The girls and I had been home for days while men installed our new heat pump, and Clementine was definitely showing signs of boredom: unrolling toilet paper and hitting herself over the head with an empty paper-towel tube. So I decided to pull Cade out of school a few minutes early, yesterday, and take all three kids to see Gnomeo and Juliet. Cade hadn't been to the movies since summertime and was thrilled even when I said no to popcorn. Baby Charleigh was her typical, easygoing self, and Clementine got a bit squirrelly before all was said and done but behaved better at the theater than she had at home and in the minivan. (See how wet her shirt is in the photo, above? That happened in the minivan. I had given her apple juice in a spill-proof cup. So how, you ask, did her shirt get so wet? Well, Friends, that's what happens when a child sucks a bunch of juice into her mouth and spits it back out with purposeful force...just because she can!)
Now, the 3D glasses were entirely too big for Clementine, so she held them over her eyes until she dropped them a little more than halfway through the movie, after which neither Cade nor I was able to find them, again. Strangely, Clementine did not ask for Cade's or my glasses; she just shuffled up and down the aisle, looking down and muttering in her small, sad voice: "Glasses. Glasses." I slid mine over the bridge of my nose and peered over the top of the lenses in order to decide if I were willing to watch the movie without them; I decided fairly quickly, no. I know; I know: mean mom. But 3D glasses really do make all the difference when you're watching a 3D movie.
To be honest, I kind of regret not offering Clementine my glasses, now, because I got a little lost in my head--thinking about perception, vision, etc.--and didn't give the rest of the movie my full attention. I sat there in the dark and remembered God's refusal of Eliab, and His advising Samuel: "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart" (I Samuel 16:7 - KJV).
Then I remembered my beloved Mister Rogers and this, slightly different versions of which he shared, often, in interviews and speeches:
Beside my chair is a saying in French. It inspires me every day. It’s a sentence from Saint-Exupery‘s The Little Prince, and it reads, "L’essential est invisible pour les yeux." (What is essential is invisible to your eyes.) The closer we get to knowing the truth of that sentence, the closer I feel we get to wisdom.And I asked myself: how much am I missing because I don't yet have God's eyes...or at least a pair of magic glasses to wear when I leave this theater?
The babies and I went back to the Metro Richmond Zoo, today, and I happened to take in the Bengal tiger sign for what was probably the first time. It said that each tiger wears its stripes (the pattern of which is as unique as a human's fingerprints) not only on its fur but also on its skin beneath. It also said something like: tigers' ability to roar is related to the configuration of bones beneath their tongues. Sadly, I came home and learned that scientists have actually begun crediting a tiger's larynx for roaring; either way, it hits me: I am not made for roaring any more than I am made for seeing stripes worn under fur; on the back, under a shirt; or on someone's very heart.
I have so many reasons to depend upon God.