Gazing at the wonder of her, my daughter asked the same question Mama had asked nearly thirty years earlier as I held Mary. I think Mary chuckled when she said something about Annalyn not going anywhere. I told Mary the same thing I told Mama: I wanted that precious baby to know my touch, and my face, my voice and even my smell.
Sounds corny, doesn't it? Maybe, but that doesn't stop me from holding our two little girls and whispering sweet words to them every chance I get. I want them to have my heart print, not just my hand print, on their hearts.
I love the things we do with our girls, like Christmas dates and going to the mountains. But we all know the world can be harsh. More than going places with them, I pray for my heart print to make me a haven, a place of safety, for Annalyn and Gracie.
Our youngest child, Rachael, is getting married this summer. Her fiance, Brandon, is very nice and comes with a six year old son, Parker. Rach has already been working very hard to build a trusting relationship with Parker.
Rach became a permanent part of our nuclear family about the same age Parker was when he entered her life. She's working through some of the same challenges as a parent that Tom and I did.
Dear Reader, Tom and I are barely getting to know Parker. He's already six and his everyday world is filled with lots of grandparents and extended family. Between that and them living in another city, I've been wondering if I will actually be able to leave a heart print on his life. I'm really going to have to trust God on this one.
Dear Reader, what works for me is to consider the heart prints placed upon my life by Jesus and those who love me. For me to consider and ask myself if I'm passing along the same kind of blessings.
Do you have young children in your extended family, once removed? I'd love to hear how you go about establishing a good relationship.
Readers over at Giving Up on Perfect and Coffee for Your Heart, I hope you'll chime in on this topic, also. I really appreciate your input!