Brian and I LOVE asking Olivia questions about things and listening to her response. Her responses have often made us laugh, but sometimes they can be very humbling. I absolutely love the honesty that children bring to the table. They have no fear of rejection and they are so teachable by their honesty.
Yesterday on the way to church we asked Olivia what she wanted to be when she grew up. But we didn't just want any old answer, we asked her specifically what she thought God put her on this earth to do, what was His design for her and how could she fulfill that with our help. She said, "I think God made me to be on a stage." She wants to sing, dance and act. We pushed her a little further and she said, "Actually, I think I should teach kids theater and singing. And I want to teach art." She told me this morning that she has already gone through theater camp so she knows how to be a good actress and singer and she can teach it to other kids.
Last year we got into a conversation with Olivia about growing up. We told her how mommy and daddy left our moms and dads and went away to college and then after college we got married and moved in to the same house. She couldn't imagine ever leaving her parents. She determined that she was never going to college and never getting married because she didn't want to leave us! She was VERY emotional about this - in fact, she was sobbing at the thought of leaving mom and dad. She said, "if I have to go away to be a mermaid artist then I don't want to be anything!" I'm going to remind her of this in about 10 years! So yesterday after she determined what God designed her to be, Brian said, "so when you grow up and leave mom and dad's house to go to college this is what you are going to go to college for and then get married and live with your husband, right?" Silence. After a few seconds, she said, "I'm never leaving." We just can't convince her that this is actually something she will look forward to one of these days.
As we were leaving small group yesterday she said something and Brian said, "Okay little Shawnie". She said, "I'm not little Shawnie." I said, "are you a little Brian." She said, "no". So we got into a discussion about how kids have different characteristics of their mom and their dad and we wanted to know what characteristics she thought she got from each of us. From dad she got "she likes Jack's hair (Brian wanted me to cut it shorter for the summer and I absolutely hate it!) and she likes Jack's shirt (Brian dressed Jack for church in a shirt that I personally do not like)." The next question was what characteristics she thought she got from me. She said, "I say a lot of the same things as you." I should have stopped there! This is one of those times where her honesty has humbled me! I asked, "well what kind of things do I say that you say also?" She said, "get off the couch and do something dad!" Of course I never remember saying this, but I obviously did at some point and that has stuck with her. GULP!!!!
This was such a teachable moment! Sometimes it doesn't matter how much good you do, kids can dwell on the one thing that you did that was less than desirable. It reminds me that in every situation I have to be cautions of the little ears around me. I'm sure that when I did say that about Brian on the couch I said it in a joking manner, but it didn't come out that way when repeated by a 5 year old.
In my MOPS February newsletter there was an article called, "Out of the Mouths of Babes. Love and Marriage as described by kids." There were several questions that were asked to different kids and their responses. One night at dinner we decided to ask Olivia the questions on the page and write down her response.
How do you decide who to marry?
O: If they look handsome.
What is the right age to get married?
O: 31...because you're not a kid anymore
When is it okay to kiss someone?
O: only when they're a part of your family.
How can a stranger tell if 2 people are married?
O: If they kiss.
What do most people do on a date?
O: Go somewhere and have dinner together by themselves, but if they want to stay home then the kids can be the server and give them a flower.
What do you think your mom and dad have in common?
O: you love me!
Is it better to be single or married?
O: Unmarried because if you get married you will miss your family.
How would the world be different if people didn't get married?
O: No one would have a dad.
How would you make a marriage work?
O: Love each other, put on a song and start dancing.
I found a great list of questions to ask kids at Revive Our Hearts, it's called 23 Great Questions To Ask Your Kids by Sharon Jaynes. I think this will be our discussion tonight at dinner. You should try it out also. Print it out and ask your kids these questions today. Be sure to write down their responses. Come back and post some comments we would all like to know some of the responses by other children.
For a couple of years I have kept an index card box in one of my kitchen cabinets. As often as I can remember, I try to jot stuff Olivia says on an index card and put it in there. I put the MOPS article in there with Olivia's responses and I plan to do the same for the questions I linked up to above. It's nothing fancy, but I think it will bring lots of laughs when she gets older. I plan to send it with her one day when she leaves our house to marry her prince charming.