Some Sydney-Sized Life Lessons
In my prayers, I am daily thankful for my three daughters. And when I say a prayer of gratitude for Sydney, I often whisper a statement something like this, "Thank you for the wisdom Scout shows me. Her words, and insights, and laughter, and stories, remind me of what's really important. Thank you for using a five-year-old to get lessons through my thick skull. Because, otherwise, You know that sometimes I'm not listening very well."
Five-year-olds do indeed have a way of getting to your mind and to your heart, and putting things into perspective. Granted, the lessons sometimes involve potty stories or nose picking...but they just as soon involve love and friendship and (the one that gets me the most, because it shows me how God really does think kids are the coolest!) spiritual things.
Just last night, Sydney socked it to me three times in the span of about three hours.
I thought I'd share her wisdom (funny! meaningful!) with you all.
We are living in typical November Alabama weather (i.e., cold in the morning, up to like 70 in the day, cold again in the evening), so last night Sydney needed to wear something long-sleeved to church. She kept on the black leggings she wore to school during the day, and I pulled out some possible shirts for her to pair with them. When I showed her a black shirt (cute, stylish), she shook her head and answered, "I can't wear black and black. I might be goth." What can you say to that response? I just smiled and said, "You've got a point."
When younger kids have older, teenaged sisters, they know a lot more than you realize. When they go to school, they learn even more.
Later that evening, as we got ready for bed, Sydney asked if she could fix my hair. I was sitting on the computer and randomly flipping channels, so I was basically doing nothing of real importance. I set the computer down and answered her, "Sure you can." She then proceeded to fix my hair in piggy-tails...piggy-tails that were uneven (one up my ear, one down by my shoulder) and, how shall I say it?, unkempt. She then asked if she could do my nails. My nails were already painted, but I offered up my toenails to her, and she literally "went to town" on them and painted them a lovely bright pink.
Sometmes it's good to say "Sure you can," give in to the inner child, and receive lots of smiles and hugs in return.
In between the Goth Episode and a visit to Sydney's Style Salon, I sat down to watch "Glee," my favorite tv show of the season so far. Sydney is also a lover of the show, primarily for the music (you should hear her sing "Sweet Caroline" word for word, and also "Bust a Move," both from the Season 1 soundtrack. I'm incredibly proud of her affection for "Sweet Caroline," and have to also give myself a little mother's high-five for teaching her the joy of music by Young MC.). "Glee," though, does have some storylines that are not necessarily appropriate for a 5-year-old. I try, then, to let her hear the songs and then sidetrack her when Kurt professes his gayness or Quinn talks about being a pregnant teen Mom.
While singing some Neil Diamond together she did, however, notice the reprimand Quinn was getting from her parents, who eventually threw her out of their house because she was pregnant. She looked at me with that look in her eye, like she just didn't understand what she'd just seen. And I knew it was coming.
"Why did they tell her to leave her house?"
"Because she's going to have a baby, and she's too young to have a baby and her parents are mad about it."
"But parents should never make their daughter leave."
"You're exactly right, Sydney. They should love her no matter what."
"Yep. Because parents love you more anything...well, not more than God or Jesus or Mary [note to self: find out if Sydney is getting Catholic training in her public kindergarten]. But they love you almost that much."
Imagine too: she is saying all of this with her arms wrapped tightly around my neck; and looking into my eyes earnestly throughout the conversation.
"I love you, Mommy."
Children undertsand what love is all about. And they can teach us quite a bit (don't you think?).