A Boy Named Heidi

A Boy Named Heidi

My grandson is seven.  A seven-year old knows the difference between boys and girls.  They have entered that “age of reason”, in which they question and try to successfully think for themselves.  They have formed opinions and know what they like and dislike.  Little boys for the most part still like hanging out with the boys.  Little girls with their quiet and “girlie” ways seem very foreign to a boy of seven.

My grandson is no different than other boys his age.  He likes Ninja Turtles, super heroes, speed boats and robots.  He started second grade last month basking in the carefree world of class time and playing with pals at recess.  Then something happened last week that stopped him in his tracks.

He got home from school one day last week wearing a most serious face and announced to his mother, “Guess what I found out today.”  His mother could not imagine what brought about such a long face on her happy-go-lucky kid.  He cried out, “MY NEW FRIEND IS A GIRL!”  She wanted to laugh, but her little boy looked devastated.  She held back the giggles and asked him what was the name of this new friend.  He replied, “His name is Heidi.”

My daughter grew up watching Shirley Temple movies.  They were a favorite at our house, especially “Heidi”.  So at first she was not understanding why her little boy had mistaken a girl named Heidi for a boy.  My grandson explained that he had not heard that name before and “besides, he looks like a boy and he talks like a boy!”, he explained.   She lovingly smiled and asked her son how after three weeks of playing with Heidi at recess, he had finally understood that Heidi was a girl.  He said matter-of-factly, “He told me he was!”.

She could hold back the giggle no longer.  Her son did not understand what his mom thought was so funny.  He found the entire situation to be humiliating and expected his mom to be outraged that her little man was the victim of a very serious con job.  He began to explain to his mom that this girl had a haircut like a boy.  “HE LOOKS LIKE A BOY!”, he insisted.  Mom told him that he obviously liked playing with Heidi and so he should continue to play with her at recess.  “And for goodness sake, stop calling HER a HE!”.

I love this story.  It lets me know that even with all the talk about “gender identity” and “gender confusion” by adults; children, in their innocence understand that we all are created male or female.  There are still stereotypes of what males and females look like and act like.  Heidi sounds like she is “tomboyish”.  She does not fit the stereotype, but she understands that she is a girl.  She is a girl who likes short hair and rough-housing with the boys at recess.

Unfortunately the world will try to shed our children and grandchildren from their innocence and the truth.  The truth is that everyone one of us is special and made by God in His image.  God does not make mistakes.  From the time we are conceived, our gender has been decided and cannot be reversed.

Jeremiah 1:5  “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you..”

 

 

Wrong side of the fence

MICHELANGELOI spent election day with my granddaughter and grandson.  We had errands to run in the morning, and so I thought it a good idea to have a gift for each of them at home for our return – if the two of them behaved.

It worked!  The two kids were very well-behaved and were very excited upon returning home to find a doll for the girl and a ninja turtle for the boy.  I was very proud of myself!  The kids immediately became involved with playing with their gifts and I began working on a gumbo.

It was nice to spend the day with my grandchildren.  The day was going extremely well until we took the dog, Oscar, out in the back yard.  My grandson decided to take his ninja turtle outside and began throwing the turtle around.  Our back yard is not very big.  There is a barbed wire fence at the very back of the yard separating my yard from a pasture.  Having the big field behind us gives the illusion that the yard is very big indeed.  After my grandson threw the turtle a couple of times, inching his way to the fence, I warned him to stop throwing the toy because it could end up over the fence.

Well, that was a mistake!  My grandson heard these words, looked back at me, took a big step forward and flung the toy over the fence!  He turned back towards me, and my face must have said it all!  His eyes got really big and he yelled at me to not worry;  he would go over the fence and get his toy.  I immediately yelled back at him that his toy was not on my property and he was not allowed to go over the fence.  And so the battle began.

He was not happy.  He had trouble controlling his emotions at that point.  The stomping, yelling, and crying took control over him.  I kept my cool and simply told him to get back inside.  He began jumping and yelling.  I began counting with my fingers – did not have to say another word – and he stomped right back into the house sniffling and carrying on.  I had to sit him in the hallway and told him he needed to calm down.

As soon as he quieted down, I sneaked out of the house and was able to just reach his ninja turtle.  I rescued Raphael from the neighbors and went have a sit down with my grandson.

Before I returned the toy, my grandson and I talked about LISTENING.  When I asked him what it meant to listen, he replied that one should listen to their moms, dads, grams, and pops.  I explained that he was a child and he should always listen to the grown up in charge.  I then asked him what happens when we don’t listen. He shrugged.  I told him, “BAD THINGS HAPPEN”!  He wiped his face and agreed with me.  He promised to try to listen.  He apologized and I gave him back the trouble causing “behavior gift” along with a kiss and a hug.

As children we are tasked with listening to our parents and grandparents, teachers, etc.  As adults we are tasked with listening to our Father in Heaven.  I am sure that when we don’t listen and BAD THINGS HAPPEN…God must shake His head!  Like any good parent, He must watch and say softly, “If only you had LISTENED!”.

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” Hebrews 4:7

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119

It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

The world tells us it is not necessary to listen to God.  The world tells us that we make our own rules and can do what makes us happy.  But our Father knows what is best for us and knows the way to our true happiness….Will we listen or end up on the wrong side of the fence?

