My Heart

Anything You Say or Do

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My mom lifted the lid to my old childhood sandbox, revealing a large, ugly toad, sitting right in the middle of it. My children looked on with fascination at the creature while my mom, my sister, and I screamed, jumping up and down to no end. My son, unfazed by our reaction, went to climb straight in and begin playing. I screamed again, snatching him away.

“I will catch him!” my daughter Boston exclaimed, to which I shrieked a resounding “No, no, no!” We were finally able to summon my dad to the rescue and ensure the kids being untouched by those slimy legs.

I have a fear of toads, in case you were to question my extreme reactions here. I am normally a quite rational and calm being otherwise.

The following morning Boston and I were walking through the backyard and past the sandbox. “Mom, remember when that frog tried to eat us???” Um, I think my reaction was a little more extreme than even I had realized. From my screams and squeals my sweet girl concluded the thing wanted us for lunch!

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She is turning three years old tomorrow. No longer my baby girl, she is a full on little person, with deep feelings and reasonings, emotions and musings. She takes in everything I say and do–everything. This has become something quite sobering for me.

Every word, every action, every emotion immediately processed, whether positively or negatively. 

When I speak in an ugly tone I watch as her little face turns to pain. “That makes me sad.” she will tell me. When I compliment on how smart, how talented, how beautiful she is, I watch as this same face turns to the highest of pride.

She responds in the same phrasings as my own, even those I was unaware of: “This is diculous (ridiculous)!” This phrase is often accompanied with her yelling at traffic, “That lady!! Ugh, I am so mad at her for doing that!”

Every word, every action, every emotion immediately processed, whether positively or negatively.  

What do I want her to become? How do I want her to feel, to respond, to speak, to love? It is up to me, the role model of her life at this time. I am humbled. I am more than a little frightened.

May every word, every action, every emotion she sees from me bring only positive to her soul. Even through my mess ups, my failures, may she see a mom quick to admit her wrong, pick herself up, and go forward.

May she see a mom full of love. May it be the essence of my soul, the reason I breathe, the definition of my being.

“God is love.”  Above all, may I forever point her to the Lover of her soul.

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Happy 3rd birthday sweet girl. My joy, my passion, my tears, my laughter. My world was made complete the moment I saw your face. I love you more than words can ever express.

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55 thoughts on “Anything You Say or Do

  1. I say “that’s ridiculous” all the time! It’s my son’s go-to phrase now too, as a result. Seeing it in your blog made me laugh.
    Good things are passed along too – as I was walking away from his table at school, I heard my son say to a girl, “I heard something really interesting on NPR this morning…” 🙂
    May you come to embrace the toad.

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    1. Haha, I am glad I am not the only one throwing around this word! 🙂 The NPR quote has me dying!!! A smart man you are raising there! Embracing the toad, however, I will leave for another mom to brave. 🙂

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  2. Oh Happy Birthday to Boston 🙂

    I’ve also notice how my 3 (going on 4) year old has really started mimicking me and the things I say. I’m learning (slowly, painfully) to choose words more carefully but I confess I fall down on the job many, many times a day. It’s hard work, taming the tongue, but we keep trying!

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    1. Kirsten, going on 4 must be mimicking times 100! Your right though, it is a matter of trying each day, no matter how many times we slip up. We will probably be pros by the time they are adults themselves. I think this is why Grandmas are so sweet–many years of practice! 🙂

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  3. How absolutely true. The weight of responsibility that comes with being a mom is inspiring, but sometimes very sobering. I am amazed what my son picks up from me already, my facial expressions, attitude, and words. I appreciate your reminder to live positively and beautifully. Happy Birthday to Boston! 🙂

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  4. I get it! I’ve been a mom so long that the nastiest thing I can say is “That really stinks!” Don’t want the little ones repeating what I actually feel like saying! And you are so right. Making sure they really know how much God loves them is our most important job.

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  5. Beautiful! The toad story made me laugh! The things are gross! Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous, just like you, and I am quite sure you are teaching her all the positive things she needs to know. What a wonderful example of a beautiful heart she has in you. Happy birthday to your precious baby girl!

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    1. Oh, you are so kind!! Thank you for this–I am touched!

      I can only imagine what the fate of that frog would have been with your crew involved. . . 😉 🙂 😉

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        1. Hahaha!! At least the little one would have put my daughter’s mind at ease. “We are supposed to eat the frog, not the frog eat us.” would probably be her new conclusion. 🙂 My son would have definitely shared a taste with your guy though. 😉

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          1. Lol! That’d be a cute little scene 😃 I love that your daughter thought it was gonna eat you. That’s hilarious! I’m sure I’ve given that impression a few times with some flying, creeping, crawling critters!

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  6. Toads = warts. 🙂 This is all I think when I see them still to this day…even if it is not true. Plus, they pee on you if you pick them up. I learned that lesson when I was a kid. But hey, we are moms so we are used to getting pee’d on I suppose! You are a great role model, and the fact that you are aware how much of an impact you have on her is proof of that 😉 Happy Birthday Boston!

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  7. Oh my goodness, what a cute three-year-old! So funny–I’m glad the frog didn’t eat you. 🙂 I absolutely LOVE this post! You put into words what I’ve been thinking about all day today. I think this is my favorite I’ve read of your posts so far (and that’s saying something because I always enjoy them). 🙂

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    1. Oh, you have no idea how much it means to me to hear this!! I love how we were thinking right along the same lines too. You know what they say, great minds think alike! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Rochelle!! Fairy dust sounds just about right with my little girly girl! I just signed her up for ballet lessons and found her having a breakdown because her leotard does not come attached with a tutu. 🙂

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  8. Oh, definitely! It can be such a paralyzing thought sometimes, how our words and actions make such an impact. Happy Birthday to her, and may we all succeed in having more good than not in what we transmit. 🙂

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  9. Ohhhh, this is beautiful, and something very close to my heart right now. I have a very determined and strong four year old girl. She is also very girly and observant. I have worried about my actions and reactions at times as well, not wanting her, nor my Aspie son, to grow up modeling any of my ‘not-so-great’ behavior. I always make a point of sitting them down, looking them in the eye, and confessing that I was wrong, and asking them for forgiveness. I want them to know that even though we all make mistakes, it is right and fitting to humble yourself and ask for forgiveness.
    Wonderful post. Glad I found you.
    🙂

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    1. I believe that to admit our wrongs and ask for their forgiveness is one the greatest examples we can show them. Even as humbling as it may be for us at times. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words!

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  10. Hope she had a great birthday! It’s funny how young kids mimic our expressions, both good and bad. It can be very eye-opening. Great post.

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  11. I feel like I’m doing so well until I hear it repeated. Um what? Do I sound like that???? No way. But it is true. When it comes to that, they don’t lie! Same when it comes to food, they NEVER tell a lie! This is nasty. This is gross. Um, you liked it yesterday…? Oh girls!

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    1. Haha, it is the curse and blessing of their age I suppose: the inability to yet lie!

      You are right though, there are so many things I say which I never realized before my little parrot came around. 🙂

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