Jan 20, 2011

Dermatologists discovering dinosaurs

Below is another post I put up at work on lessons from an 8-year-old.  Reposting here since some of you have not yet read it.
Lip gloss man
Sunday morning at church, a former teammate, we’ll call him "Don", was liberally applying ChapStick to his face.  He was partaking in operation Crispy Lip, aggressively lapping rings and laying greasy skid marks, similar to something you’d see at the Iowa Corn Indy 250Pigtails glanced over at “Don” and whispered, “Dad, your friend is putting on lip gloss again.”  She thereby christened him Lip Gloss Man.  He’s a good sport; they share a ring-around-the-mouth charade when they see each other.  It’s their secret handshake of sorts. 

Lesson:  Look for something unique in others that you can both smile about.  It will tighten your relationship, since laughter binds us.

Error 404:  Invalid air quotes  
Pigtails has picked up on my frequent use of air quotes in conversation.  She’s started using them often and usually in the wrong context.  She says things like: 

Dad, I’m hungry, may I have a hunk of string cheese”?

I’ve since schooled her on the subtle intricacies of when to launch these double-fingered curls.  She lands a witty punch now when using them in the proper context:  Sure, Daddy, that’s not a gray hair, it’s “blonde.”

Lesson: Little eyes and ears are continually recording.  My daughter helped me realize I need to keep my sarcasm and cynicism in check.  And air quotes are funny when used in the wrong context by tiny fingers. 

Although I’m a fairly healthy grazer and mostly limit the cholesterol squeezed through the food hole, I don’t deny the occasional Mac, fries and sugary Coke.  Pigtails polished off her BBQ-dunked nuggets and made a beeline to the greasy McPlayland for some high-bacterial-count slide action.  I noticed she was playing with a couple of younger special-needs children.  On the way home, she said, “Did you notice those nice little kids?  Some of the older kids were being mean to them.  I felt bad so I asked if they wanted to play tag.” 

Lesson:  Be kind to all, especially those who need it most. It’s easy to find faults in others.  But it takes humility and integrity to respect the dignity of everybody.

Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
Our neighbor, Mrs. Robinson, lent us a tagalong, a bicycle for kids that bolts to Dad’s bike to form a tandem.  On our initial sail, Pigtails wobbled and yelped like her seat was on fire.  She was certain we’d fall over.  I stopped, locked eyes and said, “Honey, I’ll keep both of us up.  I won’t let you fall, please trust me.”  Soon after, she was stable and stoked like a champ.  We biked the neighborhood until the sun was snuffed.  When I later asked her how she became such a good rider, she said, “I knew that you had me, so I was no longer afraid.”

Lesson:  Her simple words reminded me that I, too, need to trust in a higher power.  When I put my trust and faith in God and realize He will take care of me, worry fades and confidence strengthens.

Tyrannosauruses with acne and healthy sidewalks
One day in a smarty-pants, matter-of-fact tone, Pigtails talked excitedly about a show on Iowa Public Television where she learned about dermatologists discovering dinosaur bones.  I hope she meant paleontologists. 

And another time during an evening fall walk when the sun fell at 5 p.m. and headlights were dancing off the bare trees, she loudly announced, “I am going to walk on the sidewalk instead of the street.  It’s healthier, you know!”  I think “safer” was the word she was aiming for.  She was so proud about her high degree of “healthiness” that I just smiled and tugged on her ponytails rather than correcting her.

Lesson:  A wise proverb says children are our heritage.  Bring them up properly, and they will honor us when we are hoary headed.  Or is it they will soon bring us hoary heads?  However it reads, children are a great blessing.

1 comment:

  1. I can't stop reading, tearing up, and laughing. Your little girl is wonderful - even though I am partial to little girls, I am in awe of her daddy too.


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