My grandson, Jonathan, who is two years old, is quite intrigued with my husband's motorcycle. He stares at it, points at it, sits on it, and talks about it. He makes vrooom sounds when he thinks about it. And he likes to climb up on my husband's knees and have my husband bounce him around like he's riding a motorcycle. He sometimes puts a make-believe helmet on his head and pretends to be snapping it under his chin.

My husband often wears an orange shirt so he'll be seen on his motorcycle--and because he just loves the color orange. Jonathan has seen him in that shirt so often that the other day a woman went down the street in an orange skirt and Jonathan said, "Pap!" And now Jonathan has a word for a motorcycle that shows how important Pap is to him. His word for motorcycle? Papsigull.

We often hear about how our lives are being viewed by the little ones who are around us, and I think my grandson is a good example of this. He is watching Pap. He is not only watching him but he is aware of Pap's behavior. And he is imitating that behavior.

So for all you paps out there--and mamaws, moms and dads, aunts and uncles, and older brothers and sisters--remember that our little ones are watching us. And they are very impressionable. Let's pause and ponder a bit, and perhaps say a little prayer, before we throw on our orange shirt and snap on our helmet and go about the business of our day. Little eyes are watching. Little ears are hearing. Little hearts are learning. Let's make sure they're learning something good.

Christina Elizabeth Dozier
August 24, 2008