When I pick Charli up from school in the afternoons, as soon as she gets her seat belt buckled, I get a recap of her entire day. I love that my child is an open book with me and the 15 minute drive back to work is filled with tales of the latest antics from the fourth grade. Do you ever have those moments where you are incredibly proud of your child? I don't mean for their academics, or for scoring the winning goal. I mean just proud of the person they are at their core? I had picked Charli up one day last week and she shared a story with me that blessed my soul, made me a little sad, but incredibly proud of my girl at the same time.
It seems that fourth grade girls like to laugh at other fourth grade girls for no reason other than if you are a girl in the fourth grade, sometimes this is what you do. Well one of the girls had done something or other that the other girls apparently thought was "weird." I have recently learned there is nothing worse when you are in the fourth grade, than having other fourth graders think you are weird. The other girls were laughing at another girl and this is what Charli had to say about it..."Mom, I don't think so and so, and such and such are my friends." I asked her why she thought that. She said "Well they were laughing at Eloise (just for the record there is no fourth grader named Eloise) but I didn't laugh with them because she is my friend. I didn't want to laugh at her and it's not nice to laugh at other people. Even though I want to be friends with these other girls, I wasn't going to laugh at my friend and leave her behind just to be friends with the other girls. It's rude and it's mean." I told Charli that I was incredibly proud of her and I asked her how she ever get to be such a kind and genuine person. She replied... "Well, I guess I must have gotten it from you."
Okay...let me start by saying I didn't offer her money and I was pretty shocked. She didn't ask for anything so I am assuming she wasn't trying to suck up. I often am a ball of chaos in a mad dash to get things done. I am certain there are several days a week I look like the Tasmanian devil on speed. I move at a constant pace and I am always saying rather loudly in an authoritative tone things like: Hurry Up! Get in the car! Did you brush your teeth? Let me have your planner, I need to sign it. Where is my phone? Why are you STILL not in the car?! I am absolutely the Momzilla to her Tweenzilla most days. I often wonder if all those little chats we have mean anything to her. Does a word I say ever sink in? When we talk about what it means to be a friend, drinking, smoking, making good choices, discussing what bad choices are, sticking up for yourself, believing in yourself, why you shouldn't be a snob, how to be true to who you are...does she ever hear me? Well I guess she does. Last week was such a rough week and when Charli said "Well I must get it from you.", it blessed my soul in such a way that is hard to explain. I needed to hear that, I needed to feel like in all the craziness that is often life these days, I am actually doing something right. When she tells me I am the meanest mom ever, I know she thinks I am pretty wonderful. She thinks I am a good mom and at the end of the day, regardless of what anyone else thinks apparently I am doing something right.
I am always telling Charli how important it is to do things for others. It isn't about getting anything in return. It's about being kind to another human being and letting them see the Jesus that lives in you. Today Charli and I were getting ready to go into Sams and this gentleman, who according to the hat that covered his graying hair was a Vietnam Vet, was unloading his cart. He pushed the buggy up to the median but had to walk back and fourth to get to the rear of his car. Charli and I were parked next to him and I looked at Charli and I said "Come on, let's help him." Charli walked over to his cart and got the box of trash bags and carried it to the man. He smiled and said thank you. I handed Charli the oil,and the printer paper. She passed them to the man then I handed him his strawberries and mayonnaise. He thanked us several times and the smile on his face and Charli's was priceless. She never asked me why we helped him because she already knew.