My daughter wore pants last week. This doesn't seem like a shocking statement unless you know that Zoe only wore dresses every day for five years, nine months, and 19 days. No, we're not fundamentalists. Zoe is my only daughter. I had four sons before Zoe, so when we found out we were having a girl, I couldn't wait to buy her frilly little dresses.
The day she was born, we dressed her up immediately. And before the day ended, we changed her outfit, just for fun.
And every day afterward, she wore new dresses with new bows, while we were still in the hospital. All the nurses thought we were a little extra.
Zoe doesn't own any pants. I never bought them for her. We only bought dresses, so she only wore dresses. I knew I couldn't keep it up forever. I was sure that one day, Zoe would stamp her little foot and insist that she didn't want to wear dresses anymore. And I promised that when that day came, I would let her wear pants, but until that day, she was my little fashion plate. Now, I can't honestly say that she never wore pants, because there was one April Fool's Day when she wore jeans for about twenty minutes:
And so for five years, Zoe wore dresses. I kept waiting for her to demand pants, and she never did. But over the past few months, Zoe started telling me that she didn't want to wear a skirt over her leggings anymore. And I realized that since all I'd given her were dresses, she didn't even know how to ask for pants. The closest she got was wanting to wear leggings or tights without a skirt. Reading between the lines of the things she had been saying, I asked Zoe a few days ago, "Do you want to wear pants?" Her eyes lit up. "Yes!" I told her that I would buy her a few pairs of pants, and she was so excited!
When she wore pants to school for the first time, she enthusiastically slapped the side of her leg and shouted, "Look, pockets!" Her excitement has not waned since. She continues to feel like the coolest of the cool kids every time she wears pants.
And it has me thinking, "How often do I not even know how to ask God for the things I want?" Am I asking to wear leggings because I don't know what pants are? I suspect this is the case most of the time. God knows what I want, but He also knows what I should want. God is well aware that there are a handful of things in my life that I will appreciate much better if He waits to offer them to me. I don't see a lot of little girls reveling in the freedom and joy of a pair of pants, but Zoe does. Whenever I'm lamenting that God is taking too long in my life, I'm going to try to imagine Zoe, delighting in pants, and wait a little longer, with a little more patience, trusting that my good Father knows what I need. He will wait to give me the gifts He has for me until they can be given and received in the best way.
Amy Noel Green is a Ted Speaker, author, and video game designer. She received international press attention for her work on the video game "That Dragon, Cancer." The video game tells the story of her son Joel who died from cancer at the age of five.
She is the author of the upcoming book, "Dear God, How Could You?" (When Joel died of cancer after years of miracles, Amy questioned God. She shouted her betrayed, angry questions at the God she no longer understood. She buried many miracles with Joel. She buried her relationship with God too, but God’s love for her refused to stay in the grave.) Subscribe for updates on the bottom of her about page, to be notified when her book is published.