Two words: Safety Scissors
That is what most impressed Angel Girl yesterday morning when she found Miss Snow. All throughout the day she kept mentioning it again and again, “I just love that Miss Snow was being smart and used safety scissors to play with the Twizzlers!” At least four times on our drive to Big D, she brought it up in our conversation – it was just too funny!
It reminds me of a time, not too terribly long ago when Angel Girl, SonShine, Uncle Shaun, and I had just watched a really intense and dramatic episode of NCIS (our favorite show of all time, although Duck Dynasty is becoming a very close second). This episode was a biggie: people being killed off, secrets being revealed, and foreshadowing being thrown all over the place. As the credits began to roll at warp speed to make way for the next NCIS episode (we also love a good TV marathon), Angel Girl said in her most thoughtfully profound voice, “I just never knew that Director Vance had an X-Box.”
At first the rest of us just looked at her, wondering if we heard her right. That only lasted a split second before Uncle Shaun (in all his INfamous charm and dry wit) replied, “Really? THAT is what you took from that episode? <pause> <pause> That’s funny ’cause I was just thinking the exact same thing…”
You’re probably sitting there saying to yourself, “Guess you had to be there!” but trust me when I tell you that it was absolutely hysterical. Her brain is off in left field, and he is making fun AND encouraging her uniquely wayward thoughts all at the same time. Meanwhile, SonShine and I are laughing so hard that our stomachs hurt!
I take the time to share that story, as well as the safety scissor story, to point out that trying to read a child’s mind is truly an exercise in futility. Trying to predict their next thought, statement, or action is useless. In other words, staying a step ahead is not-now-and-will-never-be possible!
Both my kids are pretty easy going. They are home bodies like Coach and I, so we spend a lot of time together. I honestly believe that at this point in their lives, I understand them better than anyone. I know all their tells: facial expressions that indicate certain emotions, the dreaded “Mom, you look so pretty” compliment that indicates trouble is a’coming, Angel Girl’s ramble and SonShine’s silence that both mean they need my help or support with a struggle they’re facing. Yet, as easily as I can see their wheels spinning, I still manage to find myself surprised by their perspective, and it’s usually (as They say) when I least expect it.
I love how my kids see life so differently at times. Their perspective is really untainted and refreshing. It WAS quite smart of Miss Snow to grab kid scissors instead of an adult pair which is twice her own size. And it WAS interesting to witness how Director Vance interacted with his kids after a wild a crazy day; I believe in her own way that scene stuck out for her because it illustrated a family dynamic to which she could relate. Out of the blue, random connections are one of the many gifts we gain from our children. Their insight is priceless! They point out the parts we miss, the important stuff we overlook.
I’ve overlooked so much: The deflating effect of my words when I give even constructive criticism (the cheer competition didn’t go badly, but it wasn’t great either…more about that and my difficulty with not being 100% honest later, maybe MUCH later). How my 14 year old boy will talk and share a lot if I ever for myself to quit talking, put a baseball/basketball/football/anyball in his hand, and stand around listening. My responsibility to be diligent about putting our faith in their daily lives so that my children feel it embracing them at all times. These are just a small sampling of what I saw yesterday that I have sorely neglected on a daily basis.
Luckily, two key elements are also at play here. #1) I opened my eyes to a few things, and I’m going to keep paying attention to what I saw, and #2) Miss Snow is here to help!
For Day 3 she brought a new Elf on the Shelf ornament (the first decoration on this year’s tree) and, of course, another scripture card. Today’s verse reminds us what a beautiful, life-saving gift a child can be for us all. And that is a gift, just like my two most awesome blessings, that I am NOT overlooking!