Have you ever been given a gift that was so special, so sacred that you were blown away by it’s immense value? Something so very precious that you are awestruck that this gift is for you? You look around expecting that someone made a mistake. I feel this way about my husband, truly amazed that he loves us so deeply that he pledged himself to us for life and I feel this way about my kids, utterly humbled that God saw fit to loan these souls to me to raise up. What I have chosen to share is something like that. So intimate and special, I was completely caught off guard when it was gifted to me. Something I hold so close to my heart it’s become richly woven into the fabric of my soul. It completely shifted my perspective …..
I was in a pinch on a Thursday afternoon. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, my daughter had to go with me to the last set of intensives I had for the year (I didn’t like the idea of her being home alone). It wasn’t my first choice to take her, however missing that evening class was not an option.
We arrived on campus and I set Rebecca up in the corner of our classroom with my laptop and a new book to read when she finished her homework. Anything to keep her occupied and entertained while we dove deep into our lecture. I even promised her we’d sneak off into the barn and I would introduce her to the Gypsy Vanners (a breed of horse that pulled gypsy carts long ago). We were 2 1/2 hours in when I felt Rebecca leave her chair behind me and quietly make her way over and put her arms over my shoulders locking her hands around my neck. I patted her hands, quietly reassuring her we were about to start wrapping up for the evening.
As a class we were learning different types of stem sentences and ways their use deepens the work we do with our clients. Our teacher paused for a moment and then asked Rebecca, “Finish this sentence: ‘My mom has taught me that women are ….’ What is your mom teaching you women are?” WHAT!?! It isn’t so much that my mouth requires deliverance as it is the looks on my face! I felt my eyes get big, my butt hole pucker and my brain kick into a higher gear! I held my breath as the look on my face advertised my thoughts like a bright neon sign! “Oh, NO!!!” In that millisecond of time I was contemplating ALL the things this 12 year old, precious babe might say. “My mother is teaching me that women cuss like sailors.” (I can hear that cute little pixy voice of hers as I type this), “My mother is teaching me that the speed limit is for losers!”, “My mother is teaching me that ….” Ummm ….. I’d best stop there. Everything my brain could possibly conjure up was running through my head like a banner across the bottom of the television screen warning people about some sort of natural disaster! What that beautiful child of mine actually said, rocked me back on my heels! Thank goodness I was sitting down. What she said hit me so hard (think harder than a travelling freight train) that my gracious teacher calmly & lovingly stared into my soul and commanded firmly, “Breathe mom.” Like I said, it’s not so much what I say as it is what my face advertises!
After contemplating for what felt like hours, Rebecca said very matter of factually, “Brave. My mom has taught me that women are brave.” Of all the things she could have said in that moment, she stated, “Brave.” W-O-W….. The weight of it is incredible. It is as if this precious, precious gift has been placed in my hands to unwrap and just touching the wrapping it’s encased in seems wrong, as if I’ll soil it. My eyes well up with tears as I consider holding this rare and incredibly delicate treasure in my hands. I have never, ever, never been given something so treasured. Brave ….. that child considers all that has been and all that is and the lesson I’ve taught her is that women are brave…..
I know the moment was likely insignificant for her however it is branded on my heart for a lifetime. Brave defined as : ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage …. My daughter looks at me and would sum up what she sees as brave…
So I query you, what are you teaching your daughters & sons, your nieces & nephews, your grandchildren & great grandchildren, that women are? Be ever so careful, it carries great weight …