You’ve heard the line before: “Kids say the darndest things.” My daughter Lyla proves this true, every other minute of every day. Last night we gave her half of a Tums tablet for an upset stomach.
Thomas: “Does the tums taste like a smoothie to you?”
Lyla: “No, it tastes like a coyote drinking orange juice mixed with s’mores juice!”
??? Okay, then! I guess that’s good?!
The kid never stops talking. I mean, I could write down hilarious stuff all day long, but it comes so fast one after another that I can’t keep up!
She is the best at changing the lyrics of songs. Keith and Kristyn Getty have a beautiful song that says, “Do not be afraid.” The song calms Lyla, but for some reason she decided to change it to: “Do not be a panda bear. Do not be a PANDA BEAR!!!” And that’s the way we sing it now.
In June we first noticed her right eye turning in like a lazy eye. We knew it needed to be checked out, but it had to wait until after the big move. She has always tripped over things, and recently we’ve noticed her holding objects close to her face and looking down her nose at stuff.
Lyla LOVES to go to the doctor. It’s pretty much her favorite pastime besides talking. But this eye appointment was a tough one for her. They used all kinds of machines on her to test her vision, she couldn’t understand the point of looking in the mirror to identify objects, and then they gave her the burning eye drops to dilate her lovely blue eyes. To top it off, she was devastated that she couldn’t take home the sparkly pink glasses that she had picked out. She cried the whole way home and talked about those eye drops for days.
But after the ten day wait, her lovely new accessory arrived! And Lyla was thrilled. She said it made everything look clear. Hooray! Now she loves to tell people, “I couldn’t see very well so I needed glasses.” She’s a very confident little three year old, and I hope that glasses don’t change that for her. So far she is very proud of them. When do kids start picking on other kids based on appearance? I know she doesn’t look at children that way. “All the world is good and agreeable in your eyes,” said Elizabeth Bennett to Jane.
Don’t you wish you could see the world through the rose colored lenses of a child? When I got in the car the other day after getting doused in gasoline, Lyla sweetly encouraged me. She has the beautiful heart of a natural born cheerleader. She loves to encourage. What a blessing to this mama who tends to dwell on bad things! I think God knew what he was doing when he gave her to me.
When I was a kid, people called me Smiley because I never stopped grinning. I knew of no reason why I shouldn’t! As I grew older, life kept knocking that smile off of me, and I had to fight to get it back every time. So many new emotions and experiences clouded my face- grief, anger, bitterness, rejection, loneliness, loss, physical struggle. Today I’ve been asking myself, “Did I LET life knock me down? Did it require a conscious effort to get back up that I failed to do properly?” I don’t really have the answers, but I think being aware of how I’ve handled situations in the past will be helpful for the future. As much as I want to shelter my daughter from the storms of life, it’s inevitable that some will reach her too.
Lyla often talks about Seattle and how much she misses it. At first I tried to tell her not to be sad and described how awesome the new place was. But then I realized that she needed to grieve the loss of the home where she made her first strong childhood memories. She had friends at preschool, and she loved her teacher. So I told her that I was a little sad too, and what I would miss most about Seattle was the bald eagles. Now when she thinks about Seattle she thinks about how leaving affected me too, and the sweet little cheerleader says, “I’m sorry you miss the bald eagles, Mommy. But it’s really nice here at our new house in Dayton!” Her face changes from sad condolences to cheery hopefulness all in a moment. It’s adorable.
Maybe that’s the key- thinking about others instead of just ourselves. She thinks of the sadness of moving, directs her gaze off of herself and onto me, and tries to make me smile. She tries to help me through it. And she no longer thinks of her sadness. Like I said, what a little blessing she is to me. Thank you Jesus, for this sweet angel. It is beautiful to see the world through her eyes, and you know, the rosy glow is starting to rub off on me!
“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.”