While watching the Jets score a touchdown during last Sunday’s play-off game, my granddaughter Anna asked why we didn’t call it a “touch-up”? After all the referees raised their arms up in the air. Otherwise they should put their arms down – she demonstrated by putting her little arms at her side. She has a point. My granddaughter Charlise coined the phrase “Oh, my cow!” – it’s her combination of “oh, my goodness” and “holy cow”. When our son Blake was about three years old I asked him to pick up all his toys. He informed me that he couldn’t carry any more because “he was full of hands”. My sister, who’s a grandmother herself now, once wanted to “buy something” off the knick-knack shelf at our grandmother’s house (to be honest Grandmother’s collection of bric-a-brac resembled the merchandise found at the local dime store). But it was cute and everyone laughed – except Kay who really wanted to buy something!
Most of us cherish the sayings that were invented or misinterpreted by the little ones in our families. Sometimes they are a clever reorganization of words or thoughts. Sometimes they are just mispronunciations or misunderstandings. Often they are remembered for years (or generations). What makes these words particularly meaningful is that they are simple and profound. They are TRUTH spoken by someone who is incapable of not speaking the the truth.
As parents (and grandparents) we are often amused by these statements. And sometimes we cringe – like the time Tyson, at about age two, encountered a woman with facial hair asked me “Why does that mommy have a mustache?” Oops!
The words our babies speak remind us of our own long-forgotten innocence. If we listen carefully we can hear the voice of God through these angels in our presence.
Pure. Simple. Profound.