Thursday, July 1, 2010

When There Are No Words

The birthday party is winding down. My big girl is opening the gifts, and then the mothers will be arriving to take their little girls home.

I had carefully coached her in advance on proper gift receiving etiquette, and she is doing great, dutifully stopping between each one to say thank you.

She picks up a brightly wrapped box. A little girl bounces excitedly in her seat, her pink hair ribbon matching the rhythm, and I assume she is the giver of this gift.

My big girl tears the paper, and I hold my breath.

It is a game we already own.

I look at her intently, willing her to read my mind.

"Say thank you. Just...say...thank you..."

"We already have this game," she says, in obvious disappointment.

The little girl looks crestfallen, her pink ribbon drooping.

My big girl looks up and catches my eye. A look of comprehension dawns on her little face.

She smiles brightly.

"The one we have is missing some pieces. I'm so happy we have a new one now.

I exhale. The pink ribbon perks up, the little girl beams. My big girl looks pleased. I am relieved. And proud.

My big girl is learning about saying thank you...not just as an automatic response. She is beginning to understand the emotion behind the sentiment.

. . .

Sometimes saying "thank you" just doesn't seem to cut it. Sometimes someone does something so...big, so....overwhelming...that the simple words that are available are not adequate.

How can I just say those overused words, when I need them to carry the deepest meaning, yet they sound just the same as when they are tossed out frivolously by anyone?

How do I express sincere gratitude when I do not know any words that adequately convey those emotions?

Sometimes there are no words to express the gratefulness I feel in my heart.

But words are necessary.

So I am left with a heartfelt "Thank you".

It's not enough, but it's all I have.

Thank you.


  1. That is awesome. You should be so proud of her!

  2. Lovely post.
    It made me smile.

  3. Another gem! I sure hope that the person who this "thank you" is meant for, reads this post!

  4. What a beautiful step in maturity! May she continue.

  5. I understand that feeling, of really wanting to express something that cannot be expressed with just two words, or any for that matter.

    Beautifully written! And again, you sound like a wonderful mother.

  6. Thank you!


    That's the downside of having an anonymous blog.


    There are times when two words are not enough. So you use more words, and somehow, you can express what you're feeling. But sometimes...and those times are rare...there are no words. That's what I'm talking about here.
    Thank you.

  7. I've heard that one of the reasons people rebel against parents is that when confronted with such a huge burden of gratitude, one way to react is by rebelling...

  8. that's great! I am sure she was able to read your raised eyebrows properly because you have modeled that kind of positiveness often. Maybe other little girls will learn from her too- nice!!

  9. beautiful lesson learned because it was so sincerely taught:) what a great way to train ur kids to have wonderful midos...and i'm sure it'll carry on through adulthood