(This post was written by Michael Wallace, High School Pastor)
I love my kids. Like children do, they bring a lot of joy to my life. Not that they are angels 100% of the time (far from it), but as their daddy I find myself smiling a lot at the way they see the world.
For instance, my son has become a fan of the “Monkey Song.” I remember singing this song when I was little, maybe you do, too:
Five little monkeys, sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Alligator “Can’t catch me!”
Along comes Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
And he CHOMPS a monkey right out of that tree!
I love it when Colt sings this song for two reasons: First, Mr. Alligator is mimed by my son as he sings with his hands together swimming back and forth approaching the monkeys. He even squashes his face together as if to hide himself from the moneys. It. Is. Adorable. Second, in Colt’s version of the song he replaces the phrase “Along comes” with his own grammatical creation: “Awonkum.” As in, “awonkum Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be.”
While “awonkum” is obviously Colt’s slight miscommunication of a lyric, and is quite humorous to hear him sing, I can’t help but think of the other things that may get scrambled in translation to my 3 year old. How clearly is he able to convey that I love his mother more than any other person on earth? Can he accurately share with others how active God is in our home, beyond just thanking Him for our food? Does Colt know how to communicate what is most important to our family in a way that represents our honest intent in parenting?
I truly believe that communication is huge, especially when it comes to parenting. What we say, and how we say it, has a massive impact on our kids. What “awonkum” situations have you seen play out in your family?