• Andrea Harris

Little bison, raising you is setting me free.



Our Cadence girl is the definition of wild and free. A barefoot blondie that believes in goodness and all things adventure (with some turned misadventures). She believes in climbing up the tallest tree, hiking through poison ivy in rain boots, and dancing in the rain. She is full of color and light, but also slime, paint, and leeches. Wait, what? Yes. Quick story— This summer, she decided it was a fabulous idea to play in lake mud with a friend. She basically bathed in the mud, not knowing baby leeches had just hatched. Needless to say, I had to use my fingernails to pry these tiny creatures off of her that were already right at work. Good news is, we were successful and she came out unscathed. Even better news, for me at least, I may have passed this test. I did not get upset or fling my arms in the air saying something like, “Cadence! Are you serious?” Or, “What were you thinking?” Instead, unruffled, I laughed and got right to work in freeing our Cadence from these blood-sucking creatures.

Truthfully, I don’t always laugh when things like this happen. It’s not always fun and games when there are paint splatters on my floors and mud all over her new shoes. With wild and free, comes lots of cleaning up. And although I am not there yet, I am learning to let go. Through her, the Lord is showing me to go to that place. That it’s okay to get messy. That it’s okay to have fun with dishes in the sink and laundry piled up. I mean, do I want the thing that she remembers when she grows up to be, “Guys, my mom was amazing! Even with dogs and children running around, she did a really good job at keeping our floors clean and our cabinets tidy.” Hold on while I gag. I hope there would be so much more to say. Hopefully fun memories and magical unplanned days that could wash out the “tidiness” of everyday life.

If I’m being honest, sometimes I wish I was more like her. I find myself going into her room and reorganizing her thousand unfinished canvases and “fixing” things the way I think it should look or be. Weirdly enough, I enjoy staring at organized closets, labeled items, and color coordinated paper bins. That’s how my brain works, but I have come to realize that it does not necessarily mean that’s how hers works. Recently, I have started taking a couple of steps back to ask her what she thinks. I do not ever want to change who she is. We need more free birds like her in this world that soar without reservation. The creatives that fill this follow-the-leader society with colorful pictures of Him. These are the ones that help people like me feel the earth beneath our feet as we explore the magical world these friends live in. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I may keep my shoes on but I will definitely go exploring with her.

About a year ago, a dear friend of ours had a vision of Cadence running in the yard as a young bison runs in a field. At first, I made the connection that as a bison, a wild animal, she too is wild and free. But then I looked it up and was amazed by what I found out about bison. I don’t want to mess it up, so I will have to quote it- “As bison forage, they aerate the soil with their hooves, which aids in plant growth, and disperse native seeds, helping to maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem.” Quote found on Defenders of Wildlife. The comparison blew me out of the water. I see her aerating the soil with her bare feet, causing more wildlife to come alive. I am learning to let go and let her be the full version of herself. And as I let her feel the soil and earth beneath her feet the way I was never free enough, or brave enough to do all these years, it is slowly setting me free.



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