I'm not much for painting nails. It's messy. It smears. And it chips. Oh, how it chips. Yet, I'm mom to four ... yes, count them ... four girls. And three out of four like, even love, having their nails done. So every now and then I will paint them. I admit, with some shame, it's not often done with that much enthusiasm.
Yesterday, though, I was convicted of my less-than-enthusiastic nail painting ways by an episode of Call the Midwife. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's about a group midwives who work in London's 1950's East End. And it makes me cry. Every time.
In this episode, midwife Chummy finds herself caring for her dying mother. The two have a distant, strained relationship. For her entire life, Chummy's mother has pushed her away with criticism. Now that Chummy's an adult and has chosen a simpler life over the one her prominent parents enjoy, every visit with her mother is an opportunity to be told how poorly she's chosen. And how disappointing she is. If only she were more like them.
Yet something happens as Chummy's mother lays on her death bed. A simple request for a manicure becomes a rare moment of connection between mother and daughter. Suddenly their differences aren't quite as important.
While my daughters and I hardly have a relationship akin to Chummy and her mother's, this episode reminded me of something basic, but important: When it comes to my kids, I need to be intentional not to let differing interests keep us from making relational connections.
[Read the rest of the article at For the Family.]