Jumping in with both feet

When one of my sons was in nursery school, the teacher came up with an original idea for a mother’s day gift. She filled several dishpans with paint and she asked the four year olds to take off their shoes and socks and then step into a dishpan so that with their paint covered feet they could make footprints on the large pieces of paper she had laid out on the ground. As she recounted the experience to me later that day, one by one the children refused to step into the dishpans. They thought they would get their feet dirty. They thought their mother would be angry. They thought the feel of paint on their feet would be yucky. They simply refused. Until she came to my son. She told me that when it came his turn, he quite literally jumped in with both feet.

Well, to tell the truth, he was always that sort of child. He never did anything halfway. When he was angry, he was angry, and when he was happy, his little face glowed. When he was being sneaky, it was as if his ears grew into little points. The child was simply fully present in his own life. There was no reserve, no holding back, and although sometimes his enthusiasm overwhelmed me, he seemed to make the most of every experience.

I thought of him as I have been watching our newest family member make his transition into the family. Two years ago, our older daughter’s husband came into the family in such a natural way, that it almost seems as if he has always been one of us. He put time and energy into getting to know our daughter’s children and establishing a close relationship with each one. He is loved and respected by all of his new extended family. Since then, five new babies have been born! It must have been daunting for our new son-in-law to suddenly be faced with 21 nieces and nephews! I can’t even imagine how he will learn all of the names. But, to my delight, he has jumped in with both feet– talking with, playing with, and spending time with the children, really getting to know them. At the wedding, many of the nieces and nephews sang a song to their “Aunt Leah” that included a welcome to “Uncle Yaakov.” All of us are happy to welcome him to the family!

(note: for those interested in seeing the family, most of us are on a picture associated with an earlier entry “The Wedding.” For more family pictures, you can go to: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=9AYs2rJi2csIc

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