Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ten Steps to a Smile (or, how to light your house for nearly free)

So you're heading through the kitchen to the stairs with a bucket of diapers over one arm and a laundry hamper in the other, when he jumps past the top step and skids to a stop in front of you.

Mama, do you want to see what I made?

Step One: Stop walking. Don't slowly inch your way past him as he begins talking.

Step Two: Say Yes, of course!

Step Three: Listen as he describes his newest creation. (No, don't think about the washer beginning to agitate. Stop it! Pull your eyes back to his. There. Amber-hued hope. You hold his heart in your hands.)

Step Four: Ask questions. If you look closely at what he holds, it will lead you... What does the blue section do? How come there are two handles?

Step Five: Put down the bucket and hamper. You need your hands free for step six.

Step Six: Tuck the butt of that lego rifle into your armpit and squint through the plastic yellow sight. Aim up. Aim down.

Step Seven: Now let him show you how you're supposed to hold it. Say, Oh, I thought that didn't feel right!

Step Eight: Forget to listen to him talking, getting distracted by that cowlick and that jawline and that faint, soft, white fuzz on his upper lip.

Step Nine: Resist the urge to squeeze the living daylights out of him and gently steal your arm around his ever-widening shoulders.

Step Ten: Tell him you think his rifle is amazing.

Now find a way to plug that boy into a wall, 'cause his smile is going to light your entire house. I said it was nearly free. It cost you a cycle on the washer. It cost you ninety extra seconds in which you could have walked down the stairs and begun stuffing one machine and emptying another.

I'm beginning to feel as if I'd like to pay that small fee any old day. 'Cause they're getting shorter.

Won't you be a blessing to a boy this weekend?

15 fellow travelers shared:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me to stop and create the smile. So often, I'm sure I miss these moments with, my in a minute response. Those minutes never come back, do they? Janet

Melissa said...

My sweet Elise, I'm beginning to think you live in my house and base your posts on what I need to hear. Or maybe it's just that I wish you lived here. ;)

I have two certain young boys with whom I'm going to be intentional about this today. Your perspective on the small cost (and the HUGE reward!) was so convicting.

Andrea said...

Love it, love it.
I love how you relate to your boy. And how you show us to-- (my boys are still so little...)
My 8 year old girl is starting to get big too--I see changes I don't like!! Need to slow down and savour, savour, savour everything about her.
thank you friend!!!

Kristin said...

I hope to bless three boys today...and a girl too! As I type, Lego creations are being constructed. I hear the rattle of the pieces. Thank you for reminding me to not simply rush by with the glazed look, but take a minute this afternoon to share with them.

Cathy said...

Oh Elise! Our hearts are pondering similiar thoughts these days. I should link to you after the post I just wrote :)

Quinne said...

Precious post, Elise!
Love you, Q

jenny said...

I must share...I read this earlier in the day, and just now my son brought me 2 guns made out of Duplos. :)

Linda said...

You, dear Elise, are a wise, gentle Mama who is making precious memories in the hearts of those most dear to you. As a grandmother, I can testify that the days really do just fly by and there are some moments we will never have back to live over. We must live them now.

Stacy said...

Loved this post. Oh, that I would STOP and listen and really *see* my boy when he's chatting with me about his newest idea or creation or thought. So often I'm distractedly saying, "Mm Hmnn", but not even really paying attention.

Thank you for the reminder that the paying attention is what matters, and what blesses!

MyJourneyBack said...

Darling thank you. Lovely moment to share. And a Blessing for others.
Have a wonderfully blessed Sunday.

Sarah said...

love this friend! Gives me all kinds of excitement for Sawyer's growing up at every turn:). Per your comment on my blog, what does CTBHHM stand for? Love you sister!

Carrie at dumptrucksandteacups said...

Sweet Elise, it is always such a joy to step into your little world here. Each post is precious, filled with such challenging and encouraging words...

Blessings on your day, my friend.

Joy said...

you speak, and my heart listens...thank you, dear friend...for always encouraging and sharpening...

you bless...

Raya said...

Thank you for that reminder ,it so easy to just glance and go on ,but it means so much to them if we stop and really get into what there interested in.
Recently found your blog through my friend Kristin and I love your writting.
God bless

Jac Skellie said...

OH MY GOODNESS! You, lady, are an absloute inspiration and your closeness to the heart of God is alluring, entralling and tantalising. As I've been reading through your posts you've made me smile, cry and fall to my kness alternatively. Please keep learning from Jesus, that i might learn with you for His glory.

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