This morning as we drove around doing errands, one of the kids missed a sign that a couple of us were talking about. It was a large sign with bright orange spray paint. Hard to miss. In response to the confusion of “What sign?” a brother offered this, “Captain Observant! Captain Observant! Do you see the dark bird against the white sky? Oh, Where? Where? I have missed that bird.” Our family has learned to do hyperbole well.
We got to laughing which reminded one of the kids of a comment a small group leader made when a group of kids dropped something and made a minor mess. He screeched out in his best mother’s voice, “See! This is why we can’t have nice things!” I bet we’ve all heard that for real but I admired this leader and his way of keeping a moment light.
Which brings me to that quote from Emily Dickinson, a poet whose words make me stop and think. My kids and their words make me stop and think a lot, too. Over the last week I’ve heard many things said and each comment has had its emotional partner but there are some notable moments I keep thinking of.
Think dreamiest face and glazed eyes when you read this: “When I am dancing, I feel as though I am flying and I wish I could do it every day”. Sigh with me now. (We had to fan her face and revive her after this proclamation!)
At dinner, while remembering his accomplishments during a manly wrestling match the night before with his dad, “Dad got a wedgie last night and I gave it to him!” Snickering/snorts followed before dad defused the claim with, “Yeah…you touched my underwear. That’s all.”
Then while doing literature study in the kitchen, a deep admission was made. “Reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory makes me ‘hungry’.” Large, innocent eyes were cast across the counter before this question, “What would happen if there was a book called ‘Bill and the Burrito Shop’?”
My favorite conversational moment was this one. It’s the kind of conversation that brings a parent’s focus into alignment and settles hope in the midst of every day chaos. From a child caught in a poor habit and found out was this bit of learning that will hopefully keep for a lifetime: “It’s easy to lie to other people when you are lying to yourself”.
Words are so valuable. Words are the measure of thoughts and attitudes and the heart condition and every word spoken leaves your mind through the voice box and resides outside of you forever in someone else’s mind in some way. I love hanging out with our kids and catching the bits of thinking they toss around. Their words cause me to think and tell me how to pray. My kids are each unique in the way they converse and yet each wishes to be known and to know others and the passing of words is the way that happens.