“How did you get out of your bed?!?”
Of course, the 13-year-old had to have gotten the 2-year-old out of his baby bed. The toddler could not have done it himself.
The teenager denied any wrongdoing.
Mom and dad, who had fostered the baby boy since shortly after he was born, again turned their attention to him. “Show us how you got out of your bed.”
The next week, they were in their room, looked up, and there he was again. They were determined to find out how this boy was getting out of a baby bed.
“Come, show me how you got out of your bed,” dad said, taking the baby back to his room and placing him in his baby bed. This time, he was ready to share his boundary-defeating secret.
“First, I do like this. Then I put my hand like this. Then I do my leg like this,” he demonstrated as his foster parents watched in amazement.
Hanging by his limbs from the side of the baby bed, he showed them the final move he’d discovered to the freedom his bed was supposed to prevent him from accessing. “And then, I fall.” He let go and hit the ground. Ta da! He was free to move about as he pleased.
As I listened and laughed with my friend as she recounted her experience, I began to share with her the spiritual lesson I saw, and that brought me to tears. “This baby is preaching a message, and he has no idea,” I said.
As we talked, she shared more. He had started throwing tantrums at bedtime because he wanted to stay up, so about a week prior to him sharing his secret with his foster parents, my friend, his foster mother, had placed the screaming toddler in his bed and exited the room. A moment or so later, she heard a loud BAM, and the baby was screaming like he’d been stabbed. He hadn’t been. What he had done was hit his head on the side of the baby bed, after finding a way to angrily flip himself out of it. She ran into the room, scooped him up, and comforted him.
“What,” I asked her. “You mean he had banged his head on the side of the bed, and that did not deter him from trying to escape the baby bed on his own?”
It had not. I told you, this baby was preaching!
Here is what he was saying (though he had no idea): “When you begin to understand that boundaries – even those originally intended for your good – have become places of confining limitation, take action, and free yourself!” He was saying, “Forget about the pain and bruises of the past. Learn from them, and do not let them stop you. They were meant to help you find a better way, not to keep you from achieving, not to bind you up with fear.” He was saying, “Family, friends, and others who know me, you have no idea what I can do now. You underestimate me because you do not understand the potential in me.” He was saying, “Be willing to fall because sometimes that is exactly what has to happen in order for you to be free. How long can you hang around with your rear end pointed to the sky, legs hanging over the edge of your baby bed, hanging on until your knuckles turn several shades lighter than you are? Let go. There’s a whole, big house for you to explore - when you fall!”
Check back next week for the rest of this story and life lesson!