A guest post by Allison Whitworth of Look for the Joy
Sometimes it really is just the little things. When my boys were five and eight years old we took them on this big European vacation. It was totally awesome. This was before the era of iPhones and Gameboys had only just come out. We were holding out introducing electronics into our little family so they each had a backpack full of fun little things to entertain them. Mini Lego sets, sticky notes, journals, sticker books and more filled those little backpacks.
We spent a lot of time in the car driving around Europe and they built Lego helicopters and Lego cars in the backseat. We also spent a lot of time walking. We were expert walkers. Both of the boys held my hands as we walked the streets of Florence, Prague, London and everywhere in between.
It wasn’t that I required them to hold my hands… they wanted to.
In fact they actually would race to hold my left hand, sometimes they would even fight over it. The left hand was special. They called it ‘The Beautiful Hand’. I have my engagement and wedding ring on that hand, my watch, and a bracelet with this danglie heart. It was really crazy but they really raced, fought, and sulked over ‘The Beautiful Hand.’
So the lesson here is that you never know what is really important in the eyes of a child. It may be a piece of jewelry you wear. It may be the smell of your cologne or perfume, the way you put your cold hands on their head when then have a fever, the special napkin you put in their lunchbox every day, the way you tuck them in at night, or the way you hum while you are doing chores around the house. That tattoo you have behind your ear might just be the thing your child thinks is amazing about you! You never know how those little things seem in the eyes of a child… those are the things they will remember long after they are grown.
I remember that sometimes when I was sick my mom would make a bed for me on the floor next to her bed, she would hang her arm over the side and hold my hand until I fell asleep… it wasn’t big but it was part of what shaped me as a parent and I cherish that….
Europe was awesome… but it wasn’t as good as getting to hold the beautiful hand… and seriously, we can’t all go to Europe… but we can all give our children something special… the little things.
Allison has been teaching kindergarten and first graders for over 25 years. She is the mother of two boys and likes to look at the brighter side of life. She began writing her blog just days after tragedy hit her small town. She writes about life, parenting, politics, religion, looking for the joy and more… when she isn’t teaching or writing, you can find her bicycling around Douglas County with her husband of 24 years. Find more of her work at Look for the Joy.