Writing a chapter for the One Word book certainly gave me a new perspective on the importance of focusing on powerful words, but listening to my daughter’s vocabulary begin to form has given this first time mommy an even bigger appreciation of focusing on words that inspire. Amelia’s first words were the typical, “mommy, daddy, baby” basics, but the ones she has added lately are quite telling on what her focus is on. Her favorite DVD to watch is Sesame Street’s Singing with the Stars1. I started singing along to Destiny’s Child’s “I’ve Got a New Way to Walk” song to encourage her to start taking her first steps. It’s now her favorite song, and she starts saying “walk, walk” when she knows that song is about to start. She started saying the word “walk” as she mastered the act of walking. It was crystal clear where her focus was… walk, walk.
Recently she’s been saying a new word and it took me longer than I should admit to figure out what she was trying to say. It sounded kind of like “shy.” Amelia’s anything but shy, and it’s not even a word we have occasion to say very often, so I was a bit stumped. I finally heard her say, “walk, walk, shy” and I realized that she was trying to say, “walk, walk, shine.” Of course! That’s one of the lyrics to the Walk song that I sing to her all the time. “I’ve got a new way to walk, and it makes my spirit shine.” Now that I know what she is trying to say, I’m coaching her to pronounce it a little clearer, but the important thing is that shine is a word she is focusing on and I couldn’t be more proud.
When I found out I was pregnant with her I began to pray that she would be a light in this world. I spoke this over her every day of my pregnancy and continue to do so. One of my favorite shows my husband and I binged watched while I was pregnant was Firefly2. My favorite character from the show is Kaylee Frye, the ever optimistic mechanic who can often be heard saying, “Everything’s shiny, Cap’n!” I would rub my belly when we watched the show and tell my husband that Amelia would be like Kaylee, sweet, smart, tough… a light. Speaking this over her has certainly paid off because she does shine, she is indeed a light. She’s such a happy little girl who has a way of lifting everyone’s spirits. She can also commonly be found in her room playing with her mechanic’s car3. The sound of her toy screwdriver humming away tells me that she is going to be our little Kaylee Frye in more ways than one.
The words you speak over yourself and your family are so important. Typically, if someone tells a new parent that they will have to start being careful about what they say in front of their baby, they mean to be careful not to say a swear word. While that is true, it’s not just about what not to say, it’s about choosing the right words to say, choosing the right words to add to your baby’s vocabulary and your own. I know I’ll be consciously using the word “shine” more often. I want to shine in my roles as wife and mother. I want to shine in my career and in my hobbies. I want to shine as a light to encourage others but most importantly, I want my daughter to shine in all that she does, and I know that she will. She makes my spirit shine!
Journal questions: What words are in your child’s vocabulary? Do the words your child speaks match what they should be focused on? Do the words you speak reflect what you want for your family?
1 Disclaimer: I hate to admit it, but I now only know the Sesame Street versions of songs.
2 Yes, I’m still bitter it was cancelled after one season.
3 My Dad loved to wrench on some old cars, so I know he’d be proud of this, too.