Sunday, 27 April 2008

Using the Right Words

Tonight when I tucked my youngest daughter into her bed, I leaned over and pulled her into my arms and she inhaled deeply as she always does. It reminded me of an incident that happened several years ago. We were walking through the grocery store and I was standing trying to figure out the best price on something. She came up to me, grabbed my arm, breathed in and then announced in a loud voice, "You smell, Mom." Everyone in the aisle stopped and some shook their heads trying to stifle laughs.

I felt slightly embarrassed and wished I could bury my head in the ground. She seemed to be lost in thought for what seemed like forever before she continued. "You smell like flowers." Relief washed over me as I stopped wondering whether my fellow shoppers must be offended by my horrible odor and gave my little girl a hug.

It made me realize how powerful the right word choice is. She had it right the first time. But without her further description, I probably would have hurried home to take another shower. Every time I speak or write, I am reminded how important it is to pick the words that most clearly convey meaning or emotion. It is a great thing to be reminded of this every time I give her a hug.
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