I’ll tell you what, hanging out with a dramatic three and a half year old provides non-stop entertainment.

(Actually, everything about Lilli is non-stop, but I digress.)

I am marveling (marveling, I say) at her current command of the language. Her tones and inflection…her comprehension of what she’s saying. Especially, as Brody, a mere two and a half years younger, sits across the room from her, pointing at the dog and saying “ga.”

It’s a show of incredible growth.

For instance, here is a sampling of yesterday’s best:

Scene: Playing hide and seek with big sis, Valé. Lilli, in the washer/dryer closet; Mimmie, directly across from her in the pantry. Through a little slit in the door, I hear this, in a loud whisper:

“Mimmie. We’re getting dangerously low on Pop Tarts. You need to tell Mommy. I love ya, girlfriend. You’re the best! Mmmmwah! (tiny lips become visible to throw me a kiss).

Scene: Playing a game on Mimmie’s iPad, Lilli climbs up in Mimmie’s lap. The game seems to be frozen, and both parties work on it. After several failed attempts to get it up and running, Lilli looks into Mimmie’s eyes, then down, shaking her head with a somber acceptance:

“Oh Mimmie…(sigh). It’s just no use.”

Scene: Mimmie is loading a new game on her iPad for Lilli. (Yes, I realize there are two iPad references in this post. This has been a very busy week with birthday party prep and getting ready to move. Don’t judge.) Lilli is sitting next to Mimmie watching the little download indicator turn round and round.

“Mimmie, this is BORING.”

“Lilli, what does ‘boring’ mean?”

“It means that you are doing something you don’t want to do, and it’s not fun. Mimmie, I thought you’d know that.”

Scene: Mimmie is tucking Lilli in before nap (before she didn’t sleep for an hour and a half). Lilli looks at Mimmie with love in her eyes:

“Mimmie, you…you are my most beautiful cousin.”

That last one, there, fills me with hope that she’s really not off to college next year. Whew!

Later, as I was getting Brody dressed for bed, I was changing his diaper, and singing the Patty-Cake song, as he clapped his little hands. His tiny mouth, still with only two teeth, smiled big and broad, then he got serious and reached up for my face. He took his time and touched my eyes, then played with my nose. As his tiny hands reached each feature, I said its name, over and over, gazing, myself, into each of his beautiful own.

They are both sponges, those two. Brody, just beginning to identify the world around him, and Lilli, the product of a couple more years of the same. We think we’re done with this, as adults, but we’re wrong. Certainly, we continue learning until the day we die, but we think, because of our maturity, we don’t need to be concerned with what we’re soaking in on a daily basis, because we can differentiate between the good and the bad. But just like a kitchen sponge left filled with dirty dishwater a little too long, we can really begin to stink. And that’s not at all entertaining, and, unless you’re talking mold, the show of growth is hardly incredible.

As I continue soaking in the goodness that is my grandbabies, I pray that I’ll be modeling more of the good I soak up everyday, rather than the bad. Then, who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be Brody’s most beautiful cousin, too.


Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
    that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
    avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
    ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
    and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
    leave evil in the dust.” Proverbs 4:23-27 MSG

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 ESV

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT