My mother came from a large family. She was the second youngest of 12 surviving siblings. When we think of life today vs life back then some of us would think that she was raised in simpler times, but I’m not so sure of that. When Mom spoke about her childhood, she never complained. We heard the stories about walking a few miles into town to get a pound of butter and how it started to melt on the way home…she was so happy that someone stopped and gave her a ride in the rumble seat of a car. She talked about having one dress to wear to school, about washing it when she got home so that it was clean for the next day and she talked about walking to school barefoot, but she never complained. Instead, she never lost sight of the good things that happened in her life. I don’t know if she ever knew how much attention I paid to those stories and that years after I would still think about them and understand what it was she was trying to teach me.
Last night I found my youngest grandson Graham, who is now five wearing two of my dress shirts. He was trying to figure out how to clip my cell phone someplace on his clothes and he had my watch. “What are you up to Graham?” I asked. “I want to do what you do, Papa” was his answer. “I want to do your job”. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the things that reach the deepest into your heart and that’s what happened last night. In the busiest times of my life, my early mornings, my late nights and the times that I have had to leave the dinner table and go to work, I didn’t know he was watching.
And so I’ve sat here this morning, sometimes just staring at the computer screen thinking about the past, the present and the future. I can almost see the surprise in my mother’s eyes if she could only know that I paid attention…I paid attention to more than she ever knew. And I am amazed in what Graham said to me last night…he is paying attention too and I didn’t know that. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…for the lessons in life, there is no better teacher than to look through the eyes of a child.