Wednesday, January 20, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

Recently my 7-year-old daughter reminded me that sometimes children are much wiser than we give them credit for. For those who don't know her, my daughter is a very intelligent and headstrong little lady. She has a mind of her own and she's not afraid to tell you what she's thinking.

Her most recent project has been to save up enough money to buy herself an IPhone, just because wants a phone and feels that she should have one. (Again, she's only 7) But I told her, emphatically, that she doesn't need an IPhone, or any other kind of phone, and that under no circumstances was I going to buy her one; thus her determination to save her own money to get it and to date she had saved $30 and some change. This was quite an accomplishment for her because money literally seems to burn a hole in her pocket.

The other day, after hearing about the earthquake in Haiti she decided that she wanted to start a charity so that she could help people.  To get her started I told her to come up with a name for her charity and make a list of the things she wanted to do to help and things she could to do to raise money. So she immediately ran off to get her little notebook and began to make her list; this went on for two days and she consulted with me every step of the way. By the time she was done she had planned what kind of cookies she was going to sell, for how much, where and etc...

But then the next morning as I was getting ready for work, she came to with a sealed white envelope and said, "Here, mom."

I said, "What's this?"

She said, "It's all the money in my bank. I want you to give it to the homeless people who live in the park by your job."

Not really believing that she had put all of her money in that envelope, I looked at her for moment and then asked her how much was in it and she said, "Thirty dollars and all my change."

I said, "You don't have to give away all your money, don't you want to keep some for yourself so you can keep saving for your phone?"

And she looked at me with a sincerity that almost made me cry and said, "No, mommy, I want you to give it all to them."

I was speechless, and trying to hold back tears, so all I could do was take the envelop with my baby's hard earned money in it and promise her that I would do what she asked: I would give the envelope to a homeless person in the park by my job.

After that conversation with my little girl, I felt so blessed to have had that experience. She showed me that despite all the times that I thought she wasn't listening when I tried to tell her about what God has done for us and explain why we need to be kind and give to others, she was listening.  And that made me feel like maybe I had done something right somewhere along the way. She also made me realize that if she could give her last, then maybe I could afford to give a little more.

So needless to say, there is a lot we can learn from the mouths of our babies who watch, see and hear everything we do...even though we may think they're not paying attention.

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