they’re watching

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Diary’s Facebook status, Sunday evening ~ Just got this fabulous note from my 12 (soon to be 13!) year-old cousin who is working toward her Bat Mitzvah in June — Jess, I just wanted to let you know what I’m doing for my Mitzvah Project. I’m learning about special needs and leading drama classes and activities with different kids, specifically autistic children. I went to my first session today. Thinking of you, Brooke and your family, and thinking about how much Brooke would’ve enjoyed participating! I can’t wait to see you guys! xoxo — Because of young people like Hannah who make choices like these, the world will be different for our kids. #Grateful 
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Diary’s FB status, after bedtime Sunday night ~ OK, so I not only like this video, but I kinda love the fact that it came to me from Katie who sent it with a note that she’d gotten it from another friend who also has a sibling on the spectrum. Kids spreading the word, supporting each other, making a difference. I can’t wait until this world is theirs. We’ll be in good hands .. 

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Hmm, anyone else sense a theme here?

While it may be up to us to guide the next generation, THEY are the ones who will need to do the heavy lifting in the end. THEY are the ones who will make the world different. THEY will make it kinder, more open, more welcoming, more compassionate, more inclusive.

Or they won’t.

Katie and I were driving home on Saturday afternoon when one of my favorite songs came on the radio. I instinctively reached back for her hand and gave it a squeeze when it settled into mine.

“Mama,” she said, “are you crying?”

I nodded.

“Why, Mama?” she asked. “What’s wrong?”

“Noting’s wrong, baby,” I said. “Just listen to the words. You’ll understand.”

And as she did, I watched a smile come over her face.

“I get it, Mama,” she said. “It’s cause I’m mini you.”

“Something like that,” I said laughing. “Something like that.” And I squeezed her hand again.

Our children will make the world different.

Or they won’t.

It all depends on what they see.

And they are watching US.

Drivin’ through town just my boy and me
With a Happy Meal in his booster seat
Knowin’ that he couldn’t have the toy ‘til his nuggets were gone.
A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath.
His fries went a flyin’, and his orange drink covered his lap
Well, then my four-year old said a four letter word
It started with “S” and I was concerned
So I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to talk like that?”

He said, “I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do.
So I’ve been watching you.”

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said, “Lord, please help me help my stupid self.”
Just this side of bedtime later that night
Turnin’ on my son’s Scooby-Doo nightlight.
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees.
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
Spoke to God like he was talkin’ to a friend.
And I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to pray like that?”

He said, “I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We like fixin’ things and holding momma’s hand
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do; so I’ve been watching you”

With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug.
Said, “My little bear is growin’ up.”
And he said, “But when I’m big I’ll still know what to do.”

“‘Cause I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
By then I’ll be strong as superman
We’ll be just alike, hey, won’t we dad
When I can do everything you do.
‘Cause I’ve been watchin’ you.”

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17 thoughts on “they’re watching

  1. Yes, we all will leave this world in better hands. I know I will. Children learn what they live and the Katie’s in the world are watching! Thank goodness for the Katie’s.

    Love you,
    Mom

  2. So true, so very true. My friend’s four year old sits next to me on an oversized comfy chair during women’s Bible study. She arranges her books and pencil exactly like I do. I think to myself, that’s a lot to up to!

  3. Always watching and listening, even when we think they are not. Such an important lesson in that pretty song… lead by example, be the person your child can be proud of and they will make this world a better place when they, too, pass it on.

  4. I know this to be true from my time as a classroom teacher- they see and take in everything we do and say. I truly believe this next generation coming up will make a far more empathetic world for our kids. It’s so exciting to hear about kids as activists!

  5. I’ve got Duck Bumps (goose pimples for those outside my region). I’ve always loved this song, my little man is 4 and prone to copy my less redeeming words so much more often than those I try to teach him. Thanks for giving me my smile for this morning.

  6. Thank you. I must look up that song. A wonderful reminder that my children are learning to handle their frustration from me; which ain’t always perfect in the sometimes arduous process of raising my two on the spectrum… yes, a good reminder. Thank you.

  7. I loved this!!! Shared it on fb. I know the sibs will make the world a better place. One of my all time favorite quotes is from a Sondheim play called “Into the Woods”
    It goes:
    ” Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do. Children will see, and learn. Children my not obey, but children will listen. Children will look to you for which way to turn. To learn what to be. Careful before you say “listen to me”. Children will listen.”

  8. I always cry when I hear that song too. ^-^ It’s a nice reminder of just how often our kids actually pay attention and heavan knows I sometimes need it. :)

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