Thursday, August 16, 2012

WHAT THEY HEAR

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Just two mornings ago, Lily ran in from the other room and started speaking frantically, "Mom!  Her eyes are changing.  Bella's eye are changing to be green, like mine!"
I think I said something brilliant like, "Really?"
"Yes, Mom!  They are not blue anymore.  Bella's eyes are changing to be green."

The truth is that Bella's eyes are just as blue as they have always been.  Lily's eyes started out a dark blue when she was a baby and changed to the greenish hazel they are now, but Bella's eyes have always been blue.

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It got me wondering why she would say all this, especially with such urgency.  And it hit me that the comparison starts young, my friends.  It starts real young.  And, they are always listening, those children.  They are listening when strangers talk about their eyes and eye color and hair color and cuteness.  They are listening when people draw attention to them and ask if they are twins or say how friendly one of them is.

Now, let's be honest here.  They are not listening when I ask them to obey or stay close or not touch that.  Toddler/Little Girl hearing is selective.  But, when people are commenting on their manners or appearance, they must perk up, though you would be hard pressed to know that poker-faced Lily is ever paying attention to a stranger.

And I am realizing that I will have my work cut out for me.  Having two girls close in age will bring many obvious comparisons, probably for much of their lives, but especially while they are living at home.  They are already so different - with unique gifts and challenges and completely different looks.  I don't know where life and the Lord will take them, but I imagine their lives will hold distinct paths.

I want to do what I can while they are young to build into them things that matter.  Already they hear a lot about their appearance, and while I appreciate the compliments, sometimes I wish there was not so much emphasis there.  I want to talk about character issues and hearts issues and not be camped out on eye color.  I want them to hear things from us, as their parents, that will give them strength and courage when they start to hear less flattering things from peers.  And, ultimately, I want them to see us talking about things that matter, because at the end of the day, they are listening and usually when we least suspect it.

I hope and pray that they hear good things, and I am sorry for those times when they don't.

(These pictures are from having dessert the other night - here is what Bella look liked towards the end of her Klondike Bar)

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Right now, she certainly doesn't care what she looks like, and I want to relish that - though I don't want to have to clean it up often.

1 comments:

ems said...

very good post - comparison is something I have found myself battling lately and it's so dumb! and I LOVE the picture of Bella with the ice cream. She and Bethany would get along great - nothing is going to stop her from enjoying some yummy food:) A girl after my own heart!