I am asked often if Sarah talks. Most of the time when Sarah is in public, she will make noises, cries, occasionally screams, but rarely does she say words. Even at home, she says very little in the way of communication, but more as repeating words she has heard. She has a way of repeating us especially if what we said is said with great expression or emotion. If she really likes the phrase she will keep saying it even months later. (Oh good!)
An example is when our dog, Pudge, pooped in the house. This dog has very few redeeming qualities. He looks like a pig, snorts like pig, roots and sniffs around the house like a pig and truly I think sheds his body weight in dog hair each day. He was named after Pudge Rodriguez, the former Tiger catcher, but now his body shape matches his name. He is a pudgy pug and I was not too pleased when he had his accident.
“We don’t poop in the house! Potty outside!!” and with that I sent the dog into the backyard. Then, a voice mimicking me in exact tone and expression came from across the house,
“We don’t poop in the house! We don’t poop in the house! Potty outside!”
I found Sarah in the other room and I told her with great inflection so Jack could hear, “Yes, Sarah, Jack’s dog pooped in the house!”
(Jack asked for this dog for his birthday five years ago and we like to tease him that when Pudge does something bad, it is his dog.)
Sure enough, Sarah started chanting, “Jack’s dog pooped in the house! Jack’s dog pooped in the house!”
Jack with a twinkle in his eye came up to me and said, “Mom, that probably isn’t the best thing to say to Sarah.” I asked him why and he said teasingly, “I can see the word ‘dog’ being left out of that sentence and that could be very awkward.”
He had a point. I need to be careful with the words that I say.
When Kendall (and therefore, Sarah, too) turned 13 this year, I had a Blessings Party in her honor. My sister did this for her daughter when she turned 13 and I wanted to do the same for Kendall. I asked both sides of our family and ladies from our small group Bible Study to write blessings to Kendall as she entered her teenage years. I put all the notes into a keepsake book for her to look upon for years to come. I then surprised Kendall by having all of them waiting for us at a restaurant and I presented her the book. It was a night of affirmation, welcoming her into becoming a young woman of God and having these women show their support and love for her. It was just as special for me as it was for her, I think!
The hardest part for me was the words I would say to Kendall. How can I express all that I wanted to tell my daughter in a few pages of a book? All my prayers for her, my blessings for her life, my words that when I am gone she will remember me by? I decided for the last two pages of what I wrote, I would share my favorite Bible verses with her and why they are special to me.
I was trying to find a specific Bible verse and I just couldn’t seem to find it. I had the “ish” thing going on in my brain. ‘I think this verse is in Psalms-ish.’ ‘I want to say around Chapter 140-ish.’ I was searching and flipping back and forth through Psalms and instead another verse jumped out at me. When I read it, it was like I had never seen it before, but it was the perfect verse that summed up exactly what I wanted to say. I knew it was from the Lord and it became an “instant favorite” and made it into the book. It was Psalm 141:3.
“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
I told Kendall I want the words that I say to be pleasing to the Lord, not for Him to assign more guards over my mouth!
Such a good and challenging reminder, especially when I have a daughter who repeats the words that I say.