Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Strawberries and Cream

The baby was in her high chair having strawberries and a bowlful of plain vanilla yogurt. The bus stopped in front of our house and she turned excitedly, knowing her siblings were due to come in the door.

“Ooh! Strawberries and cream!” exclaimed my ten-year-old daughter. “Can we have some?”

So they all sat down with a bowlful of strawberries and “cream”.

Feeding herself, alternating between fingers and spoon, the baby managed to eat quite a bit, but needed a bath afterward.

The kids love to participate in her bath time, rinsing her hair, sudsing her up, brushing her hair, and encouraging her to splash and play. The bathroom can get a bit crowded this way, so I have to ask them to take turns.

While I was dressing her, the other kids played downstairs on-and-off with doing homework. Three times they came to me, tattling. This one poked that one, and that one pinched this one. “Go back downstairs and I’ll talk to you about this in a minute,” I answered.

How was I going to deal with this, this time?

An answer quickly came to me.

I went to my eight-year-old’s room and grabbed her Precious Moments Bible.

“All of you sit down on the couch, right now,” I commanded.

They did so, and I opened up the Bible to I Corinthians 13.

“Who knows what I Corinthians 13 is about?”

“Love,” answered both my 8- and 10- year old daughters. My 6-year-old son was silent.

“Good,” I responded, and read aloud the entire chapter, stressing the verses that especially pertained to the behavior that was expected among them.

Here and there, they requested that I define a word, such as "provoked".

“And who are we supposed to love?” I asked.

“Everyone,” came the correct answer.

“And where are we supposed to start?”

No answer.

“Our family. This is where it all starts. You have to learn to love your own family before you can love all of the human family. Now hug and kiss each other.”

Genuine hugs and kisses went around.

If I had scolded them, there would have been a stiff hug and a muttered, begrudging “Sorry”.

I am looking in my concordance, preparing another passage for tomorrow.

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