I giggled. Had the girl been standing in front of me rather than beaming from a photo my daughter texted, I would have squealed, and shouted “high five!” Then my grand daughter and I would have done a little victory spin.
“Caeris wanted you to know that she brushed her hair today. and she did!! I witnessed it. She came up and ASKED me for a brush.” the text read. I could hear the incredulity in my daughter’s voice through the exclamation points.
That in and of itself was grin worthy. But the next text? It cracked me up.
“She also made me a calendar to make sure I brush MY hair every day.” The text showed a sheet of paper filled with rows of rectangular boxes, all waiting for a daily check mark signifying that Caeris’ mom – my daughter – had brushed her hair.
My granddaughter and I are alike in many ways. We love story telling and good books, the color pink, and popping bubbles.
We also both have unruly hair, the kind that can be brushed and ten minutes later look like we’ve been in a wrestling match, the strands all knotted and tangled. Even with detangling creme it can be an ordeal to get a comb through our locks.
Naturally, Caeris hates getting her hair brushed. And she hates brushing it herself, even when I tell her she can use the butterfly-engraved brush that she finds so enchanting. The morning of our last sleepover, when she insisted she didn’t need to brush her hair, I decided to play on her love for vocabulary. I introduced her to the word hygiene, and explained brushing her hair daily was part of good hygiene.
“But Grandma, I just forget!” she asserted.
So I challenged her.
“The next time we have a spend-the-night, we’ll make you a special calendar and you can put a sticker or a check mark on it every day that you brush your hair without mommy or daddy telling you. Keep trying to remember until then,” I told her.
She didn’t appear enamored with the idea.
Then, today, more than a week later, I got my daughter’s text and realized our calendar conversation had stuck. Caer-Bear had not only been spurred on herself, but here she was encouraging her own mom as well, who, blessed girl, does NOT share our hair woes and has no need for such a checklist. Still, she got a grin out of the calendar and the heartfelt motivation.
My granddaughter’s response reminds me how easy it can be to live out the exhortation given to us in Hebrews 10:24 NKJV:
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works
These hard, hard days of 2020 seem to have folks tired, and frustrated, and so angry, in a tangled up mess of shut downs, and Covid-19, and finger-pointing and fears and – in my own country – in the midst of a polarized nation that focuses more on who and what we are against than on any attempt at unity. Many people are discouraged and sad and lethargic. Other folks are busy mocking and antagonizing “the other side; ” shooting arrows of sarcasm and hate that are lethal to relationships and wounding to the already weary.
Can we pause?
I understand we are passionate about our beliefs, our causes. But can we listen without our defenses up, without having to prove how “right’ we are and how wrong “they” are? Can we listen without preparing an answer ahead of time? Can we seek to understand others? Can we listen to what is being said rather than what we are hearing? Can we share respectfully? Believers, can we pray before speaking, before posting?
Can we love?
Can we spur one another on to love and do good, to untangle ourselves from the vitriolic ropes we are ensnared in?
It’s time to try.
So I challenge you, I challenge me. Let’s be purposeful. Let’s make sure we include in each day words to encourage and motivate others rather than antagonize or divide.
It’s amazing what a ripple effect kindness and encouragement can have. Let’s make ourselves a calendar if we have to – Caeris has already given us a prototype <grin>
Let’s just do it. Let’s spur each other on.
(Oh – and did you brush your hair today?)
Marie with a 🙂