcome mine. Impressing a 6 year old who is racing into boyhood and has little time to notice nature with me or wonder about the relationship between vinegar and baking soda is quickly becoming beyond my reach. Thus the two 4-leaf clovers I spotted on the way down the hill, a particular gift of mine, this finding of luck in the midst of grass, surely I thought, surely, this will bring wonderment back onto his face. With no shame I admit I wanted him to for even just that moment between bounces and flips to think I had done something special.
He stopped long enough to look at one, rejected them at first and then took only one as if we were going to battle the clovers, my God why does everything have to be your guy against my guy these days? He asked if they really bring good luck. Hedging a bit, still holding out hope for my superior ranking in his eyes, I blathered on about how lucky it is to find them and that we will watch to see how our day goes. Never satisfied with my first answer, with my blathering, he asked how can they bring good luck, what about God? My instinct to grab my special clover back, push him on his smart little bottom for a “playful” bounce and retreat back onto the porch must have come from just too many skirmishes where I lose to his higher powered bot. Really, he wanted to bring God into my moment of cool? Mic dropped by a 6 year old.
His clover was tossed to the edge of the trampoline, the leaves curling drying in the sun. He already knew that our specialness doesn’t come from how many leaves we have or how high we can jump or really which powers we create in the battle. It all always comes back to God. I brought him a gift to show him how important I still was, looking for affirmation that I fit into his expanding world, he gave it to me, as unexpectedly and lasting as only a child who carries his faith more firmly than the treasured rocks that always fill his pockets or the blanket he clutches as he drifts off to sleep. My worth is not bound in my ability to spot what is unique in a clover pile, if I never find another 4 leafer, if I never find a means to impress this child with Pinterest science experiments, the work is already complete. How is it that I cannot remember this but go looking for luck in the grass?
Later as he curled up under blankets next to me, indulging in screen time racing monster trucks and whooping with each bashing and crashing, he took a moment away just long enough to announce, “Gran, you are so nice.” I hadn’t brought him anything, I wasn’t doing anything. Nice wasn’t the descriptor I had been aiming for but when I received this gift, I knew I had my trophy. My moment in the sun had arrived, empty-handed and offering only me, this child took notice and affirmed that I was enough. Not flashy or carrying extras to make me stand out, I was just enough right there on the couch with him.I want to share the messages of God to this child, instead he more often speaks them to me: “Stop trying so hard, I already see you. ”
In the end, my day was lucky, the kind of luck that comes when your faith is firmly rooted in the One who made the clovers and the One who whispers in the voice of little boys. One day those reminders that I am enough may sink in so deeply that I will stop striving for affirmation or trophies or winning with extra powers. Until that day, I am lucky enough to have this child around to remind me. “Yes, Plum, God made the clovers. Our blessings come from Him. Isn’t that nice?”