At three and half years old he is capable of entering the security code on my iPad so that he can play one of his games. He knows his numbers from one to ten and is able to identify most of the letters of the alphabet. And just recently he has learned to play a pretty good game of catch.
So why is it that my son can’t wrap a blanket around his body by himself?
I can’t count how many times my son has asked either my wife or I to tuck him in. The first three hundred times he asked, I thought to myself, “when will he learn to tuck his own self in?” I mean usually we’re just talking about a foot sticking out here or a toe sticking out there.
Then it hit me last week that maybe it is not the physical act of tucking in that’s significant. Maybe it’s what tucking in represents that matters to kids.
It helps them to feel good.
It helps them to feel safe.
More than anything, it helps them to feel loved.
Tucking a child in only requires an extra moment or two. But that extra moment or two may be the difference between a fantastic dream or a frightening nightmare.
As I reflect more on how much it means to my son to be tucked in I can’t help but think that tucking in may be a metaphor that extends beyond blankets and children. Maybe tucking in can apply to those moments in our lives when we can provide something for someone that they may not be ready to provide for themselves.
We’ve all had someone provide these moments of comfort and reassurance to us and we remember how good it felt to know that we were not alone. It’s possible that we would have been fine on our own, but it’s certain that we were better for someone stepping up and helping to tuck us in.
So starting tomorrow look for ways that you can tuck others in.