Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lessons of Love

This weekend I watched as Megan and Drew shared a snack of goldfish crackers. Drew is one.  If he is given something in a bowl, he dumps the contents.  I smiled, as I listened to Megan explain to a one year old, to pick the goldfish out of the bowl to eat, and not dump the contents.  It took me back twenty five years or so...

When my brother Casey was a toddler, and I was about ten years old, I took Casey with me to the 'local shops.'  As was usually the tradition, we made a visit to the 'Sweet Shop' to pick up some candy.  As it was done, when I was a child, one carefully selected the penny candies, placed them in the bag, and then paid for them.

Tiffany and Casey, August 1985

While I was paying for our sweet selection, Casey reached down, picked up a candy and promptly put it in his mouth.  I was devastated; my brother just stole a piece of candy!    I didn't know what to do.  I quickly turned to the shopkeeper, and explained that my brother had eaten a piece of candy we hadn't yet paid for.  The shopkeeper smiled.  It helped we were regulars.  And it probably helped that Casey was just two and a half years old... The friendly shopkeeper smiled at Casey, and waved us on our way.  He didn't charge me the penny.
As we left the store, I was deeply disturbed by my brother's act.  As I grasped Casey's hand, and we began the walk home, I attempted to explain to Casey what a naughty thing he had done.  I can remember distinctly the tears coming down my face as I explained to Casey that people who steal things go to jail and that he must never, ever steal things.  This one-sided conversation continued for the duration of the walk.  It ended at our garden gate with a final, "Casey, you must never steal."

I didn't even tell my parents of Casey's transgression.  I was too upset and worried about him.  I didn't want anyone else to know what might lie ahead for Casey's future.

My brother Casey, never ended up as a criminal in prison as I imagined him that Saturday afternoon.  He is currently a law student at BYU.  He has the desire to defend the law, not break it.

I like to think my ten year old wisdom, had a lasting effect on him.  

I hope the same for Megan's words of wisdom to Drew, last Saturday morning.  I will give her some of the credit when Drew will be able to eat food from a bowl without dumping out the contents.

What a blessing big sisters are.


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