First day of 10th grade.  The anticipation was killing me .  I knew what was coming, and it was almost like a rite of passage for us dorky AP-kids…those of us who took ‘Advanced Placement’ courses for college credit.  I came home with my 10-pound AP Biology textbook, 5-inches thick.  It took up half of my backpack.  In a weird, nerdy sort of way it was a badge of honor to have this massive textbook in my possession.

I walked through the door, beaming with pride, so eager to show someone this book. The first person I saw was my dad at the kitchen table.  I so proudly displayed the textbook and said, ‘hey Dad, look at how big this is,’ hoping for someone to share in my excitement.  His response…’yeah, I know.  Jimmy had that book last year.’

I was deflated!  He intended no ill-will, yet I was flattened.  I just wanted someone to rejoice with me, to share in the excitement I had about taking a course that required such a large book, but that’s not what I received.

His words were true.  My brother took that course the year before, and brought home that famed textbook as well.  It wasn’t new anymore.  It wasn’t novel.  It was old news, and not very excited…for my dad at least.  But it was the first time that I brought home that book.  It was the first time that I was taking this class.  For me it was exciting, but thanks to an off the cuff comment, it became clear that my excitement wasn’t warranted.

I haven’t thought about that episode since, well, probably since it happened…until the other day.  I expressed a similar reaction to one of my girls, and as soon as the words left my mouth, the memory of my disappointment came flooding back to mind.

Abigail was sharing with me a ‘trick’ she just learned.  She so proudly showed me, and my reflex response?  “Yeah, I saw Bella do that the other day.”  And BAM, in an instant, her excited smile left her face, and I saw a glimpse of the same let-down I experienced 15 years before.

I messed up once.  Shame on me if I do it again.  The life of a mom is busy, and I don’t always want to be ‘bothered’ with insignificant, little-people issues, problems, excitements, etc.  My reflex reactions is often harsh, unkind and unhelpful.  But that is MY sin, and something that I need to change.

So, the lesson I learned, thankfully at this early stage, is that I need to join in their excitement.  I need to remember that while the things that thrill a 4-year-old may be rather dull and boring to their old Mama, they are indeed thrilling to them.  Why not be thrilled for them?

The, ‘been there, done that’ attitude does not help to strengthen my relationship with my children.  When they want to show me how, ‘they can spin on one foot’ it is tempting to roll my eyes and think in a sarcastic tone, ‘oh wow, isn’t that great’, but it is great.  That little person is developing coordination.  That little person is experimenting with that they can do.  AND, best of all, that little person wants their Mama to share in that joy.  They are seeking a relationship with me.  They are seeking to draw me into their world, and share in their experiences.  So however silly or worthless that experience may seem to me at the time, that relationship is anything but silly or worthless.  That relationship is one of the most important earthly gifts I have been given.

May I be diligent to nurture that relationship!

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