Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Conscientious Words

Maybe this is cheating, but I'm submitting this for Julie's Hump Day Hmm on the topic Using My Words. (Check out her blog for more entries.) Technically, it's Calvin using his words. But his words are so much better than mine! In other news, my 100th post is coming up soon. Check back for a cool book giveaway in celebration.

Calvin's two current obsessions are the Psalms and our hymnal. He loves to ask me to read some random Psalm. "Mommy, let's read Psalm 62 today." He almost always manages to choose one of those troublesome ones about God thwarting David's enemies. He also loves to look through the index of our hymnal and ask the titles of hymns. He was doing this with my sister-in-law the other night.

"Auntie __, what is the name of this one?"

"That one's called How Firm a Foundation."

"Auntie __, this one has the word holy in it. Can we sing this one?"

"Maybe we can sing it after dinner, let's go to the table."

"Auntie__, is there a hymn that starts with conscientious?"

"I don't know any songs with the word conscientious in them, Calvin."

"I'm going to write a new hymn. It's going to be called Conscientious Jesus Christ."

(Let's not get into the theology of that one or it's implications for my faith.)

Where did he even hear that word? Must have been me, though I am sure I wasn't talking about him. His brain is such a sponge, and he is listening to everything everyone says, all of the time. I have written before of his unusual use of vocabulary. I love it that he can memorize the prayers and creeds in church, that he recited the opening lines of Paul Rever's Ride at 18 months old, that he has memorized Shakespeare and Frost without knowing what it all means. I love to hear him sing Bob Dylan lyrics or quote an entire favorite children's book while he is at play. The child has always had a gift of language.

We who are parents know only too well the power of our words. They are the final authority for the little people in our house. They can be words of healing or of great hurt. They can be words of encouragement or of anger. Sometimes we forget that the words we use are also the ones that our children are learning to use, though Calvin tends to combine them in creative ways. I suppose talking about a conscientious Jesus isn't so bad, but I need to watch how I use my words. One of these days Calvin might tell me he is writing a hymn called Stupid Idiot Who Doesn't Know How to Drive.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer.


le35 said...

Isn't it strange when and how we see our words come through our children? My daughter said to my MIL today, "Grandma, we should go around that big lady." Grandma said, "Am I big?" and my daughter said, "No, you're more moderate." I think that sometimes our mirrors (of children) end up showing us the places in ourselves that we need to fix the most. Great way to use your words.

Annie said...

I'm feeling a little inadequate as a parent reading that my words are meant to be the final authority in this house? My 3 year old definitely didn't get that memo! ;)

Great post - and a very timely reminder to watch my conversations in front of my kids - sponges indeed.

TwoSquareMeals said...

I'm not saying my kids actually listen to me as the final authority. But children innately see their parents as the first and most important authority when they are little, even if they do rebel against it. Which mine do all the time!

Kids are definitely a mirror of my weaknesses in so many ways!

Julie Pippert said...

I'm glad you added this in because ultimately I want my kids to have a better handle on their voices...I want them to use them well and wisely, as needed.

It's such a great point that we do instill a sense of voice in our kids, initially be being the model for a voice.

thailandchani said...

In my faith (if it can be called that) the very same principle is called "Right Speech".. or mindful use of our words. You are so right in all of this. It's how children learn how to use their words.

Catherine said...

Great take on the topic. I wanted to write one but, as so often happens, ran of time...

melissa said...

Yeah, they are little sponges aren't they. That's why we try so hard to teach them to use these word things well.

Great post!

Nora Bee said...

Nice words, there. I like thinking of our words as a mirror for our kids.