When you have children in the house you can be sure there will be accidents; spills, breaks, stains and any number of other ‘methods’ of turning something new or special into something new or special with a little added ‘character’. That’s life and there’s not really anything you can do to stop it. But what you can do is let your children know that you understand accidents are just that—accidents and that nothing you own is more important than they are.Extending this kind of grace is comforting and reassuring to a child. I know this is true because my Granny was the best at it…
One Friday evening when I was five, Granny came home from the grocery store with three things I thought were the best treats anyone could ask for: potato chips, French onion dip and a new orange wool blanket with the satin edging around it. Wow!
The chips and dip were great, but that blanket…. All we had were hand-made quilts and I thought that blanket was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. NOTE: Thankfully I’m a lot smarter now and appreciate the beauty of those quilts.
Later on in the evening I had a bowl of chips and dip and was then tucked into bed with that glorious orange blanket wrapped around me. A few hours later, however, I woke up not feeling very well. Too much of a good thing, I guess. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say the orange blanket wasn’t very pretty anymore. I was heartbroken. I’d ruined Granny’s brand-new blanket. I remember crying and repeatedly telling her how sorry I was. But in true Granny-fashion, she just cleaned me up and said, “There’s nothing to be sorry about. It’s just a blanket. It will wash. So don’t cry, just come sit with me so I can make sure you are alright.” Then she gave me a kiss and held me on her lap for a while before tucking me back into a clean bed for the rest of the night.Now I know that may not seem like much to some people, but to five year-old me that was the ultimate display of love; for Granny to care more about me than she did about a brand new blanket.
Forty-seven years later I still have that orange blanket. When Granny died almost two years ago, it was one of the few things I needed to keep as I prepared to sell her things. The satin edging is long gone and it’s been washed more times than I can count. But looking at that blanket reminds me that it is both an honor and responsibility to extend to our children the same grace God gives us and to let them know they are more valuable than all the blankets (or anything else) in the world.How about your children? Do your children know they are your greatest treasure? Does your love reflect an attitude that says things can be washed, mended or replaced…but that they can’t?