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Like a Toddler in the Sand


Living a life of hope & wholeness and sometimes writing about it. 


Like a Toddler in the Sand

Elizabeth Moore

This little boy had the blondest hair I’ve ever seen--the kind of white blond that can only exist on a 1 or 2 year old--clearly his little scalp’s first round of hair.

He stood on the warm sand doing that toddler dance thing, knees bouncing up and down with a huge grin on his face. His wide eyes were enthralled by everything new, or at least new to him. His face lit up when he felt the gritty sand tickle his feet. For the first time, tall people no longer obstructed his view. He could see as far as his little eyes could go. 

There was so much to see through his eyes. So much to explore.

His grandfather stood a few feet away, close enough to insure his grandson's safety but far enough to give the boy a sense of independence. He knew his toddler. He knew that his little boy could stand here all day and never tire of what was around him. 

His grandfather also knew that, pretty soon, his little two-year-old would get tired and hungry. His innocent awe would soon be replaced with exhaustion and tears.   

His grandfather knew what was best for him. He knew the painful consequences of sunburn, thirst, and hunger that his toddler had never experienced before. Indeed, this little boy did not even know this kind of pain existed yet. 

But it did. And his grandfather needed to protect him from this pain until he was ready.

The grandfather called out the little boy’s name, taking a few steps closer. The boy’s head quickly turned and looked at his grandfather. His innocent smile faded as the one who brought him to this amazing place was now asking him to leave. 

The toddle reluctantly began to walk toward his grandfather, but stopped suddenly when his eye caught a sea gull hopping along the sand. His eyes and attention shifted, all thoughts of his grandfather disappearing as he became fully fixated on the beach once again. 

The focus of his eyes directed the focus of his mind. 

Once the sea gull flew away, the boy's eyes returned to his grandfather's. He just stood there and stared, as if deciding whether to trust and follow or stay and explore. 

The grandfather called out one last time to his toddler. He tilted his head, making his decision.  

And this time the boy ran. 

He ran exactly the way a toddler runs in the sand. Stumbling and falling over his tiny, clumsy legs.  He fell a few times only to giggle, pick himself up, and continue running. 

What made the boy suddenly decide to follow his grandfather this time? Who knows. 

But I do know where his eyes were. 

His eyes were fixed on his grandfather. He no longer gazed at his surroundings, but chose to fully lock eyes with the one who protects and provides. Eyes first, body following. 

So he ran. He ran even though he only learned to walk months ago. He ran even though he could have continued exploring the beach. He ran even though he fell down. 

And this is how I want to run—like a toddler in the sand. It doesn’t matter how graceful or skillful it is. I may stumble and fall and never really figure out my rhythm. 

But as long as my eyes are locked onto His, I can run without condemning how weak my legs are. I can run despite the many times I fall. 

When my eyes are locked on His, I can run, stumbling full speed ahead—like a toddler in the sand.