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Eyes Wide Open

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“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ~Dr. Seuss 

An incident occurred which left me hurting. I should not have let my daughter be witness, and yet at the moment I did not give it much concern. She is young, she does not understand, she is playing with her doll house and not even paying attention. . .  That is what I thought.

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” ~Dr. Seuss 

I snuck into my bedroom, exhausted, and began to cry. I saw her make her way in, a shy look across her countenance. She slowly approached, sweetly stating,

“It’s okay mom. I am still your nice friend.”

 I smiled up at her and she immediately embraced me. We sat like this for quite some time, with her now the one comforting my wounds. The tables had turned and I realized in that moment: children are not as childish as we sometimes believe.

“A person is a person no matter how small.” ~Dr. Seuss

They play with dirt and throw tantrums; they fight and hit and forever whine; they live for their own amuzement. . . .or, perhaps they do not. Perhaps they are living for someone else as well–someone a bit bigger than themselves.

Perhaps their hearts long for us just like ours long for them.

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” ~Dr. Seuss

They do not often know what to do or how to do it, but they are showing us their love each day–if only we stop to see it.

Maybe it is the offer to a bite of their smushed up sandwich or a sip out of their backwashed milk. A hug, a cuddle, a picture colored just for you. It is in asking us to play their awfully boring games. They are loving us through make believe and blocks, through dancing across the living room and asking us to watch them go down the slide for the millionth time.

They beam with our acceptance and beam to express their mutual love. A heart which beats for us–if only we open our eyes and see.

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59 thoughts on “Eyes Wide Open

  1. you always give me so much to think about. Those “awfully boring games” as you so aptly put it try my patience. I often try to get out of playing… But it’s a way she’s seeking to show love and to gain connection. It’s only for a season, so I’m going to do better to join in .

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    1. Kirsten, I too often try to get out of certain play times–trying to redirect to something I find more mind challenging. 🙂 I see the way they light up when I simply get down in the middle of their activity. They find our expressions of mutual love right there.

      Together, may we drudge through it a bit longer, trying to forever recognize the much deeper things involved. 🙂

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  2. Its good that she saw you crying, she needs to know that your human, that you have feelings and that you can express those feelings. How ells must she learn how to correctly express her feelings. Never apologies or feel bad about that! and i soooo fully agree with you we tend to not see all the many many ways our children show us how much they love and need us… haunting but beautiful post

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  3. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me for my babies to see me cry. And yet, I think that’s a kind of humbling that my children and I both need. They need to know that I’m a human, that grown-ups struggle with controlling emotions, too. I need to model healthy ways to manage feelings. But what is always so amazing to me is how much I need to be comforted by them. They are so good, so innocent, and sweet that their comfort is the most sincere I’ve ever encountered. It almost reminds me of how it feels to have your feet washed by someone else. It takes a lot to open ourselves up to that kind of gift. Thanks for sharing your heart! Praying for you today!

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    1. Yes, I never want them to see me weak. I agree though, their comfort is sweeter than anything else imaginable, soothing the deepest hurts and wounds. In many ways it brings us closer to one another as well. I love your analogy of having your feet washed–thanks for sharing this!

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  4. This was so sweet. I needed to hear this today as I felt like crying from feeling like a horrible mother (for no particular reason, just normal day to day mom guilt) and your post helped me realize how much my little girl loves me, she shows me all the time and I don’t see it enough. Thank you again for this post.

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    1. Oh, to hear this warms my heart. I am so glad I was able to bring a little encouragement your way today! Go give some extra hugs and kisses to your sweet girl: the one who thinks you are the greatest thing to breathe. 🙂

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  5. Children somehow always have a way of knowing, don’t they? I think its a beautiful trait to have empathy at that young age. Being a toddler is such a age of “me, me ME”. You’re definitely doing it right 🙂 Lots of hugs!

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    1. Aw, thanks! Yes, they can come across as the most selfish at times. Then, something like this incident happens and you realize how tender their little hearts really are.

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  6. BEAUTIFUL post, Sasha!! I love the Dr Seuss quotes. They really emphasize your words. I went through a similar experience when my brother died and my 3 year old saw me sobbing. We talk a lot about how it’s OK to be sad sometimes and it’s not his job to cheer mom up. But I sure take great comfort in his hugs and kisses!

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    1. Oh, what a terrible time for the both of you to have to experience: life can be the cruelest. I love the way you taught him these amazing truths through it though. What a great example he will forever be able to hold onto. And yes, their hugs really are incomparable. 🙂

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  7. So aptly put. So profound. Thank you so very much for writing this. I’m noticing more and more my little girl’s reciprocity, care and empathy. It’s such a beautiful gift to see such depth of character in someone only two years of age. This post so perfectly depicted how much they care despite their tantrums, forever whining. Even though their signs of care may just be by sharing their backwashed milk or smushed sandwich, they are very thoughtful, sweet little people.

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    1. It is the most precious thing in all the world to see how much they truly care. The challenge is in actually seeing it. I love how you are noticing it in your own sweet girl!!

