Communication is very important in relationships whether it’s husband and wife, people dating, or parent and child. Feelings are expressed, ideas are bounced around or maybe you are just having fun talking. Conversations are key in life in order to see how things are going for others.
Spring break afforded my wife, my youngest daughter, and I the opportunity to spend some peaceful time at the beach. Once in a while you just need to get away, rest and regenerate. Usually, we walk on the beach we talk and in seeing that we have a 4 year old, we often experience different levels of conversation. Allie has the gift of talking and often monopolizes our conversations. Thus, conversation is usually about Allie or conversation is with Allie.
This year Allie decided to collect shells. She wanted to pick up every shell she saw declaring how beautiful each piece was. Many times we would tell her that a particular shell was broken or not very pretty, and we would throw it out. We decided that we would take the select ones and make her a necklace.
The next day we walked again, and my wife told Allie not to pick up the broken shells. This happened several times, but Allie continued to pick up the broken shells.
The conversation turned when Allie asked where all the shells came from. My wife picked up a piece of shell that had been tossed by the surf and said, “Allie, look how pretty this is.” Allie responded with, “Mom, your shell is broken.” My wife answered, “Yes, but God used the waves to smooth out the edges and make it beautiful.” She further explained that God had made the shells just like God had made people.
Allie pondered on this for a while and said, “God had made the shells. God made shells like God made people. Sometimes people are broken like the shells and God smooths out their brokenness and makes them beautiful.”
We decided to keep collecting all the pieces of broken shells, pretty or not, and make necklaces so we could be reminded that like the shells we are all broken but God can make us beautiful again.
My wife often gets that higher level of conversation that I miss out on. I look for times and topics to use to spur conversation and sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not. Therefore, conversations that I have with my daughter are quite different.
For some reason, I am the chosen one. In this I mean that when Allie has bathroom issues, she usually chooses me to help. When I hear “DAD” echo from the bathroom, I often cringe because of the pungency. During one particular occasion, she was quite aromatic. As I about choked to death and was trying to hold my breath I remarked, ”Wow, you know you should bottle this as a cologne.” Without missing a beat, Allie responded with a line from Larry the cucumber in Veggie Tales, “Yes, this is my finest hour!”
I may not get the sentiment that my wife gets, but at least we have some exciting conversations. And, lots of laughs.
***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo and the soon to be released Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo.