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Inspiration from Simple Conversations

July 14, 2011

I love it when I’m having a conversation and the person I’m talking with says something so profound and poetic that it just makes me say, “Wow … what a perfect way of expressing that.”

I’d like to share with you two “quotes” from people who said just a few sentences, but the words have deeply resonated with me.

The first came from a conversation I was having with my family practice doctor many years ago. (Despite his inspiring words, I don’t see this doctor anymore — but that’s beside the point.) We were talking about Sophie, when he said how he remembers his children at that age, even though they are now teenagers. And then he said this:

When your kids are little, you worry they’re going to run out in the middle of the street and get hit by a car. And when your kids are teenagers, you start worrying they’ll be the one driving that car that hits the kid.

I love these words! They’ve stuck with me for years. His sentiments perfectly illustrate how worry will always be a part of parenting. And even as your children grow, the worries are still there, they just change with time.

For some reason I always picture in my head a movie character saying this during a pivotal plot-point.

The second phrase I’ll tell you about also has to do with parenting. It comes from a recent conversation with a fellow mom whose children are 18- and 20-years-old. She was telling me about a time she and her daughter were talking about love and heartbreak, and she said this phrase to me.

As our children get older, you realize you can’t fix the things the hurt them. And you stop being a magician and start being a human being.

I was blown away! What a perfect way to illustrate how one’s role as a mother changes as your children get older. And no matter how much you want to, you can’t always make everything better or perfect. Even with Sophie (a mere 3 1/2-years), I can already feel this statement applies to me.

These words and sentiments move me. And such inspiration did not come from books, television or movies. It came from people and casual conversations. Musings like these help bring the introvert in me out of her shell to interact with others.

I wonder what I’ll hear next…

40 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2011 11:54 pm

    What magical words!!! Thank you for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • July 17, 2011 11:02 pm

      And thank your for visiting and commenting!

  2. July 15, 2011 2:30 am

    My husband and I were just talking about how much our worries have changed over the years….and it’s true we can’t solve their problems (nor is it appropriate, nor do they want us to!) anymore….but the worries never stop! Today I’m thinking about my (19 yo) “little girl”–who was Sophie’s age, it seems just yesterday–as she heads alone by train to visit a friend in a huge city! She’s so excited and I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty stressed out….

    • July 17, 2011 11:01 pm

      I don’t blame you at all. And I know I’ll have many moments like that in my future. Thanks for your nice comments.

  3. July 15, 2011 2:43 am

    That’s why writers are supposed to carry a notebook with them at all times! Sweet!

    • July 17, 2011 11:00 pm

      Exactly! I didn’t have a notebook with my at the doctor’s office. But I’m glad I remembered it all these years later.

  4. July 15, 2011 4:28 am

    Of the many accidents my son has had, I can certainly identify with the dr’s quote. Thankfully, he has only hit cars. Knock wood and metal, he’s doing really well now ๐Ÿ™‚

    • July 17, 2011 10:59 pm

      Glad your son is doing well. Isn’t that a great quote? Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

  5. July 15, 2011 5:51 am

    My mom use to tell me small kids – small worries, big kids – big worries. So true, it never goes away.

  6. July 15, 2011 5:53 am

    Lovely Leah. These are the inspirational milestone alone the way that teach us and help us keep going. When my children were small I remember reading about the necessity of giving them roots and wings and that has stayed with me. Sophie is extremely blessed to have such a conscientious mother.

    • July 17, 2011 10:58 pm

      Thank you very much, Elizabeth! I appreciate your kind words.

  7. aig63 permalink
    July 15, 2011 6:20 am

    Lovely words – thank you. There’s a car commercial I have seen recently where a father is talking to his daughter in the car seat through the window. Throughout the commercial, he is talking to a 6-year old strapped in her seatbelt in the driver’s seat. Of course, she’s not 6, she’s 16. We hope and pray – that we’ve done alright by them!

    • July 17, 2011 10:57 pm

      I’ve seen that commercial and it brought a tear to my eye the first time I saw it. It’s a sweet ad (and I never even watch ads). I know I’ll feel just like that dad one day! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  8. Lena permalink
    July 15, 2011 6:29 am

    Great quotes — the magician one especially resonated. I often feel as a Mom that I have to make everything perfect for my kids and when that falls short I feel like a failure. If an event or activity doesn’t come off flawlessly (i.e. not according to MY plan) I am disappointed for them, but they don’t even seem to notice. The imperfections, like an overwhelming amount of bugs on a recent vacation, were just part of the package and they never complained and in fact said they were having the best time “ever.”

    Even when our kids are at a young age, this is a great lesson to learn. That life will happen, we try to protect our kids as much as possible but when sad things happen, etc. it is a part of growing up and they will learn from it. My son burnt his finger this morning by touching the hot toaster –something we tell him not to do ALL THE TIME — well, now he probably won’t do it again.

    TGIF.

