filed under: Miscellaneous on August 8, 2009

Picnik collage 

My first born Colton. 

A very…

…smart child. 

He, as some four year olds do, is certain that everything in the world is his and we are all just trying to take his stuff away.

A philosophy that is still in practice by certain senators and members of congress.

Well then.

Sometimes, I look into those curious eyes of his, I see a much older boy then actually is standing before me.  And my expectations of him grow and I have such a strong desire to see him make good choices and do the right thing.

The other day, as I was lecturing him on right and wrong, he threw his hands up in frustration, covered his eyes and hung his head.

And as I kept on with my righteous tirade, something caught my attention.


His little hands. 

Tiny little fingers covered in marker and glue, clenched in frustration.


I think I stopped mid-sentence.  As I stared at his hands, it occurred to me. 

He's just s little boy.

Just relax Amanda.  He'll understand soon enough.  But right now, in this moment, show him compassion and concern.  Show him what love feels like.  What it feels like to be loved even when we don't think we deserve it.


While it is important to me to instill right and wrong, its equally as important for me to show him compassion, grace, and mercy.

Just like it has been shown to me.

And tomorrow, when I have to break up another fight over another toy, I just might take that tiny hand into mine and try a different way of teaching.

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  • Tina Fisher says:

    Oh how I hear you here sister! Their hands, their feet, their innocent eyes. Brings tears to me eyes! Compassion, grace, and mercy…three words I should put on my fridge so I remember daily.
    You’re the best Amanda!

  • janmary says:

    Lovely – we can learn so much through our kids!

  • he & me + 3 says:

    That is so true. Great post. I love his sweet little hands. So cute.

  • he & me + 3 says:

    That is so true. Great post. I love his sweet little hands. So cute.

  • Bethany says:

    This so blessed me. Rough days in our house have sent me to my knees more times than I care to count. It was refreshing to read this perspective. Thanks for sharing a very real moment of your life.

  • Gardner Momma says:

    So true. My oldest is also a 4-year old very wild little boy. He looks so big compared to his little sisters but I too have to remind myself that he’s still my baby, still a little boy. Such a sweet post!

  • LindaSue says:

    Glad you found me…and I found you! I needed your post after the one on my daughter 🙂 And after reading thru several entries, please know that we have healthy stuff at our market in Park Rapids ( and we’d NEVER be rude or look down on you.
    Thanks…honestly…I needed the reminder about 4 y.o.s! Blessings to you, too!

  • Karen@SurvivingMotherhood says:

    Bravo, Amanda! Bravo!!!
    Because I am sure the lesson on mercy and grace will speak louder and last longer than the lecture on right and wrong.
    TOTALLY agree with you – we need to instill right and wrong. But they’ll hear it much more clearly when they understand the compassion first.
    Keep it up, momma!
    BTW, you live in MN, right? How far from the Twin Cities?

  • Molly says:

    Amanda, this is something I struggle with every day. It was refreshing to read your honesty, your compassion, and the remembrance to take a step back and realize they are still learning; and will continue to do so for the rest of their precious lives. Thanks for this post; it brought tears to my eyes as I looked at his hands. And thank you for reminding all of us to show compassion and love. THAT will lead them on the right path!
    Gosh I miss you!!!

  • Sarah says:

    Amen, my friend. From your lips to God’s ears. May I show a little grace and compassion in my battles today.

  • Laura says:

    This is so true! Sometimes it’s so hard to remember they are just little kids and sometimes we need to find different ways to get into their cute little crazy heads! 🙂

  • carma says:

    As soon as I saw those pictures, I thought gol-ly, you can tell pretty much what he will look like as a teenager – and then I read your words. I have a feeling your new technique will get through to him much better. Isn’t that what we all want? To be heard and to know that someone is listening and cares? You are an A+ mom 🙂

  • Kristin says:

    Mercy and grace. Beautiful.

  • denise says:

    less is more…in many senses of the words…you said it so much better than any words i can write here to supplement. thank you for the reminder, personal lesson…i can relate in so many ways and just want to come out on the side of grace….thank you again…