When my boys were toddlers, they took a page from the Linus Van Pelt playbook and carried their favorite baby blankets everywhere they went– to the playground, to the grocery store, to church if I’d let them. I had to sneak them away to wash them. And believe me, after being traipsed through the mud of the playground and across our not-so-clean floor day in and day out, they needed the washing.
Maren, my current toddler, likes her blanket, but she doesn’t have the same attachment to hers that her brothers had to theirs. Instead, she chooses one or two (or five) toys to carry around every day. Many days, she’ll have a Dora the Explorer action figure in one fist, a Little Person in the other one, and a Belle dress big enough to fit her older sister tripping her up with every step.
A few nights ago, we went to the playground after dinner. Maren refused, in good two-year-old fashion, to set down her toys or let me take off her costume, so she had to be much more careful than usual. She made slow progress up the ladder, checking to see that she wouldn’t trip on tulle on the way up. When I asked her to hand over Dora so she could slide more easily, she grabbed her plastic idol even tighter and flung herself down the slide.
I could see that it would just be so much easier if she’d set down the darn toys, take off the stupid princess dress, and play. And suddenly, in the Texas twilight, I realized that Heavenly Father probably sees me in much the same way that I see Maren. If I could get rid of my silly hangups, I could slide more freely, climb even higher, and accomplish more than I do right now.
It’s been a little bit hard for me to recognize what my transitional objects are– those things I cling to out of familiarity, that could be holding me back. I think that my tendency to turn inward and tune out my family is one (I’d so much rather read a book to myself than read one to my kids). Do you know what yours are? How do you keep from having them limit you from reaching your potential?