Sunday, August 16, 2009

Full, Undivided Attention



My daughter, age 5, told us today that she wanted to talk to her Pawpaw. She wants him to be alive when she grows up and, therefore, was dead set on talking to him about smoking. This totally came out of the blue. We seriously haven't been talking about this (not for a long, long while now). So it was 100% her decision. She told me her reasons and how she was going to tell him. She wasn't taking "no" for an answer. I asked her where she was getting this new found concern -- what suddenly awoke this passion?

She didn't know.

I told her that I was concerned she might hurt his feelings by telling him what to do. I even suggested that maybe she could, instead, talk to her Nana about smoking (since she quit two years ago). In all honesty, I was so concerned about hurting feelings that I was actually considering NOT letting her call him today. Then I realized something.

This is HER grandfather.

This is HER future.

This is HER decision.

Why in the WORLD do I feel the need to control (or censor) this lively, bright, strong-headed little girl?

Lately she's been telling us, "I want to talk to you like adults talk." And what we REALLY hear her saying is, "I want you to really listen to me. I have good, strong ideas. I am worthy of anyone's...
full, undivided attention."

She's absolutely right.

So I liberated her...handed her the phone...and gave her some room to do battle.

I really try not to put many videos in my blog because I know they take time for my loyal readers to watch. Do you have time for this? I'm just so heart happy that I managed to catch some of her determination on this video. As you can see, she's eating her snack (sherbet) and is a little embarrassed when she realized the camera is rolling, but she eventually forgets about it.



Can you feel the growing lump in your throat, too? The conversation was much longer than this short little clip, but in a nutshell she listed her reasons, made her argument in love, and really can't see how anyone could disagree. Oh, and she wants a commitment (now!). I could see her anxiety beginning to mount as she discovered that a good argument may not be enough. However, I am so proud of her for speaking her mind, confronting in love, and staying strong in her truth. I can only HOPE to be just like her when I grow up!

She was a little concerned as she got off the phone, telling me that she didn't get a clear answer. But she's glad she spoke her mind. And she's stronger somehow. And now my eyes are filled to the brim with tears as I type this experience out because I'm absolutely astonished and amazed at the fury in her precious little heart -- what determination she has to protect her family from future pain and suffering.

And I DEFINITELY don't think this discussion is over. Not even a little.

Do YOU??


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19 ♥ thoughtful comments ♥:

Zie Zie said...

I'm in tears too. It was so adorable to see her little eyebrows raise and come together as she was discouraged by his unwillingness to say "Yes, I will stop". I don't know how he wasn't able to speak those words to her after hearing such a concerned little girl, who obviously loves him so much. I see so much of the two of you in her. She is growing up to be such a beautiful little girl and she has such a wonderful little heart. I can see it now. She's going to do great things in this world!

meanestmommy said...

SO cute, Shaye. You must be so proud. :)

Lisa H.

Claire Winstone said...

I quit smoking a lot of years ago, when an adult friend confronted me. I think, if I still smoked and someone like this little girl spoke to me this way, I would stand on my head to find a way to quit, no matter how addicted I was--unless I was bound and determined to kill myself and too much of a coward to do it more directly. How could anyone resist a grandchild telling them they want you to be alive when they grow up? May she continue to speak her mind and heart this way, and I do hope Paw-Paw gives her request serious consderation.

sujata said...

Firstly let me tell you, your daughter looks just like you, just as strong and just as beautiful. The video made me feel really proud and there was this lump too, her expressions and her zeal were so touching, I am sure it would have had its effect on her grandpa, am sure he will start thinking about quitting. I also loved the way your mind worked, in the lines... why do I have the need to control this..

cheers to a great mom and a wonderful daughter!!
love
sujata

Jenn said...

You must be so proud. Good for her for standing up for what she believes in. I too, hope that he stops smoking? Who could say no to that?

Ms Perfect said...

She's very intelligent! She kind of reminds me of "My Girl", you know the movie? lol I wonder what the other end of the phone sounded like.

Juli said...

I am glad that she was able to share her thoughts/convictions with her grandpa. Hopefully he'll heed her advice.

Lynn said...

Shaye - I am very proud of you for recognizing that she wants and needs to be heard and allowing her to speak from her heart the things that convict her! You are teaching her amazing things in that!! What an amazing little girl! I believe that God has set a great purpose for each of His children and I can't wait to see what this one does! She has very strong convictions and does not seem to relent easily - a precious gift!

Dr. Wifey said...

my granddaddy was a smoker for over 40 years. when my little brother was about your daughter's age, he told my granddaddy, "I prayed to God today that you would quit smoking." he quit cold turkey! children are amazing. hope her little talk gets through to him

Amanda said...

That is so wonderful. I can't watch the vid from work, but just seeing the look on her face says more than enough. I remember feeling that way about my parents' smoking when I was a kid. Though maybe I wasn't quite as eloquent as your daughter. Both my parents still smoke . . .

Great post.

Willow said...

This post made me cry. My children missed out on a lot of great years with their grandparents because of health choices the grandparents made. The night we found out my mom's cancer would take her life, my brother and I vowed to each other (with our spouses) to eat more salad and exercise every day! We're going to be around to watch our grandchildren grow up!

Just so you know, my parents started wearing their seat belts when my 4 yo told them she didn't want them to die in a car accident.

Amy - AKA - TigerMommie said...

What a sweatheart! She's adorable....and no, I don't think that will be that last of it.......

septembermom said...

Her plea breaks my heart. She's so sweet and determined. I can't help but think of how my dad didn't get to know my kids. He smoked his whole life and lost his battle with cancer. She loves her grandpa so much. I'm still in tears.

beckyw said...

SO, has Pawpaw quit???? I think that this plea would be enough! SO sweet........

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Is it God-incidence that I posted about this subject? Amazing video. I am proud of her. How was PawPaw about this call? Hopefully he realizes it came from HER pure heart of love for him - not anything you or your hubby put her up to doing. What a sweet little voice she has. Sweet face. Sweet love. I miss her so much.

Lori said...

What a sweetheart. Good for her!

Thanks for stopping by and joining my link...Jerry Mcguire of Course! Good movie too.
Hope you have a great week.

Lori

Herb of Grace said...

Oh man! I wishwishwish I could watch this! Stupid laptop...

Anyways. I can imagine in my head how adorable she was....

Family legend states that a similar incident occurred between my grandfather and his only son when said son was six. He never touched a cigarette from that day on. Never underestimate the power of a determined youngster!

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

I'm sorry I'm popping back on here so late. I emailed each of you (who have your blogger reply email enabled) personally. However, several wouldn't let me through. :sniff, sniff:

Your responses were all so very meaningful. This little girl just loved her grandfather to pieces. And I want to clarify that I have no idea what was said on the other end of the phone line. The important thing is that she didn't hold back her own feelings of love and concern. My job, it seems, will be to continue to encourage her to be bold and say what's on her mind. I am, and will always be, proud to be her Mommy.

Holly said...

I used to smoke, about 12 years ago, I quit...soon after I found out I was pregnant with our first child. I never started again.

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