Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Even when She doesn't Like Donuts

This picture is from last year, December of 2013, taken
after my ankle surgery.  This is a knee caddy.
(If you saw my recently blog entry, Casts: Just Another Canvas Full of Potential, you know that I've recently reinjured my right ankle.  For the last few weeks I have had limited mobility as I hop along with my new, blue, beautifully decorated accessory on my leg - a cast.)

"Crystal, come with me to my room so we can play!!", Rayna exclaimed cheerfully on Christmas day.   Gliding down the hallways of her house on my fancy, better-than-crutches, knee caddy with my blue cast resting upon the leather seat, I followed my excited 4-year-old little cousin who was ready to play with her newly opened Christmas toys.

Once arriving to her princess/Mickey Mouse themed room she instantly sat on the floor and started to play with her new Lincoln Logs.  I stood there casually, on my one good leg watching her, as I talked with another family member in the room.  And then I ate it.

Before I realized what was happening, my still-bent right knee with my casted leg abruptly hit the (thankfully) carpeted ground.  Confused as to how I could fall while standing perfectly still (I mean, I know I'm accident prone...but even that was a weird one for me!), I looked at my knee caddy and instantly knew there was no way I'd be getting back on it.  There was no way, as the seat was tilted and broken off the base of the scooter.

For the rest of Christmas day, I went back and forth from the living room to Rayna's room by the use of my crutches...All while Rayna continuously asked me throughout our time together, "Crystal, why do you have so many owies?"

She even imitates my passion for
taking silly face pictures.
Today, nearly one week after Christmas, my grandmother sent me a video of my 4-year-old cousin pretending to walk on crutches.  With the help of a child's upside-down broom stick and the support of my grandfather, she dangled her right leg in the air - keeping it from touching the ground.  (I've included the video at the end of the entry, after receiving her mother's permission to post it.)

Replying to my grandmother's text, I asked her what inspired the moment of the video.  She told me, "I think it's 'who' and not what.  Maybe you??"

It was a humorous video to watch, and I had a good laugh...but it was also a good reminder of how observant children are and that they are constantly trying to imitate the actions of those that they look up to.

Rayna is in a BIG Crystal phase right now.  She's always asking when she can see me again and telling all her friends that she loves family dinners because, "I get to see Crystal!" During Christmas dinner she even made a lengthy toast filled with her thankful heart, ending it with, "...I'm just so thankful for this great big universe, but most of all I am thankful forrrrrr CRRRYYYSSTAAALLLL!!"

A few weeks ago my my mother and I went to see Rayna and her parents - Krispy Kreme donuts in hand.  (Which are a valuable delicacy for my city since we don't have a Kripsy Kreme locally.)  Ignoring the donuts, Rayna pulled me towards her parents bed and had me read her one of her favorite books.  At some point I told her, "Hey - there are donuts in the living room...Do you want a donut?  I love donuts.  They are one of my favorite treats."

As we sat to eat our donuts, once back in the living room, Rayna exclaimed, "I just LOVE donuts!"  Her mom, my aunt Felicia, looked at me and said, "Um...What?  No she doesn't.  She doesn't like donuts - she never has.  I think your little cousin is trying to impress you."

I think it's safe to say that she's currently my biggest fan.  Or, at least, one of them.  And she's watching me.  She's eagerly and dilligently listening to my words and to the things I say. She's trying to figure out how to be like me, trying to impress me when she copies my actions and says the things that I say - even when she doesn't like donuts.

As a new year begins I know that many people are reflecting from their year in 2014.  They are setting their New Year's Resolutions. People are striving to find new ways to live a better life in the coming days - and that's great!

As we get ready for our new year by reflecting how we spent the last 12 months and as we plan how to spend the next year, let's not forget the influence we have on others.

Maybe you don't have a 4-year-old cousin watching your every move who begs you to read the classics of The Poky Little Puppy every time you go to her house.  But
maybe you have a 12-year-old nephew, an 18-year-old granddaughter, little sister/brother, or you hold a leadership position in a church or school.

In the middle of our reflection and attempts to have a better new year let's ask ourselves,  "Am I living the kind of life I want my ______ (cousin, child, sibling...insert name here.) to imitate??  Am I choosing actions that I want them to choose?  Am I living a life I want them to live?"...Because their little eyes are watching, their ears are listening, their minds are memorizing, and their actions are copying.  They're ready to tell you that they love donuts, even when they never have...just to impress you.

The children in your life, whether they be your own or not, are looking up to you for guidance.  Even if you don't think you are - you are a role model.  You are someone else's inspiration.  You represent what someone wants to become.

The Travelin' Chick,
Crystal





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