Can you come out and play?…

Ivy prepared to cross the street by herself. She paused to check for cars. Seeing one over a block away, she waited. The car was so far away I urged her to go on across (the car turned on a side street before ever coming to our house). She ran to the other side and followed the sidewalk around to the driveway – rather than across the grass as I would have done. She arrived at the neighbor’s door and stood there. She stood staring before turning and calling out that she was scared. I encouraged her to just ring the doorbell, she had nothing to fear.

The button was hidden between two bricks, so she again called across the street. I walked over and showed her the button. I walked back across the street – she was doing this by herself! – and finally she rang the bell. Then waited.

And we waited too. Watching as Ivy began a new stage in life – her own and ours as parents. Another level of independence and relationship.

In that moment I recalled the thousands of times I rang my friend’s door and asked, “Can Devin come out to play?” (Or whatever friend I was seeking that day.) It was a centerpiece of my existence as a kid. Play began when I overcame any hesitation and sought it out…

Of course today I do not ask if so-and-so can come out and play. Gracious, I rarely ask anyone to do anything. I guess I am more like Ivy than I care to admit. A little scared to push the doorbell and ask… but maybe today I will.

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