“In the Heart of a Child, One Moment Can Last Forever” – Share Your Moment

Jordan Dane
@JordanDane

I hope you all had a great July 4th holiday. I hosted my parents for a ribs dinner for my holiday celebration. I’ve been on a ketogenic diet (more of a lifestyle than a diet) and have been feeling AMAZING. I’m more energized and have been sleeping well and waking up refreshed and ready to go. As I’m writing this, I’ve had my Keto Coffee, which is like a buttery latte with strong coffee. Yum!

For today’s post, I wanted to share the idea behind a book that a friend recommended me to read. JUST A MINUTE by Wess Stafford is based on a theme that touched me – “In the heart of a child, one moment can last forever.” Although this is a Christian-based book, it holds stories that can touch anyone. Its chapters are split into several categories: moments for rescue, to build self-worth, to form character, to discover talent, to awaken the spirit, to stretch the mind, and to realize one’s calling.

If you think back in your life, can you remember times when the special attention of an adult helped define who you became as an adult? These moments don’t have to be earth shattering. Just moments you have never forgotten, for a reason, because they meant (and still mean) something to you all these years later.

My parents have given me a lifetime of these moments. They recently celebrated their 67th anniversary and I wanted to share their wedding pictures with you.

My mother has given me many of these life-altering moments. She is the first person I think of when I ponder who I was as a child and who I became as an adult. My father had his influence, but my mom was in the trenches with us growing up while dad worked long hours to keep my five siblings in private school in a house he designed (as an architect).

Under the category of TO DISCOVER TALENT – my mom had the opposite effect. After it took me a few years to decide what my major would be in college, I called her to say that I had made up my mind and that I would be getting a B. S. (Business Degree) with an emphasis on Accounting. The first words out of her mouth were, “You’re not good at math.” Yeah, thanks for the vote of confidence, mom. In complete irony, I proved her wrong (sort of). I had 6 hours of deficiencies in math that kept me from taking a necessary course – Statistics. I was advised to bite the bullet and take the 6 hours in other math courses before I would be considered proficient enough to endure Stat. With my Irish dander up, I called B.S. on that and just took the damned Stat class. I finished with a B, one of my lowest grades. When it came time for my graduation, I realized I was still short those 6 hours before I could graduate. I went to the Dean of the school (someone who knew me well from all my hours on the Student Council) and asked him to waive the 6 hours. It obviously was a mistake if I could pass Stat. He agreed and said he would remove the deficiency if I could tell him a good joke. For the price of a good joke, I graduated with honors. Yes, my mom stirred up my competitive spirit and raised the Irish in me–a skill that has served me well.

Under the category of TO FORM CHARACTER, My mom once caught me sneaking out a small bottle of aspirin filled with liquor when I was going to a party of teens. I had planned to share that little bottle with a few of my girlfriends. When she found it in my purse, she told me I was busted and couldn’t go to the party. I told her I understood and was prepared to take my lumps. I didn’t make a fuss. But after a short while, my mom rethought her position and came to me with a moment that changed my life forever. She said that if I promised NOT to take a drink at the party, she would still let me go. She trusted me. That moment of trust made me feel like an adult. At the party, even though alcohol was present, I did not take ONE SIP of it. I told all my friends that I had made a promise to my mom that I would keep. That life lesson stuck with me. After that, I never lied to my mom. I learned that lies diminished me, then and now. If I couldn’t face the truth of who I am as a human being and had to resort to a lie to fake it, what did that make me? I learned to own my truth.

Mom also learned a lesson. If she didn’t want to really know something about me, she shouldn’t ask if she couldn’t handle the truth. I loved shocking her whenever she asked me about things happening in my life. This was the woman who said on my wedding day, “I’d tell you about the birds and the bees, but I’m afraid you’d correct me.” Reality isn’t in her wheelhouse.

What about YOU, TKZers? Who influenced the adult you have become? Please share some of your stories and what you learned from them.

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She also pens young-adult novels for Harlequin Teen. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs.

21 thoughts on ““In the Heart of a Child, One Moment Can Last Forever” – Share Your Moment

  1. Too numerous to mention. My parents were wonderful teachers by their own example and by what they purposely taught. Not that I always appreciated it or saw the value in what they were doing, but I get it now. 😎

    I also had 2 great English teachers who encouraged me & my creativity.

