What I Have Learned from My Daughter
I have had some really great teachers in my life, but few have taught me as much as my daughter has managed to in the short few years she has been with us. Unlike other children of mothers, my daughter was born to different parents, and my husband and I didn't get to know her until she was five years old. So she came to us with her own beliefs, her own life experiences, her own person... and what a person she is!
She is bold, confident, sweet, bossy, loving, and funny! Sometimes, she will say the sweetest things, like when my cousin said to her, "You're a really amazing little girl, you know." She turns to my cousin and said, "That's because I have an amazing mom." Seriously how darling is that. Then she will go around and give me the meanest look and say, "When I get in trouble, I don't feel like I love you. I do, I know I do, but I don't feel like I do." It is amazing how a child can teach us humility, grace, spiritual awareness, patience.
Jumping in Puddles
Renaldo the Famous Elf Dressmaker
Childlike innocence is often lost when we reach adulthood. We lose sight of the magic life brings. It's refreshing to have a child's vision of that magic along with a husband who brings humor out in it.
When Little Miss was five years old, she saw a beautiful Christmas dress at Costco, she wanted it so badly. Of course, we bought it. On Christmas morning, we sat the dress out so that it was the first thing she saw. She was so excited. Later, I asked her, "Did Santa get the same dress that was at Costco?"
Little Miss: No
Me: Oh, well is it at least as cool as the one there.
Me: Where do you think he got it.
LM: The elves made it.
My husband: Actually, Renaldo the famous elf dressmaker made it. Everyone knows that.
LM: Yup, even I knew that.
Me: Oh, that's neat.
To her, she did not question that Renaldo made it. Even now, at age eight, she still wants to see the magic in things. On our way home the Saturday before Easter, Little Miss stated, "I don't believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa, Tooth Fairy, or all of them." At that very moment, an opossum ran across the road, my husband asked, "Do you still believe in the great magical works of the Opossum?" Little Miss stated, "Daddy!!" Then turned to me, "Mama, do you think we could set carrots out for the Easter Bunny," and that is what we did.
Learning To Follow The Rules
One of the hardest parts about starting with a five-year-old rather than an infant is you become suddenly aware of what you say and do in terms of, do you want this behavior repeated. This memory occurred in the first half hour of Little Miss meeting her soon-to-become-dad. My husband's cousin has a white cat, and one day they decided to use non-toxic markers and decorate their cat. Of course, my husband, the man that he is, has always wanted to decorate our cat, Polly. So when I revealed to Little Miss her new art supplies, Kevin became geeked. He ran off with a marker and started coloring Polly.
Little Miss sat down and started using her new markers, then suddenly she turns around and sees him coloring on the cat. She looks at him with wide eyes, then goes, "You're a naughty boy, we only color on paper, not cats!"
Learning That God is Even in the Small Things
I am a nanny of four kids, and one of the little girls hates bugs. So I have made it my mission to teach her how all bugs have a purpose in this world. So one day we found a lightening bug in the middle of the day. My daughter is carrying it around, and so the little girl comes up to me, "Angie, does a lightening bug do anything good."
My little darling chimes in and says, "Yes, they light up the world, and shines God's love all over us, because Jesus is the light of the world." I don't think I will ever view a lightening bug the same.
Now, one thing about my sweet girl is that not everything she says is so sweet. She has not yet learned what is appropriate to say, when is it appropriate to say, or any of the like. Two prime examples, her birth father is my cousin, so as a social worker came by to finalize the adoption, she goes up to the social worker and says:
"My mommy and daddy are cousins."
Yeah, I know... Just to make sure it's clear, my husband is in no way related to me.
The second example, we watched the Night at the Museum II. Remember those cute little cherubs with the body of a cherub, a face of the Jonas Brothers. Yeah, they are adorable. My daughter thought so too. In fact, she thought it was so cute she goes up to the grocery store clerk, "I got to see the Jonas Brother's naked!"
Yeah, trying to explain that one is insane!
How many children do you have?
Just Another Funny Story
Little Miss: You want to know who I want to meet in heaven?
Little Miss: Proverbs.
Little Miss: Do you know why?
Little Miss: Because all the books in the Bible are names of real men.
Me: Not all the books in the Bible are names of people
Little Miss: Is Proverbs?
Little Miss: Oh, then I want to meet John.
Little Miss: Because then I could meet first John, Second John, and third John.
Me: Actually they are all the same person, it was just different letters by John.
Little Miss: Silly Mama, those aren't letters, they are numbers. Mom, you are so silly.
When my daughter was eight years old, she was in the showers after swim practice, I hear her saying nonchalantly to her friends.
"Yeah, my mom, she's going back to school. This is her third time going back, she didn't pass the other times."
So as all children do, they repeat everything, seldom getting the facts right. So yet again, I found myself embarrassed at the mouth of my daughter.
For the record, I am a two-time college drop out. The first I went into the hospital for six months with ulcerative colitis, the most recent time I adopted my beautiful little girl. Who knows what will end my attending college this time. Oh and for the record, I have a very nice GPA, I have not failed!
© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz