My daughter Maggie is a very kind caregiver. Whenever I am losing patience with Ben she's all, "Come on Ben. Let's go color." Or something like that. And she says it in a really nice voice that I'm sure she has never heard me use before. Seriously, I'm not trying to portray myself as some kind of saint.
(Or am I?)
And I'm not suggesting that she really did learn how to be nice from me. I don't think she did. She seems to have some kind of natural maternal gift. When I was little I was more like her I suppose, but I mothered a hot water bottle which I filled with warm water and dressed in baby clothes. Looking back, I don't really know why I did this. The hot water bottle did feel and weigh more like a human baby than my dolls did so that makes sense. Then again, it had no arms or legs or head. As perplexing as the hot water baby's appeal seems now, it entertained me for YEARS.
When I was little I also always wanted to be a nurse, which involves caretaking. I planned on being a nurse until I started college when a little something called "chemistry" made me re-think it. Strangely, in the interim between my senior year at BYU and graduate school I decided that if I didn't get into graduate school I would become a mortician. As a teenager I was seated in the front of the hearse at my grandmother's funeral and was impressed with the undertakers. It takes a special kind of person to make those kinds of arrangements. For a time I thought I was that kind of person. But I probably wasn't. As perplexing as the appeal of a career as a mortician seems now, I seriously looked into it and Christian supported me. You see, we went to high school with Mercedes Berg of Berg mortuary who was as rich as she was tan so that probably skewed our thinking.
Anyway, the other day I was marveling at how wonderful Maggie is with Ben and wondering, once again, from whence her mothering skills come. They were upstairs quietly playing for quite a while when I went to check on them and saw this:
What I like best is that Maggie taped a book onto Ben's lap for him. You see--however different we may be, we both value literacy. Perhaps I have rubbed off on her just a little.