Normally, posting brags about the offspring make me gag.
Not the "my little boy did great" stuff but the, "isn't little Johnny so a-MAZ-ing?! In fact, so much better than your kid. It sure does help that my camera is better so he even looks cuter... blah, blah, blah" I usually try to keep my bragging to a minimum. But when I truly am pleased with my sweet girl, I like to post it so I can read back on days when I would like to sell aforementioned little lady. So, without anymore more excuses/explanations, I would like to share something that touched my heart yesterday.
We were reading scriptures together when a verse was read about the product of all the wars. In Alma, there is a part of the story that explains the amount of carnage by portraying the still living having the necessity to dispose the deceased into the river so there was room to walk. It was a very graphic picture in my mind. I made mention of this fact. Something to the effect of, "Ewwww! That's so gross!!! I can't believe there were so many people killed that they had to dump bodies into the river!" Kaitlin's face was priceless. She did not say anything right at that moment to me. I could see the cogs working in her head but no words escaped her lips. In fact, we had read a few more verses before that little girl climbed down from her perch next to daddy to stand directly in front of me. When we paused to hear her speak, Kate looked very somberly at me and said, "Mommy, how would you feel if you died and someone said, 'Ewww! Gross!'? Don't you think it might hurt your feelings to be talked about like that? I think it's important for us to respect those people, mom. "
I was stunned. Definitely not expecting that one. Kaitlin continued to talk me in a serious but loving manner. When my chastening was done, our family continued reading and Kaitlin went to bed. While that girl was sleeping, I kept thinking back to her speech. Her mannerisms. The way she looked at me, and came to this realization: She was talking to me in a way that I sometimes talk to her. Don't get me wrong, I do my fair share of yelling (even when I used to utter these words pre-motherhood, "I won't be a yeller"). I have moments of weakness that make me embarrassed. But to see Kaitlin take something good from our talks together made me rejoice in a way that is hard to explain in words.
It was only a small moment that lasted for a very small time. However, this moment took years of prayer, hope, restraint and love to accumulate. For her to follow in my sometimes steady example was a burst of sunlight in this dreary world. For that short time, I felt like I was residing in a literal heaven on earth. Because of Kaitlin's kindness and sympathy towards me, I was able to see how important it is to react in a kind way towards things our daughter does that I might think are utterly inappropriate.
I remember long ago hearing a mother bear her testimony in church. She spoke of the love that she had for her children. Because my mother was not living with us (across the country, in fact) at the time, my ears perked up to hear the tender words of this sweet mother. Among other things I'm sure, the only thing I remember distinctly was this, "I admire my children. They have so much more strength and faith than I do. They are such good examples to me." It was very hard for me to comprehend how someone I felt so faithful and strong could feel this way about her children. I now get it. I understand.
What gratitude I have that Heavenly Father saw it fit for me to have a child. Even if only one child is what he reserved for me, I am grateful that he saved me a truly special one. I hope that I will be able to look back on this moment and feel the same awe as I did at the time it occurred. What a true miracle the true gospel of Jesus Christ is. That I can strive to be a good parent in the midst of such scary times. That I can follow the example of the Savior and learn true parenting from a Father in Heaven that is the exemplar in parenting. How grateful I am for the mercy he shows me. I hope that Kaitlin will someday be able to look into her children's eyes and feel the same wonder I do at the child being a true example to the parent.