I jumped in the car the other morning, my mind whirling with details. When a mom leaves home, even if only for a few days, there is total chaos. It reminds me of just how much I do on a daily basis. I know where everyone is supposed to be, and when. I know who needs what supplies, what’s for dinner, where the soccer uniform is hiding, and why the cat is limping. They are all silly little details, but these make up our life. And when I have to communicate the sum of all of these tiny things to someone else, it’s a zoo!
Leaving town for me is difficult for this reason, but also because I simply don’t like leaving my family. I get sad. Some of you can’t relate, and that’s okay, I’m not saying one way is the right way. It’s just my way. Even though it’s crazy town when we’re all together, I’d rather bring them with me. But… in this season of book writing, it is requiring some time away.
As I slammed the driver’s door shut, ready to pull out of the driveway, two notes flew off the steering wheel and through the air. On the top of both, I read, “To Mom.” Tears immediately began running down my cheeks. Two of my boys, middle-schoolers even, planted notes for me to find. And on them they wrote some of the most touching words this mama has ever read. Things like, “You are the light of my life.” And “Our feeling of togetherness you bring with you.”
After years of leaving notes scribbled on mirrors, hidden away on pillows, and buried in duffel bags, now my boys have done the same for me. What they saw modeled, they are now doing on their own. This is not the moment where I pat myself on the back. No, let this simply encourage all of us to keep going. The small actions, repeated over years, matter. They make an imprint.
These boys are learning what it means to get outside of themselves, think about another person, and then act on that thought. What a powerful transformation in the human heart.
When I got to my conference, I opened my bag and inside was a note from my mom. She had snuck a card into my suitcase, just like she had through my childhood. It floored me. In my hands I held a generational thread – a card from my mom and notes from my boys.
This is legacy.
One person models love, and it passes on, until the entire family is standing on the foundation of these small acts. What you are doing today impacts your children’s children.
So continue scratching backs, dancing in the kitchen, playing board games, shooting baskets, writing notes, and looking your child directly in the eye. Apart they are small, but together they change the world.
Dare #26: Continue practicing the “small things.”
*Write a note and put it in your child’s backpack.
*Look your child in the eye and tell him you love him.
*Go in the yard and play ball
*Teach your child the card game Spoons
*Give 5 minute back rubs