Someone's been watching me.
Sounds creepy, right? And I'm not joking. It's more than one person too. PEOPLE are watching me. I feel like that little kid in The Sixth Sense. But instead of dead people ...
"I see little people!"
Recently, I've become keenly aware that I have eight little eyes on me at all times. Eight eyes that watch my every move. Along with that are eight ears that always manage to hear every little thing I say. Funny how that always seems to be apparent at the worst times.
Me: (to Wilson as he barks incessantly at any person that walks down our street) "Shut uuuuuupppp!"
Sam: "Yeah Wilson, Shut up!"
You never realize how bad it sounds until it comes out of a three year old's mouth. Luckily, neither Matt nor I utter many curse words. I can't imagine things like that coming out of the kids' mouths. But now even words like "butt" or "crap" take on a whole new meaning when I know they are listening. It really takes some self-restraint on my part. In our house these words aren't allowed, so I've definitely had to apologize to the kids if I have said them.
It's amazing how much an almost 4 year old can comprehend and understand the things that you say. It used to be that they didn't know when we were talking about them right in front of them. Now they do ... and they want to know everything that is said. We can't even really spell words anymore because they've figured out what we're spelling! It's gotten to the point that I can't even whisper or mumble something to Matt without hearing a little voice chirp out from behind me ...
"Mommy! What did you said?"
"Was you talking about me?"
Sure their grammar leaves a little bit to be desired, but they've already managed to understand the "fear." You know the one we all have that someone is talking about us and we don't know what they're saying but ohmygoshIknowsheissayingsomethingmeanaboutmebeindmybackhowcouldshe!
I don't want paranoid kids. I want my kids to feel confident in who they are as people. I want them to have an unwavering set of values and beliefs that they can stand on and know that nothing anyone says influences anything about who they are inside. I want them to know that the only opinion that matters is the opinion of the One who made them (and maybe the opinion of their parents!), and that they are amazing in His eyes because He designed them to be just they way they are.
Now that I know they are listening, I am always aware of what is coming out of my mouth. I want them to see words and speech as a way to communicate and grow with one another, not as a tool to deceive or shame another person.
We focus on Bible verses every week with our kids and I thought it was quite fitting that a few of the most recent ones addressed this topic.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
It's amazing that while you think you spend your days teaching your kids everything they need to be successful in life, they're actually teaching you what you still need in your own life. Let's just say that I'm a lot more aware of the words I say these days and how those words affect my own heart and the hearts of others. I'm still planning on spelling out some words here and there (how else can we make Christmas present plans over dinner?), so I'll have to think up a good alibi when I hear the ever familiar question ...
"Mommy, what did you said?"