Words of Wisdom from the Refrigerator Door

Words of Wisdom from the Refrigerator Door

by T.W. Winslow
"To dare every day to be irreverent and bold. To dare to preserve the randomness of mind which in children produces strange and wonderful new thoughts and forms. To continually scramble the familiar and bring the old into new juxtaposition." - Gordon Webber.

Every so often something comes along which prompts me to evaluate myself and my life - something which helps open my eyes to some of life's simple truths, and, in doing so, provides me with direction and inspiration. Many times these come quite unexpectedly and from surprising sources.

One such something came just the other day. Alex, our seven-year-old daughter, brought home an assignment she had completed at school. The assignment entailed picking someone she loved and writing down some of the reasons for her affection. Alex's paper was titled, "My Mom is the World's greatest Mom because . . . "

If before reading her paper I was asked what reasons Alex would give for why she thought her Mom was the World's greatest, I would have guessed she'd said things like: she buys me toys; she takes me to McDonalds; she makes dinner; she takes me ice-skating, etc. Of course these things did appear on her list, but what surprised me were the other things she mentioned.

"My Mom is the World's greatest Mom because: She takes care of our family. She listens to what I have to say. Sometimes I tell her a secret and she keeps it. She plays with me. She loves me. . . ." In these few short sentences, I discovered what was most important to my daughter. Not the trips to the local burger joint or the new bicycle. Not the expensive ice-skates or the increase in her allowance. Not even the nice home she lives in. No, the things that matter most to her are the same things that matter most to us all.

We all want to feel safe, secure and protected. We all want to be heard, to have our voice count. We all want respect, to be treated honesty, fairly. We all want to be valued, to know others want to spend time with us. And most important, we all want to be cared for, to know we matter, and to feel loved.

As a parent, my daughter's words will remain with me forever. They will serve to remind me of what my daughter truly needs, rather than what I think I need to provide for her. Her words will also help me to remember that what she holds most precious are basically the same for us all. Perhaps this will enable me to be a better father, a better husband, a better friend, a better man.

As for my daughter's paper, it now hangs proudly in the Winslow Hall of Fame (ie: it's stuck to the refrigerator door) - a testament to the love between mother and daughter. As for what I think of Alex's subject matter, I couldn't agree more - her mom is the World's greatest! So what part do I as the father play in all of this? Theodore Hesburgh may have said it best; "The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." Well, that's one part I'm most happy to play.

© 2001 T.W. Winslow

About the Author:

Passing Thoughts is a syndicated column published on quality web sites, in electronic magazines and various print media around the world - read by millions each week. You can get Passing Thoughts FREE each week by email - subscribe by sending a blank email to: passingthoughts-subscribe@listbot.com or go to http://www.taddgroup.com For reprint information or to contact the author write to twwinslow@taddgroup.com


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