Last week, I posted this for Emma's birthday and let her read it. And in the days since, I have been shocked at the changes in her. She's a good girl all the time, but she's 11, so she has her moody days and her frustrating days and some days when she just doesn't get along with anyone...just like the rest of us. But since reading that post, she has had some noticeably different days.
In that post, I listed ELEVEN things I LOVE about her...and this week she has gone out of her way to magnify those things.
On Friday night, I was feeling really crappy...dizzy, sore from walking all week long, tired, dehydrated...so I curled up in my chair and closed my eyes for a minute. When I opened them, June was standing there next to me putting a blanket over me asking if I wanted some water or some crackers. (crackers??) When she came back a minute later and asked me if I wanted her to brush my hair, I realized that she was trying to reenact our experience when she was three and I was pregnant and sick. In that blog post, I said she was the BEST helper when she was 3, and so she tried to be the BEST helper again.
Last night, we decided at 6:30pm to have dinner at the pool. Children were frantically trying to get bathing suits, towels, goggles, and swim toys together (somehow one of our diving rings ended up IN THE TREE in our front yard!), and I was left to make 6 sandwiches (all special ordered, of course...2 veggie, one with no mustard, one with no mayo, two with no tomatoes, one PB&J...ugh!) We had invited another family to meet us at the pool, so I was slightly frazzled trying to assemble our impromptu picnic quickly so we wouldn't be too far behind them. And then, all of a sudden, Emma appeared in the kitchen and volunteered to make McKay's PB&J! After she finished, she opened up cans, spread mayo, cut up cucumbers, and wrote everyone's names on their sandwich baggies. She was helpful x100!!! It would have taken me twice as long to get everything together had she not jumped in the way she did. In my post, I said she was "ALWAYS my sous chef" so she just stepped right up to be my sous chef on Saturday.
I realized after those two experiences, and many more subtle ones with Emma this week, that she is trying to BE all those things that I said she was in that blog post.
"We BECOME what we want to BE by consistently BEING what we want to BECOME each day." Richard G. Scott The Transforming Power of Faith and Character
Isn't it amazing how looking at ourselves through the eyes of someone else can sometimes lift us to be better than we thought we were? I have had that experience before. There have been people in my life who I love and respect and admire, and who are totally out of my league, but who saw things in me that I didn't ever see in myself. And because they saw those things, it made me want to BE what they saw.
I think about those people all the time...the ones who see things far beyond what we think we're capable of...the ones who drive us to be better than we ever would be on our own...the ones who continue to elevate us even when they're not standing in front of us...
It's amazing what a few encouraging conversations (or a blog post) can do to motivate a person to look past what they've always done, and try to do something better.
I am eternally grateful to the people who have done that for me, and I'm grateful to have just realized that I have the power to do that in my own home.