Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kidding Around

Jess, almost 7.

Jess: "Oma! I'm going to have a yard sale to make some money."

Oma: "What are you going to sell?"

Jess: "All our towels."

This girl has some business sense, and I'm glad.
I want my grandchildren to have everything;
then I want to move in with them.
(I'm not just kidding, either.)

Five-Year-Old Miracles
(Happy Birthday!)

These little guys have been kidding around for more years than you'd think.

Fifteen years ago the doctor said they were never going to come. A couple of years later he said they might come. Then a few years later he said they would come in June. Then they came in April. But after all that, they had to stay in the hospital, for days and days, and days. Finally they came! Read their IVF success story here.

I am a fan of kids. They are funny and honest and loving and forgiving and curious, and trusting. As they are dunked repeatedly into real-life experiences, and learn the ways of the world, they become a delightful mix of mischief and innocence.
  1. "The greatest natural resource that any country can have is its children." Danny Kaye
  2. "Children are the only future the human race has." William Saroyan
  3. "Every adult needs a child to teach; it's the way adults learn." Frank Clark
I'm also a fan of people who like kids: the ones who watch out for them in the parking lot, the folks who open the doors for a double stroller, and look at the mom of the screaming toddler with empathy and an understanding smile. I adore older couples who compliment a family in a restaurant (even after the chair tipped over and the root-beer spilled,) and the grandma who offers the restroom stall to the little boy doing a two-step in anticipation.

My kids are still embarrassed about the time twenty years ago when I marched into Pizza Hut and told off the man at the counter. He repeatedly ignored the children waiting patiently to order, while he served the adults behind them in line. I wrote a stern letter to the manager and Pizza Hut lost my business for a season, because they were rude to my kids. Store clerks and professional people who give kind attention to children, and show respect to them as they learn to be customers, win me over every time.

I fully believe that "children are a heritage of the Lord" and they deserve the very best we can offer. It doesn't take much to make them feel welcome here on earth. Smile at the next child you see, and demonstrate that the world is a friendly place. Instead of hurrying them along, take a minute to notice what's slowing them down—it might be an untied shoe, or a worm crawling along the sidewalk. Don't be irritated as they adjust to the fast pace of society. And if you're lucky enough to have kids in your life, give them each a hug and encouraging word for no reason.

Every child comes with the message that God has not given up on the world just yet.
And I'm not kidding.

Your Turn:

Please comment to fill in these gaps:

What has someone done to help you with your kids?
How has someone supported your kids?
If you don't have kids right now, what can you do to make the world a better place for children?
Parents, what do you wish others would do to support moms, dads and kids in public settings?


Polly said...

my grandson Luke has an intestinal disorder. he can't eat hardly any fats. where they live there is a pizza place where the owner makes special pizza's just for luke with hardly any cheese. this guy loves luke and luke loves him. when we were there and trying to decide where to go for dinner luke wanted to go there because he hadn't seen john in so long. he really loves this guy, because he is kind and has taken an interest in one of his customers even tho he is only 6! i love being around little children. i marvel at what jake who is 18 months and just starting to talk learns each day. everytime he takes my hand and says "help" or "go" I feel that I am part of a wondrous process of teaching a fellow human being. it is the most gratifying work that can be done here on earth.

Diane L said...

A favorite memory I have is from about 20 years ago when my son was two or two and a half. We were in a shopping center and he said,"Hi Man!" to every man we passed. Most ignored him. Finally one man looked down at him, smiled, and responded, "Hi Boy!" It made my son's day. It made my day too.

Christie said...

We've had to find a few impromptu grandparent-type figures for our kids since we live so far away from the real ones. A favorite of mine will always be "Papa Brucks" who was Hannah's nursery leader. After he got released, he was put in the bishopric. She always had to run up and give him a hug on the stand. He was so sweet to her. She adored him.

gab said...

Jake rides the bus almost 70 minutes round trip. His bus drivers and bus aide are his best friends. Truly. They buy him little prizes and teach him jokes. When he wanted to be a "school safety"...but wasn't able...they made him the "bus safety" complete with badge.

These people have bad teeth, strange accents, tattoos and wear funky clothes. They live on the rough part of town and are the lowest on the payscale. But they get my kid to school safely every day. He loves them and I do too.

Sheri said...

I teach the 8-9 year olds in Primary. Seven boys! It's a great age--they can read and write--full of energy and not yet tainted by the world. But, boy, can they be silly and loud. I love each of them individually, but when they get wound-up as a group, I want to scream! I keep reminding myself: Future deacons. Future missionaries. Future husbands/fathers. Future bishops. It puts everything in perspective.

nimmy and girlies said...

I remember when Jess said that! Very funny, Jess.