Lately Ive been a nostalgic Mama.
Less than pining for times gone by (windshield not review mirror!) Ive more been watching the (no longer much of a) Tornado, considering who she was and marveling at who she’s growing to be.
As much as she’s changed—nine next month. when did that happen?!–in so many ways she’s stayed exactly the same.
I recall when she was young watching her on the playground always the first to rush over when someone fell and was hurt.
I remember when she was little how she’d notice the child who seemed sad or left out and be certain to include her in games.
Sure she was silly, quirky and, at times EXHAUSTING, but her caring-heart always overshadowed those traits.
kindergarten. my calf-sleeves = fashionable arm warmers.
I observed her through preschool and watched as nothing really changed.
I wondered if Kindergarten and being surrounded by peers would lessen her kind heart?
Nothing seemed to shift yet I also I wasn’t privy to hours of her day.
I really no longer had a complete sense of how she behaved when I wasn’t around.
And then Kindergarten ended.
Her fantastic teacher spent hours selecting a word which embodied each child, painting the word on a stone for the child to keep, and had a special ceremony to present the rocks.
I still remember how the Tornado’s face lit up when the teacher read her word out loud.
I still recall the pride on the Tornado’s face and the confidence in her kinder-walk as she strode to the front of the room to receive her stone.
I watched as pretty much immediately she made the word her own.
“What?!” she say when she’d catch me staring as she doted upon her younger cousin. “I’m nurturing!”
“Are you sure you’re having fun?” I’d ask when at block parties and holiday events she’d hang back with the younger kids and help. “Of course I am! I’m nurturing!”
nurturing her cousin when she was in the hospital.
Years down the road things are virtually the same.
“How are you, Mama? She routinely asks on our walk home from school. “How can I help you? What do you need?”
This line of questioning used to make me uncomfortable.
I worried she felt as though she needed to take care of me.
As though I appeared unable to take care of myself.
“I’m FINE!” I’d respond. “You don’t need to worry about me!”
“Yes I do,” she’d say. “I’m nurturing you.”
It’s been a hard year so far.
I watched. I listened. I paid attention when she’d talk about spending recess hanging out in the office.
“Do you feel as though you have friends at school?” I gently asked one afternoon.
Her face crinkled into an expression of Why the heck would you even ask me that?!
“It just seems you spend recess in the office. I wanted to be sure you weren’t feeling left out or lonely.”
“Just lunch-recess,” she responded her face still crinkled. “I help Miss. Theresa with the kids who don’t feel well. I nurture them.”
On Friday she pulled the commendation pictured above from her backpack and presented it to me.
“This is amazing,” I said to her. “Do you even know what compassion means?”
“Yes,” she said without a moment of hesitation. “It means I’m nurturing.”
“Yes. That’s exactly what it means. And I’m proud of you and who you’ve grown to be.”
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true.
I’ll never know if she’d have grown to be the same nurturing child had her teacher not bestowed the word upon her and, really, it doesn’t matter.
When given the gift of the word & stone she assimilated it into how she saw herself and it became a positive self-fulfilling prophecy.
Each time I think about this I’m also reminded of this quote:
- The way we talk to others can become their inner voice.
- The way we talk to ourselves can be come our inner voice.
Words are powerful and if you’re like I am you believe they can alter the course of a life.
I’m watching it happen.
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama saysOctober 6, 2014 at 2:39 am
You’ve got yourself a pretty fantastic kid! I love this story so much. It’s proof that words can follow you for life.
misszippy saysOctober 6, 2014 at 3:36 am
I don’t think you could ask for much more from your child than a compassionate, nurturing personality. Well done! (and it will be interesting to see her career choice from this!)
Marcia saysOctober 6, 2014 at 3:46 am
This is so beautiful. What a proud mama you must be!
Brittany Lesser saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:24 am
Wow, she is just amazing! You must be so proud 🙂
Madeline @ FoodFitandFam saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:35 am
You have one amazing kiddo and you must be so very proud. On that note, it’s been a particularly challenging week with Emmie who is officially a threenager and the quote about how we talk to our children resonates with me and reminds me that I am shaping this little person into who she will become so thank you for that!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:38 am
What a sweet girl and mama! I am in tears reading this!
Healthy Mama saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:39 am
Thank goodness for teachers!!
Pamela Hernandez saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:40 am
Simply lovely. Reading this was a perfect way to start my week.
Susan saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:45 am
I love this! Our oldest is nine and it is amazing the power of words and how he embodies them. Our youngest does the same, but right now he is enjoying figuring out what words to not define him 🙂
Mindy @ Road Runner Girl saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:52 am
This post is so beautiful! I LOVE that her teacher impacted her in such a way! Words really do make a difference.
Bea saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:57 am
I want a rock!!!
clare @ fitting it all in saysOctober 6, 2014 at 5:08 am
gosh she sounds like such a wonderful young lady. Imagine what she’ll do as she gets older!!