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  8. Hi Sasha! I love how you state “children are not as childish as we sometimes believe.” I think that ALL the time! I frequently struggle with patience and find myself having adult ‘temper tantrums’. It takes a lot of introspection and constant work to be a great parent.
    I also love the Dr. Seuss quotes. What a beautiful article from a beautiful woman with a beautiful family. 🙂

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    1. Oh, thank you so much–your words really mean a lot to me!!

      Yes, I feel like my patience often seems to be lost somewhere back in aisle 5! 😉 It is a constant effort each day, or each hour for that matter, but one so very worth it.

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    1. Yes, they really do seem so in touch with our own emotions do they not? The sweetest things to ever breathe; how I wish they could just stay small forever!!

      I am much happier today–the dear hugs helped to quickly healed my wounds. 🙂

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  9. This just touched my heart because I’ve been there … hurting. And my daughter was the one who snuck into my room to comfort me. She didn’t say a word, but just laid down next to me. That was more than enough! Thank you for this beautiful post!

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    1. Oh, what a precious girl!! Thank you so much for sharing–my heart is full in hearing this. They really know just what we need it seems.

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    1. Thank you Christy!! Yes, I think it really is just that: a matter of stopping. Life is busy, but it takes a little slowing down and opening our eyes to see the great depths with which they really do care for us.

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  10. This was an emotional read, only because it is so true. My daughter has seen me cry on occasion, (especially when my son was a new born). And she would just stay close to me as if to say, “It will be okay mama, I love you.” Sometimes kids are wise beyond their years, then the next second throwing a tantrum. Haha! Beautiful post!

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    1. Oh what a sweetheart you have!! I love the way they show their comfort in such innocent, yet pure love. Then, they do not get to have a second cookie and the sweetness is just as quickly gone. 😉 🙂

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    1. Words will never fully express how beautiful they truly are. To have a mom who knows this is the greatest gift to any child. 🙂

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  11. Thanks for the reminder! I giggled when you said they love by inviting us to take a bite of the smashed sandwich! Our Children have the child like love that us adults grow cold to. I am so happy that you were able to recognize and receive her love and comfort to you. Very sweet!!!

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    1. I love your statement “love that us adults grow cold to.” How easily we overlook their simple acts of love towards us because we are in fact “cold” to this type of endearment. To us a smashed sandwich is just plain gross, but to them it is a great sacrifice to offer up such a yummy prized possession. 🙂

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  12. Sasha,
    This was absolutely beautiful. Since reading it a few days ago, I’m still thinking about it. There have been times I’ve cried in front of my little girl..and you wonder what she’s thinking. Feel like you are always shielding her from this world, but those moments, it feels like she’s shielding you. How graciously God places people (even little people) in our lives to comfort us in our weakness! Ah..I just love this one.

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    1. Oh, Rebekah, thank you so much for your encouragement!!

      Yes, the little people seem to be the ones who truly know how to bring us the love and strength we really need. My daughter is so young, I try to shelter her as much as possible. However, when a slip up occurs she seems to know just how to handle things. How I adore her!! 🙂

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  13. Wonderful thoughts. It always caught my heart the way my son would choose an acorn and flower on his daily preschool walks and stash them in his cubby for me until I picked him up. Kids really do have more empathy and compassion than people give them credit for.

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    1. Precious!! It is the acorn, the flower, the lingering hug which seems to give us the strength to keep going. They have no idea how much their simple acts of kindness truly impact our entire world!

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  14. This is all so so very true and has been on my mind lately as well. They are so much more tuned in than the world would like to give them credit for. Its amazing and inspiring. Kids are a gift straight from heaven!

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    1. Yes, they really are!! In the midst of the fighting and screaming and laughing there is a heart of deep love and tenderness–a heart which beats for us. 🙂

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  15. One of the things my now teenagers have confided in me about is how important it made them feel to be able to give me comfort. It was empowering for them, and humanized me. I hardly knew it was a gift, but boy am I glad I did not hide those moments. It will allow them the freedom to show themselves to others too, and not hide some of the most important parts of themselves when they are vulnerable.
    Cheers to you, Sasha, and a huge hug from one who’s been there.
    🙂

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    1. Thank you so very much for sharing this with me!! I love hearing your own children’s perspective in the matter. How much encouragement it brings to a mom, if not a bit hard to swallow at the time.

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  16. Absolutely love this. Our babies heal our souls. I truly never knew I needed a child in my life until the day I had my daughter. The mushed up sandwich offering brought a tear, I always accept her offerings and now I want to go home and squeeze my little girl ❤️ That was a nice read…thanks

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  17. This is a beautiful post. This sentence, “the offer to a bite of their smushed up sandwich or a sip out of their backwashed milk.” hit me hard. Most of the time I politely refuse their offers of smushed up food and mixed drinks (always mixed with the crumbs of food they are eating). Maybe next time I will take that bite and give it a sip.

    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Award. You can find more info on my blog link http://parentingmeltdowns.com/the-liebster-award-2/

    You have a great writing voice.

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    1. Even if you just pretend to take the bite, I will not blame you! 😉 You are so sweet to nominate me! I am honored Diana, truly honored!!

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  18. I absolutely love this post…your honesty…and YOU. I am so glad that you found your way to my blog today so I could be blessed so much by yours! I look forward to following your journey Sasha!

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