How many of you remember specific words that were spoken to you as a child? I'm sure most of us can...some good, some bad. I remember at the dinner table growing up; my dad would say, "Whatever you do, don't ever start smoking." You see my dad lost his dad (who was a smoker) at a very young age. He found it very important to remind us daily how bad that habit was for us. I also remember Dad saying, "C*****s never quit." Those were pretty handy words to remember when times got tough. Another important goal my parents set for me and my sister was the goal of higher education. My dad was the first of his family to graduate from college and both my parents were adament that we go. I'm proud to say we both achieved that goal and even though we chose to be stay-at-home moms, it's pretty cool that we both fulfilled that dream (thanks Mom and Dad!)
Fast forward several years and now it's my turn to remind my children of what I feel is important. Yes, I've told them that smoking is bad, but I don't say it everyday. We've talked about higher education and R is already planning his college career and big R is already saying to them, "Remember what your last name is." This is, by the way, something I've heard his dad say to the older grandkids.
About a month ago big R and I went to see The Help and I loved the little phrase Aibileen would repeat to Mae Mobley, but I didn't really think anything about it after the movie. Several weeks later I came across a canvas on pinterest that someone had printed this quote on. So half jokingly I started saying this little quote to the kids (accent and all.) At first they thought I was crazy and laughed...then something funny happened; they wanted me to keep saying it. I bet I repeated that quote 50 times that day. The more I said it, the more convicted I got that my kids really needed to hear these words and they were being spoken in a way that would cause them to remember them forever.
Last night I held K's face in my hands and said these words to her...You is kind. You is smart. You is important. She smiled and went about working on the picture she was drawing. In her own little world, concentrating on yet another masterpiece, she starts repeating...You is kind. You is smart. You is important. (with an emphasis on important.) I just listened while acting like I wasn't really paying attention. She repeated the quote about six times ~ it was beautiful. The whole time I'm amazed and prayerful that those words are sinking in.
Someday my kids will look back and remember the words that were repeatedly spoken to them over the years and I hope my grandchildren get to hear these words of affirmation some day ~ You is kind. You is smart. You is important.