Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Words that Count

While Mama’s naturally drawn to healthy foods, she can eat whatever she wants and doesn’t gain weight. It would be a blessing if she packed on a few pounds. On the other end of the weight spectrum is Daddy. He doesn’t like veggies unless fried okra counts. He likes couch time and a handful of chips.

Caught in the middle is Sweet Girl. She likes Daddy’s leniency with soda, chips, and candy, but also knows Mama’s mantra: eating healthy food is good for you.

Now she’s learned some new words outside the home: fat and skinny. She’s working out if one of the words applies to her. Sweet Girl is six. She has an athletic build. She’s neither heavy nor willowy.

The other night she leapt into Mama’s lap and said something about being skinny. This is what Mama said: “You are healthy. That’s the most important thing I care about when it comes to what you look like. I also care about you being smart and funny…” The conversation became a word game. She added some words to the list and echoed some of the words Mama threw out. Mama’s list included being compassionate and showing kindness.

Without missing a beat, Sweet Girl said, “I am kindness.” Mama prays that Sweet Girl can concentrate on the words that count amid all the other words that will swirl around her… and that she’ll grab a cup of greek yogurt when she needs a snack.

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