Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Little Teacher

I have a little teacher
Her name is Emily
She may not know this fact at all
But she's always teaching me.

1) Last week Emily showed me a sheet of paper and asked me to help her. I looked down, and she had written "My Important Things to Do" at the top. There were 7or 8 things already listed, and Emily was wanting me to help her think of a few more. I would think of one, then she would think of another, then I'd come up with another, then she'd think of another.

Emily was so pleased with this list and asked if she could read it as part of family night. I suggested that maybe we could have some family night lessons on these different things, and she thought that was a great idea. So Monday night she did read her list for everyone, and we had a great lesson about the first item on the list: Be cheerful.

Our "cheerful" collage, created by Emily & Mommy

It is truly amazing to me that at 6 years old Emily is even thinking of making this kind of a list, and even more amazing, it wasn't just a fleeting thing she did. It's been an important thing to her. I have to admit that I felt a little guilty reading it. While my list of things to do during the day includes phone calls, laundry, dr. appts, etc., my daughter is focused on the things that everyone should be focused on, the non-tangible things that really matter. Really I should be writing some of these down right in between all the other items on my daily "to do" list. Thank you, Emily, for helping me recognize the important things I should be including in my life.

2) On Saturday evening during the Priesthood session of conference, Emily and I had some mommy/daughter time at Roberts Crafts where they had all kinds of fun things for moms and kids to do. While there we each received a strip of letter stickers - I was thinking how nice they would be to use in Emily's scrapbook.

Sunday morning during conference, I looked over and Emily was busy putting her set of letter stickers all over a sheet of paper. Thinking of how I'd wanted to use them for her scrapbook, I hurried over to her. Sounding disappointed, I explained that they were for scrapbooking, and started taking them off the sheet of paper as quickly as I could, trying to salvage them for later use. Emily was quiet and still. It wasn't until I had removed 3 or 4 of the letters that I looked more closely at the sheet of paper, and my heart sunk. It wasn't just a bunch of letters:

I can't describe the awful feeling I had! Even now as I write, my eyes are filling with tears. My daughter was teaching me by example how to be thoughtful and loving, and I was so worried about a few letter stickers I was going to use (which weren't even mine!) that I rushed right in to wrongly reprimand. I tried to apologize as best I could, but it was evident I had squelched her excitement for the surprise she had been making me. Later I took her in my arms, apologized again and asked if she would forgive me. I asked if she would glue the letters back on the note for me, and fortunate for me, she did.

This note has become special to me, and I'll be keeping it in a visible spot to help me remember to stop, look, and listen before reacting, but especially to remind me to be thoughtful and kind, just as my little teacher does so well.


Nicia said...

Oh Kathy...the tears are flowing!! Emily is really such a sweet, thoughful, and very mature little girl for her age. I would definitely call her an "old soul." Thanks for sharing those sweet things. It is a great reminder, and you really do learn the most from your children. Love you!

Nicia said...

...I wasn't implying you learn from me though...just wanted to clarify that one! :)

Rachel H. said...

That is oh so sweet...what a beautiful teaching moment. :)

Farrell Family said...

What a sweet little girl. I love her list and I love her handwriting. So cute!

Karen said...

What a special post. Emily is such a sweet sensitive girl. I am so glad you got a second chance for your note from her... I love her list.

Nicia, you're so cute! It's wonderful that we all learn from each other!

Stephanie said...

Wow, Emily is so sweet and so smart! What a wonderful post.

Grandma Danes said...

Thank you for alerting me to read your post. That is a real tear jerker and wonderful to read. We do indeed learn from our children.