I bend and look in his eyes. How many times do I rush by? How many times do my words rush by, ignoring the pleading look on his face to be seen? Sometimes, when he feels deeply, he will lash out with a unique indictment of my inability to be present: “You don’t even look at me, Mama!” For him, it is the coup de grace, the ultimate betrayal of mother to child. I look right past.
His words stun me. So I bend. This perspective feels new, down here on the floor. I’m either on my knees or wobbling slightly in a crouch, seeing chocolate brown eyes that won me over in an instant, five years ago outside of Nairobi, Kenya. I’m often on the floor to play or to read or to stretch under the couch for the Thomas the Train that is slightly out of his reach. But if I am honest, I am not on the floor often enough to see.
To see how little children need a voice. To see how being present to another isn’t a gift that is reserved for grown-ups. To see that if I offered that gift to the little and the least of these, this world would be richer for us all. To see him, in all his weakness and all his glory. He is ready for me to see him, if I would just look.