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Your Stories Don’t Define You, How You Tell Them Will

May 29, 2018

Our first son was slow with words, and fast with walking and climbing. He was pulling himself up stairs before he was actively crawling and could climb walls as soon as he could walk, literally; he climbed walls using the baseboard to begin his ascent.

When he was a year old, I noticed that when I handed him something or helped him with something, he would say "dee-dah" in a sing-song voice "dee-dah!" It was different from his "da", which meant he wanted something, that word sounded like "that." He didn't have words or sentences, but if you have experience with little children, you know sometimes you can understand certain phrases before they sound like words.

I called my mother and she heard him say "dee-dah" when I handed him a cracker. "What is he saying?" I told her I didn't know. She said "it sounds like he's saying thank you!" “Maybe, mom; that might be what he’s saying.” I decided to test her theory. For the rest of the day, I paid more attention as I handed him food or something else he asked for. He absolutely was using that phrase in the correct context for thank you. I called my mother later that day to tell her she was right. I said: “I didn't know he knew that phrase! I hadn't been working with him on that one, though I we definitely worked on please.

“He is saying that because he hears you saying that to people, and he hears you and his father saying that to each other.”

What we do, how we behave, matters.

If we want to see things change in the world, and I believe from the many rants and stories I read every day online that we do, we have to start with us.

It’s not about being a Pollyanna, seeing only the positive, or being Facebook fake by sharing only the good stuff. It’s about choosing the behavior you want to see in the world around you, and demonstrating it.