How do we develop a taste for good things? Is it an acquired taste, cultivated by careful nurture? Or are some of us just born with a hunger for life that drives us through every transition, challenge and heartache with the promise of good news on the other side?
I ask my 3-year-old, “What are your favorite things?” I see wheels turning, and finally she says, “I don’t know.” (Translation:”I do know, but I don’t quite have the words in my 3-year-old sense of self…”) So I start instead.
“Well,” I say, “Daddy is one of my favorite things. And you and baby brother. And books, and coffee. And going on vacation. And playing outside.”
“And wine!” she pipes up. “You like wine!”
Ah, she gets it now. (mother of the year, folks. right here.) “Yes,” I say. “I do like wine. So NOW, what are your favorite things?”
“Cartoons,” she says, beginning her own litany. “Playing dress-up. Looking out the window and thinking about stuff (me too! i interject here). Church. Worship and Wonder. Riding on Polar Bear (translation: on Daddy’s back). Going to Auntie O’s Zoo. Pancakes. Parties.”And her list goes on. I’m not gonna lie, it made my pastor/mother’s heart happy that church made the top 5!
But it made me even happier that she had a list at all. She didn’t have to think twice about what brings her joy, what gives her life, and where she feels safe and loved. She has a taste for good things, alright. In fact, her tiny palate seems pretty refined to me. Did we teach her that?? I’d like to think so. Then again, maybe we are just born with a rhythm of grace, a hunger for good stuff, and a simple, joyful song in our hearts. Maybe all we need is for someone, on occasion, to sing it with us, and point us toward the good life that is ours to claim.
Photo by Ashley Lauff, Ashley Kate Photography