Yesterday morning a cute thing happened while we were getting ready for church.
Our children were running around underfoot vying for our attention by singing, handing us toys, and asking 247 questions while we were somewhat focused on things like combing hair and brushing teeth. (That is not the cute part. Just a piece of what defines normal around here).
While I was straightening my hair and Ian was putting on his shoes and socks, Ky marches into our bedroom, stomping her feet to a little ditty she had made up. After a few verses, she looked at us and asked, "Hey, I'm singing a song I made up and stomping my feet to the beat. Isn't that impressive?"
To which Ian and I both responded affirmatively. After all, some of us in the family
I'm not mentioning names have difficulty clapping and singing at the same time. Not to mention that the little song was rather cute. And she did correctly used the word impressive.
Satisfied with herself, she smiled and started to walk away. But after just two steps, she paused, turned around and said, "So what does impressive mean?"
We had to pause for a moment to be able to break down the definition of impressive for her. We stumbled over several partial definitions before finally coming up with, "If something is impressive then it makes people say, 'Hey, that's cool!'" And then of course we asked her why she used a word if she didn't know exactly what it meant. Her answer came without hesitation.
"Well, I've heard you use it before, and I thought that it meant something that was neat or good, so I wanted to try it out."
And from that brief encounter, I've realized two things.
The first was immediate. Ian and I looked at each other as soon as Ky seemed satisfied with our explanation of impressive and noted that we had a VERY HARD time defining the word without using a form of it in our definition. We laughed as we realized that we totally stumbled over explaining what impressive means in "almost five year old" terms (cause you know, she's no longer 4 1/2) and pretty much used examples of how the word is used.
The second took me until today to fully see. My big girl is now taking things in at an amazing rate. She may not have known exactly what Webster's uses to define the word impressive, but she sure knew what it meant in context. And she used it correctly as she tested that word out on us.
Which makes me stop to think...
As my big girl watches me, though she doesn't understand it all, what does she take in about my speech, my habits, my life? As she heads off to kindergarten in the fall or over to friends houses (GASP ~ without me) in the coming years, what parts of me will she reflect in context?
Gulp...that's a big responsibility!