Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How Do You Spell, 'Maggie is Dead'?

Are you ready for one of, if not the best “Macy story” of all? Good, because you’re about to get it…

Mack and Macy, who were two and five at the time, were spending several days with us and it just so happened it was a few days before Father’s Day, so Emma (who was also visiting) and I were helping the girls make cards for Zach.

After decorating the front of the cards we told the girls we would help them write their names and a message to their daddy on the inside. Mack immediately asked, “How do you spell I love you, Daddy?”

Sweet, but predictable, right? Of course she wanted to let her daddy know how much she loves him.

Macy, on the other hand, asked, “How do you spell Maggie is dead?”


A few weeks prior to the card-making event Zach’s beloved dog, Maggie had died. Zach was raised on a farm and still farms, so he understands that animals live and animals die. He’d lost several pets over the years, but losing Maggie had been hard on Zach. They were close, those two.

Now before you pronounce judgement on my vivacious, adorable, and very loving Macy, let me explain something: In her own two year-old Macy Scout Noble fashion, Macy was letting her daddy know she was there for him—that she understood that he was sad and why. In her awkward two year-old Macy fashion, she was extending love, sympathy, and empathy.

Emma still jokingly refers to this as Macy’s way-to-stab-your-dad-in-the-heart moment, but we know better because we know Macy. We know Macy the way you need to know your children and how to listen for what is at the heart of their words.

Children don’t always have the ability to express themselves in a way we adults deem proper or tactful. Children are more literal and simplistic. Macy knew the card was an expression of love so she simply wanted to tell Zach that her love for him included her sympathy over the loss of a beloved pet.

The lesson here is this: before you reprimand your children for being insensitive, blunt, or even rude, consider the context of their words. Look for the simple, child-like message, because after all, they are children.

Momma D
                                             Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be copied or used without permission from the author.