I have baby-i-tus! It is awful and can only be satisfied when I hold and squeeze a baby! I am not sure when this “disease” took hold, but it has. I see babies that I don’t even know and I just want to walk up and touch them, hold them and squee-e-e-e-e-e-ze them!

Recently, I was in Palm Beach, Florida…walking through the mall. I noticed a lady with a stroller so I walked around to adore the “little one”. I got the surprise of my life…there, lying in the stroller, was the biggest, funniest looking English bulldog I have ever seen. I am sure my facial expressions were contorted…I was soooo shocked…to see a dog! The lady explained to me that the dog was like her child…she lived alone. I guess she felt she needed to give an explanation since my face was so “contorted!”

During my stay in Florida….I saw many strollers with babies and dogs. LOL!!! I just don’t see that in South Carolina and it was a first for me in Florida. I have a friend who explained this phenomenon to me by reminding me that many people retire to Florida, moving away from family to soak up warmer weather, and they often have dogs. Their dogs go everywhere with them. When Brewer, our oldest, lived in Washington, D.C. for a year, he told stories of people taking their dogs to work. Yes, people who worked in office buildings had their dogs in their offices. That is so funny to me…go figure………

I have concluded my baby-i-tus comes from God as a natural thing preparing my heart and life for grandkids one day! Until then…I have to love on other people’s kids. That is not a bad thing. In fact, it has brought a certain joy. I now marvel at things that when our kids were little I was too tired and stressed to notice.

Seriously, when our own kids were little, I was so busy figuring out the mothering thing–one of those things you figure out as you go–that all the little things our kids did? I just don’t remember marveling over them…like I do now! I love to watch the innocence of a small child learning, investigating or doing something for the first time. Or hearing them try to express themselves. They are innocent and sincere. They really aren’t concerned at all about what others think. There is this freedom of expression unknown to most adults. No real learned responses….a pureness that is fresh and original.

I find that kids are brutally honest. If they don’t like something they are eating, they spit it and could care less who is watching. LOL. As adults, if we eat something and we don’t like it, we often swallow quickly or check to see if anyone is looking and then secretly get rid of it. Be honest. Have you ever done this?

I also have marveled at how…kids have this built-in sensor that they somehow know…who likes kids and who does not. It doesn’t take them long to pick who they want to be around and who they don’t. So funny to me how, as we grow older, our “sensors” can get blurred. We have a harder time with discernment when it comes to certain aspects of people!

I love to question young children…they say exactly what they think….Ellen Degeneres’ most popular shows are when she interviews children. They are sincere. They are themselves. They have no filter. They just say what they are thinking! It so entertains me that now, when I am around young kids, I love to ask them questions and listen to their responses. I get so many laughs…my endorphins are always at an all-time high.

I can remember…when our dear friend was Governor of South Carolina. He told the story of entertaining foreign dignitaries at the governor’s mansion for breakfast one Saturday morning. They had young children at the time. Their middle daughter came bopping down the stairs, entered the dining room to give her dad a hug and kiss when she suddenly pulls away from her dad, the governor, and screams …”WOooow Dad, your breath stinks!” LOL….hahahahahaha! Awkward for sure………

Point of post….sometimes, when you want an honest answer, you may have to go to a kid!

ON a serious note…we all need blatant honesty in our lives. Proverbs 24:26, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.”

People who, in love, will speak the truth in love. Kids, especially when they are your own, are a great resource for honesty. There is an unconditional love that usually exists between a parent and a child. Maybe as a parent you can go to your child, especially if they are young adults or older adults, and ask them to be honest with you….!

The Bible says that the “Wounds of a friend can be trusted,” (Proverbs 27:6). Well, for me…we now have three young adult children. They aren’t perfect. They still have much to learn in life…and they certainly don’t know everything…but I know they love me. I know I am not perfect, and I know they love me enough to be honest. I can take their response and answers to questions I ask and filter them through a loving God.

Asking your kids what they think is a great way to learn more about what they see as opposed to what you think you know. A long time ago Bill and I took, and later facilitated, a parenting Bible study. One point the study brought out was that eventually your kids will grow up. We forget that in the middle of changing diapers or doing the mundane. But they all do grow up and then they can become your friends.

Aren’t there times when you wish you could be honest with someone? As an adult, or as a kid for that matter, have you ever wanted to be honest with your parents about something? If your kids are all grown up, put yourself in their shoes. Give them the opportunity to speak. I know it can be a little scary.

That is where I find the scripture found in Proverbs to be so helpful. Your adult children can be your friends and their wounds can be trusted! Listen to your kids….they may have some great insight……….

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