I had just put the baby down for his morning nap and my daughter and I had a little bit of time before she had to be at school. My daughter asked if we could have a tea party.
We went into her room and we had a pretend tea party. We then decided we needed real tea and rice cakes (her new favorite snack). As I reached into the cabinet to get the coffee mugs I saw two mugs that were packed full of memories.
When I was a little girl I spent a lot of time with my grandparents because I loved being there. We played, we rode horses, we played in hay bails, we rode in semi trucks and roamed pastures for hours.
Those memories are wonderful- but the most wonderful memories happened in the mornings. My grandma is an avid coffee drinker (must be genetic). She would sit in front of the mirror in her robe with curlers in her hair and sipped her coffee as she put on her makeup. I would sit next to her and watch her as I sipped my coffee from a cup that matched hers. They were sweet moments I cherish to this day.
As a kid we would always joke about how long it took grandma to get ready in the morning but I always admired and loved how she eased into her day. She never rushed. She took time to pamper herself and to make herself feel important. I rarely do that. I feel as though I am rushed from the moment I open my eyes to the second I close them at night.
As I sat there in my jammies and had a tea party with my little love I realized I am “missing it.” I am missing life because I am so often rushed from one thing to the next. I miss out on the things happening in front of me. Had I not taken a moment to slow down and just sit with my daughter for a tea party I would have missed a wonderful conversation with her. I would have missed out on creating moments for her and I to cherish with those same mugs my grandma and I used.
I could continue to live this rushed lifestyle of bouncing from one thing to the other and miss out on life. Or I could be like my grandma and take things slowly. I could sip my coffee rather than drink cup after cup just as quickly as I pour it.
For today I will choose to sip my coffee and embrace the day because I don’t want to spend another day “missing it.”
As a mother of a young daughter I have a huge responsibility to build her self-esteem, character and speak truth to her. I make it a daily habit to remind my beautiful little love of just how special she is.
I remind her of who she is and where that truly comes from. I spend time reminding her she is beautiful on the outside because that is important but it’s not my main focus. I want her to know who she is deep in her soul! I want to remind her of her strengths, her intelligence, her kindness, her gentleness and the love she possess. She will always be beautiful on the outside, but what is that if she has an ugly inside?
The other night my sweet little love and I were sharing some evening cuddles after our story time. She looked over at me and asked me if I liked myself and my heart. I looked her in the eyeballs and responded with, “Why of course I do honey. Do you like yourself and your heart?” She responded with ” Well yes mom I do!” Those moments and those conversations are shaping that young girls mind and thought process. I once read a blog post about how mother’s should never speak negatively about themselves because what we give out is what they perceive even when that is not our intention. I vowed in that moment to never speak a negative word about myself in front of my daughter. I believe that had I answered that question with a negative response she would have done the same. They mirror us more than we think and sometimes more than we’d like them too.
Since I remind my daughter of who she is often and make it a point to tell her all the things I love about her she is able to know that and be a strong, confident young girl. An example of that:
There is a kid in my daughters preschool class who is not very kind to her and says hurtful words. The other day at school he told her she was not very smart. I of course reminded her of the truth and then told her I was sorry that he says unkind things to her. Her response, “It’s okay mom he just doesn’t know who I am!”
She is absolutely right. He does not know who she is and the fact that she can respond in a way that most of us have been trying to figure out for years is amazing. She wouldn’t have been able to do that if she didn’t know the truth about who she. She doesn’t have to believe those things at 4 years old. She doesn’t even have to fully understand what they mean. All she has to do is know they are true and be reminded of them often because there will come a time when she will know what they mean and she will have to believe them and with enough practice and repetition she will remain a strong, confident woman.
Sitting down at dinner last night I found myself eavesdropping on a conversation happening at the bar. I felt honored and humbled to be listening to their conversation and walked away feeling inspired.
My family and I went to this hole in the wall bar and grill for dinner last night (they have delicious tacos) and sitting at the bar was an older homeless gentleman and next to him was a younger gentleman (maybe in his late 30’s or early 40’s). The younger gentleman was chatting with the older gentleman– the bartender came over to collect the younger gentleman’s bill when he stopped her mid transaction and said, “Sir are you hungry? Order something off the menu.” To which the older gentleman resisted. The younger gentleman said, “Just give him an order of warm tacos.”
I was of course intrigued by what I had heard and of course decided to listen in on their entire conversation. After the food was ordered the younger gentleman turned to the older gentleman, as the older gentleman proceeded to tell the younger one some of his story. I could hear him talking of his journey from St. Louis to Colorado.
At one point the younger gentleman looked at the older one and asked, ” So Tom what does your future look like?” The homeless man got a little agitated with the question. The younger gentleman looked at him and said, “Sir I am only asking because I care. It’s the only reason I wanted to buy you a drink and a meal. To let you know someone cares. So tell me sir, what does your future hold?”
I don’t believe the man answered him and if he did I didn’t catch the answer.
However the younger gentleman went on to share of his struggles with his teenage son. He was about to leave to go have a meeting in regards to his son and how he can get him motivated and to keep him out of trouble. The homeless man sat and listened to the younger gentleman share of his troubles. The wise older man spoke words of wisdom and asked questions.
It was beautiful. Two very different men. One young. One old. One wealthy. One poor. One with a family and a home. One alone and homeless. Yet they had something in common. They were both hungry and needed to be fed.
What a beautiful picture of simple humanity. What if we all took a moment to give of ourselves to another. The reward and the outcome might start to surprise us. Oh and what a simple world we would live in. A world free of judgment. A world free of having to take from others to satisfy our own needs. A world full of love and grace.
Oh what a world that would be.
So I challenge you to sit down next to someone different than you and feed them in the way the need fed. It might just surprise you.