As we drove back from the hair salon, my neighbor Joann thanked me again for driving her.

“You’re very calm, and I like that. Some people aren’t when they drive.”

I smiled a little because ‘calm’ and ‘patient’ are words that many have used to describe me, but, in the last three years, they are words that to me seem the furthest away. I’ve wanted to reclaim them so that my kids would see what others have seen. I’ve gotten a little help along the way, but I’ve also learned a new trick.

I study them, and I savor their uniqueness. Last night, I watched as Chloe ate her ice cream cone. She took a napkin and delicately wrapped it around the cone to keep the melted mess from running down her hands. And I watched her little tongue. She stuck out that little tongue just over the top of the napkin that came up a little too high, and she found the soft cream below. Oh, how she enjoyed that ice cream!

Watching that sweet face, my heart couldn’t help but turn tender. So I watch my children now, and I send up a note of thanks for every ‘Punky Brewster’ style outfit, every nonchalant attitude toward another 100% on a spelling test, and every silly expression that comes out of her mouth. And this heart turns to mush every time I do.

Linking up with the Gypsy Mama for her Five Minute Friday where we write what comes to our minds whether or not it’s exactly right. We spend five minutes getting down those thoughts and don’t change once they’re here. Click below to play along. What makes your heart tender?


13 thoughts on “Tender

  1. I watch my kids too…all the time. Isn't it something? What about touching those little fingers that are gripping the ice cream cone?! I mean, shut-up girl, that's some sweetness right there.


  2. Lisa, I love your comments–they crack me up! But, yes, one of the things I'll miss when these kiddos get bigger is those sweet, little finger and toes!


  3. You know what, Jennifer? You ARE patient and calm. And, kind and loving and generous and peaceful, good, and most of the times, joyful.
    Love that picture of Chloe.


  4. wow I feel calm just reading it all.
    you are such a great writer to be able to convey your children and you spirit in your writing.


  5. that's a great trick. it's the pause that is refreshing…I think that was a soda slogan back in the day but it's true. Oprah says before she REacts she pauses and looks for the truth in the situation. So awesome that you are practicing this. More of that in your life I pray for you …that your children would see what you are…they would see they are blessed to have a blessing for a mom.


  6. So beautiful! I hope that I can pay attention to my kids that way when I have them! I especially love the image of your daughter eating ice cream – it takes patience and calm and so much joy to capture that in words. Thank you!


  7. I love watching my 2 year old daughter especially when she is experiencing new things. As adults we never take the time to stop and enjoy what is around us but children don't know any better. I love the photos you included they go with the post perfectly.


  8. Stepping back to be the observer for a while can change us dramatically – this is beautifully put, Jennifer. Keep watching, looking for the good stuff. Wish I'd learned that earlier in my life. You are SO on the right track – and this is just lovely to read. Thank you.


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