Berry Eyes

One thing that makes my smile more than anything else is the ingenuous way my children use words and consider the world with fresh eyes.  They don’t talk in endless cliche or regurgitate ideas in phrases that fit like cogs in a well-formed groove.

A couple weeks ago, my three-year-old looked at me with his warm eyes wide and said with sweet deliberation, “My daddy has brown eyes. Like me.” Then he looked into my eyes for a moment and said, “Berry eyes. Like Elijah”

The newness of his forming much longer, whole phrases hit me once again. I was in awe of his sweet tenderness and increasing ability with words and I almost didn’t catch myself…

I almost offered a quick correction, “Blue eyes.” But, in the moment, I realized something important. Him calling my eyes “Berry eyes” made me laugh inside and smile deeply outside. It was a fresh, metaphoric way to think of eyes, and it was delightful coming from his sweet little imagination.

I would far rather him say “Berry eyes,” than “Blue eyes.” So, I smiled and said, “Yes, Jude! You have handsome brown eyes, like Daddy, and Elijah and I have berry eyes.”

I wonder at how often I do stifle his imagination and creativity and set him in a path of looking at the world and talking that is more like a well-worn groove than the fully creative person that he is, made in the image of an infinitely creative God.

Yesterday, I asked him what color my eyes were. He said with his clear, deliberate little “deep” (for a three-year-old) voice, “Blue.”

For many things, no one needs to teach us what is normal and common. We learn it quite easily, all on our own, as Jude did, “Blue.” I have found myself at times as an adult having to do the opposite- to retrain my imagination to come alive. May I take care to fan to flame rather than stifle the little imaginations in my care.

What are some creative things your kids have said that bring a smile to your heart? Please share in the comments below.


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