    • July 17, 2011 10:56 pm

      Thanks, Lena! Great comments. And I feel the same way. Sometimes trying to make things perfect when who would really know? And what’s really perfect! I’m finally starting to realize that perfection doesn’t exist. But the moments between Sophie and I do, and that’s what I should focus on.

  9. July 15, 2011 7:02 am

    Great post Leah. I remember my mother always telling me when I was upset as a teenager and on into my adult years (usually over a boy!) how she wished she could magically make everything better, but of course she couldn’t. But just her being there was what really mattered. And since it’s her birthday today, I should stop typing and call her and thank her for that!

    • July 17, 2011 10:55 pm

      Glad I inspired you to call your mom! I remember having those conversations with my mom too. I never understood what she meant until now.

  10. July 15, 2011 7:27 am

    Thanks for sharing this Leah. It illustrates why as a culture we need to stop celebrity worshipping and really pay attention to the people that are out the on the front lines every day (moms and doctors and so many others), because they have the every day wisdom of experience that we can all really relate to.

    • July 17, 2011 10:54 pm

      I hadn’t thought about it that way, Susan. And so true. Thanks for the great insight.

  11. July 15, 2011 8:19 am

    Nice! This is why finding community with others is so important. You never know who is going to say something that sticks with you. Thanks for sharing!

    • July 17, 2011 10:53 pm

      Exactly! Thanks for commenting and visiting!

  12. July 15, 2011 9:53 am

    Great post…it’s amazing where pearls of wisdom are found!

  13. July 15, 2011 11:56 am

    The same thing goes for kids – as we get older, we start to see our parents as people who live and breathe and hurt and cry and get sick. It can be frightening, but I think at the same time it helps us love our parents even more – because we see we’re all made from the same stuff.

    • July 17, 2011 10:52 pm

      YES, so very true! It’s a strange feeling when you start seeing your parents as human beings, isn’t it? Thanks for visiting and sharing.

  14. July 15, 2011 1:44 pm

    Both remind me of something my mother used to say whenever i reached a milestone. “When you were a baby, I prayed that God would spare me so that I could see walk. When you walked, I prayed that He would let me hear you talk. When you talked, I prayed that I would see you go to school. When you went to school, I prayed to see you at university. When you graduated, I prayed to see you get married. I thank God for everything I was able to see you do.”
    Having a child is a wonderful blessing as well as a huge responsibility. As you’ve said, as much as you try, you can’t make everything better.
    Enjoy the beautiful moments and the gift that is your daughter,
    Marcia

    • July 17, 2011 10:51 pm

      What beautiful words your mother said. I LOVE that! Thanks for visiting and sharing.

  15. July 15, 2011 2:38 pm

    Wise words. Thanks for sharing them.

  16. July 16, 2011 7:05 am

    What beautiful sentiments! I’m not a parent, but many of my friends are. These could indeed be wise words for them. I tend to find inspiration for my stories or blog posts through ordinary conversations, too. As writers, it’s so important to PAY ATTENTION! These simple conversations can act as the most inspirational moments.

    Thanks for sharing, Leah!

  17. July 16, 2011 9:43 am

    I’m not sure the worries ever stop. My grandmother was a complete mess about worrying. She worried about everything, including that the toaster didn’t like her. I told you she was a mess! One of the best lines I’ve ever heard from a stranger came while I was on vacation. A little old man walked up to me and dropped such a pearl into my lap and then vanished. It is the first line of my book…whenever I get that out. Another thing to worry about! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • July 17, 2011 10:49 pm

      You have me so intrigued now! I’m dying to know that pearl of wisdom was. Write your book now.

  18. July 17, 2011 9:45 am

    Kitty advice over at The Garden Gate Leah! LOL

  19. July 17, 2011 5:53 pm

    Leah, my “children” are now 19 and 25 and I can tell you that as a parent, you go through as many transformations as they do. It’s like the growth and development doesn’t just apply to the kids, but to the parents as well. And you’re right–the worries, the concerns, the angst–only gets worse as the child gets older. I have gone from worrying that my child will choke on a grape to worrying if he’ll get home safely from a club. That said, I believe the angst is the same, because no matter how old they get, they never stop being your babies.

    • July 17, 2011 10:48 pm

      Great insight about how we parents grow and develop just as the kids do. I’ve already seen that with myself and Sophie. Thanks for your nice comments.

  20. July 17, 2011 9:33 pm

    Wow! These are very applicable, very true statements. Thanks for sharing!

  21. July 18, 2011 10:13 pm

    I really enjoyed this, even thought I stuttered here and there.. I am certain we never stopping worrying about our children,and as parents we go through as many transformations as they do, but not always in harmony. I have a 17 year old leaving for college in a little over a month. I can’t tell you how much this milestone weighs on my heart. I have random moments where my tears have no end, where my concern for her well being stops me in my tracks. I wonder all the time how she will cope without me close by, but then… I know I’ve not choice. Your words reminded. Wonderful post, Leah. sniff sniff.

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