So, for those of you who have not had the pleasure of living life with our Saralynn directly, let me share what a joy it is. She is this huge ball of energy that goes non-stop from the time she gets up to the time she goes down. We enjoy every second of every day, even though our patience wears thin from time to time.
I had a hearing loss as a child that thankfully could be corrected with tubes. It seemed like I heard very well for a while and then, as the tubes began to wear down (or do whatever it is that tubes do), my ability to hear well decreased, too. Mom and Dad were more than patient as I would ask them to repeat, time and time again, what I missed hearing. Mom was great to tell me to watch her lips as she would form words, or even watch her closely as she spoke- a reading of lips, if you will. I find myself doing the same to Saralynn, not because she can't hear, but that sometimes she doesn't want to hear. :) Most times, I can say "watch my mouth" and she turns to me, watching very intently as I speak to her.
Lately, our words have come back to haunt us (or at least she's learned to use them back to us). Case in point: We were all gearing up for dinner Monday night- Mom bringing dishes to the table, Garrett putting ice in glasses, Dad putting finishing touches on the food on the stove, Matthew putting silverware out, (not sure what I was doing, but I know I was busy). Saralynn says "I want juice in my cup". I heard her, but again, we were all busy. I hear it again- "I want juice in my cup". Still no response. I guess we all kept on going, thinking someone would get the poor child something to drink. After a couple of more times saying it, trying to get SOMEONE to hear her, she finally says "WATCH MY MOUTH. I want juice in my cup". Wow. All the busyness stopped. We all turned, looked at each other, looked at her, and then spontaneously erupted into laughter.
I sat and thought about that later. It was cute, yes. We laughed, yes. But, do I want her to always watch my mouth? Hmm... Many times things come out of my mouth that I don't want her repeating or knowing. Is it fair to only want her to "watch my mouth" at certain times? Yikes. Very humbling for me. It makes me think of that song "Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes What You See". Shouldn't a parent's mouth be one a child can watch and mirror? Shouldn't she feel safe mimicking me?
Jesus, please help me be the example You want me to be to my daughter. You entrusted her to me for a reason. You gave her to me and put a desire in my heart to teach her about You so that one day she will accept You and we will spend eternity together with You. Help me weed out those things in my life that don't honor You. Help me not to say things that I don't want her to repeat, or act in ways I don't want her to imitate. Help me reflect You.
(And, by the way, it worked. Saralynn got her juice).