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Thursday, May 3, 2012

it's the little things you say that matters

This morning I was sitting down at the table with Maddie eating breakfast. 

I simply said "how's life?"

She said "fine."

It brought me back to my high school years when my dad and I were the ones in the family up super early for work and school.  High school at that time started at 7:25 in the morning for me, and dad had a long drive to work.  Every morning when I would sleepily walk into the kitchen, my dad is sitting down at the table reading the paper and eating cereal.  I pour myself a bowl of Grape Nuts and I sit down next to him.  No words being spoken, he hands me the Life section of the Kansas City Star.

After a few minutes, he says "how's life?"

I always answered "good"  and then go back to reading the paper and eating my cereal. 
 I don't talk in the morning.

I could count on that conversation every single day for years -- they were two little words, but they sure meant a lot to me.  The words "how's life" to me said "How's it going?  I love you!  Is there anything you want to share with me?  Anything you need to tell me? I'm here for you!"  My dad didn't say all those words, but just a simple "how's life?"

I was thinking this morning after driving home from my exercise class... the little things that I say to my girls.  Will they remember years from now, how every morning since they started school I always said "Do your best!  Make good choices!  and remember I love you!!" as they walked out the door to school?  Or will they remember "pick up your mess!"  "your bathroom is a disaster!" "tell your sister you're sorry!" or "unload the dishwasher!" and some of those other horrible things that moms might say when we lose our temper?

Will they remember that before bed we would have a conversation that alternates between them & I that starts with:

Good Night!
Sleep Tight!
Don't let the bedbugs bite!
If they do you bite them back!
I Love You!
Sweet Dreams!

My mom used to always say that to me when I was a little girl.

It humors me when I read "my mom/dad/grandma/grandpa always said .... ______" and it would be some ridiculous sounding phrase like "the early bird catches the worm" or "keep a nickel between your knees" that makes you really think about what they said and try to figure it out.  I can't recall if my grandparents ever had a saying that would puzzle me.   Sure I remember my grandma saying "do you need to warsh your clothes?" instead of "wash."  I would always answer "I don't warsh my clothes .. I WASH them".  I sure was a smart aleck.  Or even saying "afAghan" instead of "afghan".  That drives me nuts.  I say it "afghan" ... Mike says "afaghan" 

My mom always sang "You are my Sunshine" to my girls when they were little.  I asked them the other day "what was the song Grandma used to sing to you?" ... and they started singing it.   

Then they were clueless when I asked them if there was anything I used to say, sing or do that they remember from when they were little.  Nothing. Nada.  But they remember Grandma's songs!  She had a lot of silly songs... "How much is that doggy in the window" was another favorite of theirs early in their life b/c they barked like dogs.

That being said ... it IS the little things that you say that matters the most. 

I talked to my dad a few days ago.  Guess what I asked him? 
"How's life?"


  1. Life is great, Babe Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Also very well said, by a loving daughter and Mom whose basic attitude and demeanor asks all the people she comes across, "how is your life", by actually exhibiting it by how she treats everyone and not simply giving lip service to their life just at that moment.

    Love you very much,


  2. Love this! I have a post coming up, just like this...I think you'll like it. The girls will remember stuff eventually, they'll WANT to remember the little things. :)


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