Our youngest daughter is going to change the world. I’m not quite sure how she is going to do this, but I am 100% certain it will happen. I know this because she has been given the uncanny ability to see straight into people’s hearts. It’s actually pretty remarkable, and sometimes unnerving. Because she is so relationally driven, I know that we’ve got our work cut out for us in terms of helping her navigate through the painful parts of loving others. But today, let’s talk about the blessing that is Abby Jean Brown.
Don’t mess with my sister
I went out of town with my best girlfriends the other weekend, apparently I missed a moving display of fierce sisterly love. I’ll try to set the scene for you. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were in country visiting from overseas, we don’t get to see them very often, so this was a treat for the girls. My brother-in-law, I’m told, was teasing Lucy, and she was reciprocating to the point of being annoying. He told her that if she didn’t stop, he was going to throw her new pumpkin into the pool (they had just been pumpkin picking with my sister and her husband). Well, she didn’t stop…so…what did he do? As promised, he threw her pumpkin into the pool. As you can imagine, a major meltdown ensued (even though we all know pumpkins float). Then, to make matters worse, in true turn-the-other-cheek fashion, Lucy picked up his sunglasses and threw them towards the pool! As if this wasn’t bad enough, Abby took it upon herself to kick the glasses across the pool deck!
After Palmer diffused the situation, he calmly asked Abby, “Why did you kick Uncle Courtney’s sunglasses?” To which Abby plainly responded, “He was being mean to my sister!”
I have to say that this story elicits more of a motherly pride response than a remorseful sister-in-law response…sorry Uncle Courtney, I’ll buy you some new sunglasses.
It’s not a funny time Chuckster
Last night as we were saying our “good-bye’s” to my mom and her husband, Abby became very emotional. She and my mom have a very close bond, one that has been forged since Abby was born. She was in tears, holding onto mom’s arm through the car window, just sobbing…
My mom’s husband was generously trying to diffuse the situation with humor, making a funny jester towards Abby. Through her tears, Abby said to him, “Chuckster, it is not a funny time!”
I’m going to have to go all “counselor” on you for a minute to explain why I believe this is so amazing: In a very emotional moment, Abby was able to stay with her own self, recognize Chuck’s words, then firmly, but kindly say, this is a sad moment for me, please don’t try to make light of it. She was asking for attunement; the ability to recognize and reciprocate another person’s emotional experience. She’s 5 by the way.
Nobody told me T-Man had cancer
One of Abby’s closest friends has been triumphantly battling cancer since he was two years old. However, they didn’t become friends until he was through the stage of treatment when people could clearly tell what the sweet boy was battling. She only knows Titus, or “T-man” as a normal, strong, sweet kid who she likes to hug on, play with and pester.
Not too long ago, during tuck-in time, Abby said to Palmer, “Daddy, nobody told me T-Man had cancer. Not Mr. Paul, not Ms. Julia, Madelyn, or Rachel, or Isaiah. I didn’t even know!”
I don’t think Abby said this out of anger, I believe that her little heart and mind knows how big and scary cancer can be and she wished she had known so that she could have done something to help Titus. I hope and pray that she continues to love her friend’s with a fierce open-heart.
Abby will change the world. She may not make headlines, or gain worldly recognition for her abilities, but her impact with be wide and deep. Palmer and I feel so blessed to be the ones that God has appointed to care for and shepherd her along the way.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:1-4