Jennifer F saysOctober 6, 2014 at 5:13 am
awww, you are such a good mama
Maureen saysOctober 6, 2014 at 5:31 am
Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. 🙂
Teresa saysOctober 6, 2014 at 5:41 am
I LOVE this! And you and the no-longer tornado as well! I miss you both.
Dr. J saysOctober 6, 2014 at 6:11 am
That’s so sweet!! The gifts we give away, come back to us every day 🙂
Jody - Fit at 56 saysOctober 6, 2014 at 6:51 am
It is a wonderful thing – to see this – beautiful post…. LOVE!
Katrina saysOctober 6, 2014 at 7:13 am
Aw she’s turning into a little Carla but in her own right. She’s turning into a little person and I’m sure that’s so amazing to watch!
Rosey Rebecca saysOctober 6, 2014 at 7:35 am
Your daughter sounds like the type of little girl I would have wanted to have as a friend when I was little. I definitely believe that how people treat you affects your inner voice. I also believe that she gets her nurturing and compassionate personality from her mama! 🙂
Linz @ Itz Linz saysOctober 6, 2014 at 7:45 am
oh wow i LOVE that quote!! never heard it before, but so true!! amazing momma (as always!)
Geosomin saysOctober 6, 2014 at 8:08 am
This makes me so happy to read. That is one fine little woman you’re building there Carla 🙂
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysOctober 6, 2014 at 8:16 am
Really beautiful Carla!
Elle saysOctober 6, 2014 at 8:23 am
Lovely and so interesting, too.
Self-fulfilling.. I have wondered that about my own life… I was told by a tea leaf reader when I was in my 20s that WATER would play a huge roll in my life… then many years later I bought a sailboat and we lived on her for 12 years and I still live a stone’s throw from the sea.
I was a landlocked never-swam girl before that!
Did I make that prophecy come true?
crabby mcslacker saysOctober 6, 2014 at 9:36 am
Wow. It’s so cool to think of how many people she’s already touched, and how much better she’s made the world at such a young age. And she’s got a lifetime ahead of her! Kind souls like her can change the world.
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul saysOctober 6, 2014 at 10:42 am
What a beautiful story! And that quote about parent’s voices becoming the child’s inner voice is SO true!
lindsay Cotter saysOctober 6, 2014 at 10:58 am
oh my gosh, seriously, she is one amazing child. To know what compassion and nurturing is at that age.. that’s truly a gift (which she must have learned from her mama!)
Elena saysOctober 6, 2014 at 11:59 am
This literally makes my heart swoon…
cheryl saysOctober 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm
Very cool. Kids emulate what they see and yes they are listening.
My daughter is currently working with troubled youth and women with dementia. When I asked her why she was going into this field she told me that she remembered me working with all the special needs kids at school. The apple doesn’t fall far.
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf saysOctober 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm
I love this piece so much. I love your girl and such a great reminder of how closely our kids listen and how important (and loudly) our messages to them play in their heads.
Erin Kreitz Shirey saysOctober 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm
Carla, this is an incredible post. We do own to the words we’re given in praise, which is incredible to watch her own them. She is wise in many ways and it seems is teaching you about words as much as you are teaching her. So lucky you have each other. Rockstar loving Mama you!
Debbie saysOctober 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm
I <3 your daughter so much!
Cassandre saysOctober 6, 2014 at 6:02 pm
You have raised an amazing little girl. In a world that’s filled with so much negativity and lack of compassion it’s FANATASTIC to see how nurturing she is… Xoxo
Kim saysOctober 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm
The Tornado/Nurturer is such an amazing young lady already!!!
I love that she asks how you a re and if you need anything and is willing to help in the office instead of going out to recess!!!
Tina Muir saysOctober 7, 2014 at 4:38 am
Oh my gosh, the tornado may just be the worlds greatest little girl. WOW! What a beautiful person she is ALREADY! You are so right, and you have brought her up to be so loving, it is wonderful. I hope I can do the same with my children someday!
Tami@NutmegNotebook saysOctober 7, 2014 at 5:16 am
She is so beautiful inside and out! Good job momma!
Janet saysOctober 7, 2014 at 11:03 am
I just love the young lady your Tornado has grown into, as someone else said she really is beautiful inside and out. I cross-stitched a Sampler a hundred years ago for my mom and dad that reads, “Parents who feel lucky in their children, usually have children lucky in their parents.” Ain’t that the truth?!
Yum Yucky saysOctober 7, 2014 at 11:14 am
The love you and your daughter have for each other is wonderful. It really is.
Roz@weightingfor50 saysOctober 8, 2014 at 9:44 am
You and your hubby are raising a hell of a special person!!!!!! Pat yourselves on the back!!!
Lissa saysOctober 9, 2014 at 6:43 am
Love this a thousand times over. <3 You've raised one helluva kid, Carla!
Carrie @ Season It Already! saysOctober 13, 2014 at 6:49 am
This is so powerful.