C’est Bon!

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cross is Love

cross st bernadetteMy grandchildren attend St. Bernadette’s Catholic School.  My granddaughter is in first grade and I was very pleased to hear the first graders were doing a passion play.

If you think children are too young to understand the passion and its meaning, think again.

This past weekend, the grandkids spent a night with their Grams and Pop.  Of course we watched “Frozen”.  They had seen the movie several times already and really were not paying much attention to it.  I lost interest as well.  But on Saturday night, we were able to watch “Mary, the Mother of Jesus”, a movie none of us had seen before.

Both the seven-year-old and the four-year-old were very captivated by the movie.  When Herod ordered the infants killed, my grandson became very upset.  Jesus was just a Baby and he wanted to know why they wanted to kill Him.  I watched as his sister explained that Mary and Joseph fled and kept Jesus safe.  After she thought about it, my granddaughter continued to explain to her little brother that eventually the people do kill Jesus and He dies on a cross.

Her little brother was still very upset.  He asked the big question, “Why did Jesus have to die on a cross?”.

My mind was racing…How do you explain this big question to a four-year-old?

But, the Holy Spirit was at work.  His big sister smiled a huge smile, and simple said, “JESUS HAD TO DIE SO THAT WE COULD LIVE!”

Words so simple and so true.  He died because He loves us.

Jesus gave this message to Nancy Fowler in Conyers, Georgia in December of 1990: “I give you the love of My Heart.  When you walk in My light you know the way.  Then you have My Peace because you are walking with Me.  When you have My Peace, you know of My Love.  I was brutally struck everywhere.  If you start to count My wounds do you not miss the point?  See not My wounds, but My Love for you and all of mankind.  See My love first, then My suffering.  The Cross is Life.  The Cross is Love.  I am the Cross.”

Philippians 2:7 : “He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness.  He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death – His death on the cross.  For this reason, God raised Him to the highest place above and gave Him the name that is greater than any other name.  And so, in honor of the name of Jesus, all beings in heaven, on earth and in the world below, will fall on their knees and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

Amen.

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry

 

Grandmothers’ Gifts

mom

I was young when my mother’s mother passed away.  We called her Maw-Maw.  My only memories of her are of a very sick woman. My mother became her nurse in those days.   I do not remember any conversation I ever had with Maw-Maw.  My mother has told me that she enjoyed life. She loved dancing and visiting her friends.  It must have been very hard on her to have a disabling disease at the end of her life.

My father’s mother, we called Mom.  I was married with children when Mom passed away; but, I still never had a conversation with her.  Mom spoke only Cajun French and what little we said to each other was translated by my parents when we visited Mom and Pop every Sunday.  What I remember about Mom was her reverence to our Lord.  She was a very devout Catholic, always attending mass, saying her rosary and getting down on her knees at night to say her nightly prayers.  It made quite an impression on me as a young kid to see my two elderly and arthritis-riddled grandparents, who could hardly walk, on their knees beside their bed at night.

You might think I suffered in the grandmother-granddaughter relationship department.  You would be mistaken.  The Lord blessed me with two wonderful women in my life who were very much a “grandmother” to me.

The first of these wonderful women was a neighbor.  Mrs. Anita Larson, “Larson”, was a lonely widow whose only child and grandchild lived across the country.  My sisters and I latched onto Larson and we just adored her.  She called us her adopted grandchildren.  Some of my favorite childhood memories are sitting on Larson’s porch, in one of her big white wooden rockers, listening to her stories.  She was always full of compliments for us; the best shot of self-esteem a kid could have!  It was a true grandmother-granddaughter relationship. I never felt judged or unwanted.  I felt unconditional love.  Before Larson passed away, I was able to sit and visit on her porch with my own children.  She treated them the same; they too adored her.

The other grandmother in my life was my husband’s grandmother, Mama-Nu.  Words cannot describe the beauty of this woman!  I first met Mama Nu when my husband and I were engaged to be married.  She hugged me tight and said, “If my grandson loves you, then I love you – you are now my granddaughter!”  What a gift!  True to her word, Mama Nu always treated me as her granddaughter.  She had a twinkle in her eye and joy in her heart.  Everyone loved her and wanted to be around her.  What a special person.  It is 15 years today that she passed away, and she is sorely missed by all of her children and grandchildren.  It is impossible to think of her and not smile at some funny saying or antic she had come up with!

One day years ago, Mom was visiting us and she was able to walk next door with us and sit on Larson’s porch.  She and Larson spoke in French together.  Later on, Larson told me that my grandmother said her only regret in life was that she never learned English and could not speak to her grandchildren.

I consider myself very lucky in the grandmother department.  I know that I will see them all again one day.  When that day comes, I will get to know Maw-Maw and ask her to show me some of her dance moves.  I will thank her for the gift of my mother, who she raised to be the most excellent nurse, mother, and grandmother.

I will sit on Larson’s porch in heaven and finally have a conversation with Mom that we both understand.  I will thank her for the gift of her reverent and devoted acts; which spoke more loudly than any words could have.

And finally, I will greet my adopted grandmothers, Larson and Mama Nu and thank them for making me their granddaughter!  Their love and kindness is what guides me today in my role as a grandmother.

God Bless Grandmothers!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry