I seem to remember in some anthropology class long, long ago (in a galaxy far far away from my children) the professor talking about differences between men and women and the ways in which those differences assisted early man. For example, women's eyes are more attuned to fine details, making us excellent berry-pickers. Let the men go out and hunt, and leave the details to us. This little differnce can be infuriating at times. I notice the dust in the house and the small trashs can that need emptying eons before Aaron. My mom always says, "Men see outside the nest, and women see inside." She is so right! He wants to care for the yard, cars, general upkeep of the house. Meanwhile, I am gazing at the unswept floors and dirty bathrooms.
Only recently did I realize just how narrow my focus had become...
Last week the kids and I went to the zoo with several extended family members. (I have learned my limits, and taking my 3 to the zoo alone is too daunting a task at this stage of the game!)
We were sitting on the benches in the splash park area, watching the kids happily run (or crawl, as the case may be) in circles. I had my eyes on Jack, Mom watched Parker, and Grandpa watched Maddie. All bases were covered.
"I love the ice on the buildings," mom mused.
I squinted. What? It was 90+ degrees. What was she talking about? Then I followed her gaze and noticed fake ice hangning from the roofs of the nearby building facades.
"I never noticed that," I mumbled to myself. I blinked hard and looked around. The kids were playing near some sort of pretend ship. That much I knew. I had never (in any of our many, many visits) noticed the details of this area. It was an arctic ship. Jack was splashing near some creature. If someone had asked me prior to this visit, I would have said it was perhaps a seal. No, it was a giant, white polar bear! I was literally shocked at the number of adorable (and obvious) details that had previously escaped my attention.
At first I thought, What is wrong with me?? Why had I not noticed and enjoyed this wonderful place before? Why had I had such tunnel vision? I assured myself that it was because I had to look after my children closely. It was too dangerous to let my eyes wander and take it all in.
In some ways, that was true. It was important to keep a close watch on the kids. But in other ways, it was a cop out. I'm wasn't seeing the forest for the trees. I began to wonder about other things I might be missing...
When we got home that day, I prayed that God would change my perspective and open my eyes to the bigger picture. I prayed my tunnel vision would diminish and that I could soak in all the beauty and wonders I had been missing.
Then I walked down into our basement. *Sigh.* Utter chaos. Toys strewn everywhere. Why can't these kids get out one toy at time? I wondered grumpily. I began to sweep aside a pile of Lincoln Logs with my foot, when I stopped.
What was that? I looked closer. A super-hero mansion had almost been destroyed by my carelessness. Each character had his/her own room. Clearly, Parker (and possibly Maddie) had taken a great deal of time and effort to make this mini-masterpiece. I was so glad I saw it! For once, my tunnel vision paid off.
I immediately altered my prayer: Lord, please improve my vision. Help me to expand my focus when it is too narrow and to zero in on the imortant stuff [like a super-hero Lincoln Log castle]. Amen.