Friday, May 19, 2006

ALL THE THINGS I ONCE KNEW BUT SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE FORGOT

I've learned so much from my daughters. There is such a pure unjaded truth they have that I feel I've lost somewhere in adulthood. You know, all those things you once knew but somewhere along the line forgot. Important things, like enthusiasm, wonder and pure joy for life. Along with that my daughters have a fear of things that don't figure into their simple understanding of life. Like flies. I'm not sure why, but they are terrified of the household fly. My daughters are 7 and 3 1/2 and McDaniel (who is 7) recently went through a series of questions with me regarding flies.

"Do they help make flowers grow?"

No.

"Do they eat bad bugs?"

No.

"Do they sting?"

No.

"Why are they here?"

I have no idea.

The very idea that I had no idea on why flies exist scared my girls. If we are really honest with ourselves, isn't that what keeps us up at night--the unexplainable? Isn't a little fear what keeps us honest, exercising and kneeling to pray? Maybe flies are somewhat sinister--what little I saw of the movie The Fly was pretty freaky--and I just forgot somewhere along the line to fear them.

McDaniel came to me a few weeks ago with a confession. "I've been buying snacks at school," she admitted. Her elementary school has a credit system of buying lunches. We put money into an account that she can use by just giving the account number to the lunch lady when she purchases lunch. The idea is to prevent bullying and young children losing their money, etc. Somewhere the sense of financial responsibility is lost in the "charge it to my account" process, but that's another story.

It never occurred to us that McDaniel, our first born and one who always asks permission to do anything, would start adding chips, brownies and cheese filled breadsticks to her account. After she admitted to her sneaky snacking charges, I thanked her for being honest. I asked her how long it had been going on and she painfully admitted several weeks. Whoa. When I asked why she told me now she said, "It just bubbled up inside me." The relief on her face was priceless.

I know, in certain situations, I ignore the "bubbling up inside me" and I stubbornly torture myself by denying myself the opportunity for relief. When did I forget that it's okay to admit to sneaking, lying or being afraid of things that you just can't explain? It helps that there is always a pair of arms to wrap around you and say, "It's okay, because you told the truth." Even if that hug happens only deep inside.

Confession is never easy like having to admit that McDaniel is smarter and braver than me. But I'm still learning…from my girls…all the things I once knew but somewhere along the line forgot.

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