I was putting on makeup one morning...as my bright-eyed daughter watched curiously. The "watching" didn't last long...she wanted to have some "pretties" too.
Both of my older children [5 & 2 years old] have said this phrase to me before, or some version of it: "If you want me to I can." It's usually stated as a preface to asking for something they assume the answer to will be "no", but still hold out hope it might be "yes".
Example: "Mom, I'm not sure if I can...but if you say I can then I can...but, well, mom, can we watch a movie [even though it's already an hour past bedtime and I just spent 45 minutes playing video games because I whined and begged until finally the phone rang and you said yes without realizing what you were saying yes to]...pleeeeese?"
"Mom, may I have a cookie."
"No, not before lunch."
"We----ll, if you want me to, I can."
"We----ll, I don't want you to."
"Aw, man!" [my 2 year olds latest phrase]
And this particular morning was no exception. I very rarely let her wear any makeup...I mean, she is 2!!! But every once in a while, I brush on a splash of blush, or dab a hint of "sparklies" [eye shadow] on her little eyelids. This was one of those special "just for fun" days. She asked for blush and sparklies and then inserted her next request: "Can I have some of that? [pointing to the mascara]" With no pause for an answer, she continued, "Well, if you want me to I can."
No, she did not get any mascara. But she was perfectly content with her barely visible blush and eye shadow and skipped across the room to wake her daddy up so that he could see her "pretties". [Am I corrupting her and distorting her perception of beauty already?...but that's another post.]
What struck me that morning were not so much the words themselves...but the phrase paired with her reaction to my response. Even though she had hoped I would let her wear the mascara, she wasn't disappointed when I didn't. Instead she was thankful for what I had given her and happily ran off to express her delight.
How quickly we loose our childlikeness.
When I pray, "Lord, Your will be done." How often am I then disappointed when what I had hoped for is not His will? I accept it. And I know in my mind that if it's not what He wants for me, then I really don't want it after all. Yet, still, there is that feeling of discouragement. It's easy to get lost in the absence of what we had desired and miss the beauty of the present. We forget to be thankful for what He HAS given us.
Oh, to be a 2 year old at heart and rest our lives comfortably in His hands, as we pray, "Well, if You want me to I can"!
I'm so thankful for my beautiful little girl. God uses her to teach me so much.