“Puppy big poopoo!”, she exclaims as she pulls the changing pad out of the diaper bag and spreads it out on the floor. Instead of getting after her for getting out more of my stuff, I settle in to watch her walk in my footsteps. She spreads it out, lays out her puppy, and proceeds to work on his diaper. Yes, this stuffed puppy wears diapers quite often. 🙂 Daily observation of me caring for the baby has taught her how to care for her own puppy.
“Beebee on-y (lonely)! Where mama? Where Abby?”, she cries as her ears are quick to pick up his cries. Clearly this is a reflection of our multiple conversations that happen when I’m trying to convince her to hurry so we can go get the crying baby. Other reflections are not as happy sounding as she often gives speeches to the puppy on the need to be quiet. 🙂
Little phrases and actions bear witness that our comments and actions are not done in secret nor easily forgotten. Instead our lives are studied by those around us, most especially our little ones, as they seek to make sense of the world around them, and to learn how to respond to situations.
I remember one mealtime where my daughter freaked out as my husband made a spider with his hand, and “walked” it over to her. She was super freaked out, and upset…….until I taught her that spiders can be smashed. Then it became a game between her and dad. Because mom was not afraid of it and gave her the tools to handle her own fear, my little one could participate in the fun.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ”.
Who do I imitate? What example am I laying out before her? While her worldview as an adult is her own choice, it is impacted by what she sees in us growing up. More than once, I have told others that children have definitely increased my prayer life. From pleas for help as everyone is crying (even the dog), to desperate prayers for them to sleep through the night, to prayers for them to meet developmental milestones or heart changes.
From the small things of the food she eats to heavy weight areas of the heart, her choices are strongly affected by what she sees I value. She didn’t start eating oatmeal or scrambled eggs until she saw mom had them, and suddenly they were “cool”. She prays for the sirens she hears as we’ve taught her that they mean people need help. She thinks coffee is good to drink, as she sees her dad often drink it. Values, whether intentionally taught or not, are constantly being passed down.
Lord, please me to paint a true picture of you before her eyes. As these “little mirrors” of my words and actions live life with me, may I mirror you to them.