Tender moments are so easy to brush aside or casually acknowledge. Somehow, thankfully, I was aware today. Or, maybe I should say, I wasn't going 100 mph, so the lesson had a chance to sink in. Simple, simple everyday things...
Annie is often my daily partner in most things. Today, it was laundry. Clothes in, detergent in, fabric softener ready, and go. The washer filled and started agitating. Annie caught glimpse of her jeans. By then I'd walked away, but she was still watching. Suddenly, I heard this cry of complete desperation. What could possibly have happened in just a few short seconds? She ran to me, grabbed my finger and yanked me to the washer. I had to lift her up for her to show me...her jeans, being thoroughly agaitated and sucked down into the soapy depths! She was bawling, desperately, "Myyy ppppaaaannnnttttsss..." After moments of charade-like behavior, I finally understood that she was deathly worried for the safety of her pants! She thought they were hurting from the agitation and the soap. Poor, sweet Annie. Many "loves" and soothing words later, I sent her on her way, happily, to find her brothers. Then it hit me:
Our kids are so tender, their feelings so delicate and, well, completely innocent. I was struck by the weight of my responsibility as an adult and a parent to protect that innocence, and not just in my own little ones. After our little drama, I was reminded of something I'd read in a church magazine by Jeffrey R. Holland (so true, so true):
We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don't say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child's view of himself or herself. But it is even more important in shaping that child's faith in us and their faith in God. Be constructive in your comments to a child--always.
Admittedly, I'm not always a perfect example to follow. None of us is, I'm sure. But I am certainly aware and accountable...and trying. What would I do without those subtle reminders of the things that matter most?