    Also–an influencer you might not expect–television. The young whippersnappers on the blog won’t remember, but it so happens I grew up in the greatest age of television (60’s, 70’s and 80’s). In a writing exercise I was doing this weekend, I counted it up and just between the ages of 5-8 years of age, I counted 54 different television shows I used to watch, many of them every week (and looking back wonder how I had time for school! LOL!). Not every one of them were on each one of those years, but you know what I mean.

    The point is, the things I took away from those television shows were things like the importance of family, sticking by friends through thick and thin, fighting for justice, loving the land (not in the divisive, extremist way we do today). I hate being old, but I loved having the opportunity to watch these shows and be influenced by such amazing characters as the Cartwrights (Adam was my favorite) and others.

    The great irony with television is that back when I was 5 I had like 50+ choices. Now I’m lucky if I can find 1-2 shows I like. Times have certainly changed.

    • P.S. You’ll notice that conspicuously absent are any inspiring MATH teachers!

    • I was a volleyball coach for a 14 & under girls’ junior Olympic volleyball program when I lived in Alaska during the 80s. I picked that age because of how rebellious I had been (my poor mother) and how those years were so formative. Girls went from children with clean faces to adults, overnight. Athletic girls didn’t always make the transition well.

      I know I touched lives in different ways as a coach, but one moment comes to mind. When I found a super athletic girl crying (a kid I had recruited), I asked her what was wrong and she told me that other girls were making fun of her boyish ways. She didn’t fit in. Mind you, this girl was likely to get a v-ball scholarship. She was THAT talented. I knew it the moment I first spotted her in another gym and invited her to try out for our program.

      When I told her how special she was in my eyes and the fact that she had talent many girls would never have, her eye lit up and she stopped crying to listen. I shared my thoughts on her amazing abilities, but I also talked about the unique beauty of every human being and that when she was ready to leave her childhood years behind, she would still have her athletic talent. I reminded her that there isn’t a clock with an alarm that blared at the same time for all of us – and that being an adult isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. She shouldn’t rush it.

      I knew I had changed her life, if for no other reason than I opened her eyes to her own special talents as well as who she was as a person. No matter where her athletic gifts took her, she was a remarkable human being with more potential than the average person.

      The girls I coached touched my life too. Believe me.

  2. Jordan, your post was an inspiring way to start the day. Love the wedding photos of your folks–may they enjoy 67 more years together.

    My grandmother was a great storyteller who introduced me to reading. Although she died when I was 10, her influence lingered, launching my desire to write.

    Other influences were several teachers who recognized and encouraged the seed of talent in a shy, tongue-tied, overweight girl with glasses and braces.

    The least glamorous but most often used lessons were drummed into me by snowy-haired Mrs. Shore, who wore clunky, thick-heeled “old lady” shoes. She drilled me on grammar, spelling, and punctuation until they became second nature. My critique group calls me the “grammar queen.” More than 50 years later, Mrs. Shore still sits on my shoulder as I write.

    Your keto coffee recipe with heavy cream, vanilla, and coconut oil sounds tasty, but butter??? I’d substitute chocolate. That’s a healthy fat, isn’t it???

    • Nice story about the Grammar Lady, Debbie.

      The keto coffee recipe is all about kickstarting ketones to eat fat stores in your body for the day. Butter is a fat. It’s not about flavor, but you’d be surprised how good this might taste. It’s like a rich, frothy latte. I’m experimenting on what to add for flavor AFTER I put together the base of coffee, to MCT powder (coconut oil in powder form), and grass fed butter or ghee. I have a sugarless caramel syrup that is yummy. I also have a sugarless chocolate syrup for taste or erythritol or stevia (plant-based sugars) for sweetness.

      It takes some research and reading on the science to help mold the eating plan but the benefits are amazing.

  3. I had an English professor in college who said, “It isn’t what you say, but how you say it. It’s how storytellers enthrall their audiences and how dictators win their followers.” I think of that quote often.

  4. Aw, love the wedding pictures and the post. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Does she know you boomerang her on Insta? Hahahaha.

    My mom was my hero. She taught me to always look for the good in people, never focus on what you’re doing wrong, but what you’re doing right. She was an eternal optimist, even when life gave her more than any one human being should handle. If I’m even one-tenth of the person she was, I’d consider it a win. Those are big shoes to fill, but I try.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful fourth, my friend. xoxo

    • She DOES know I did that. I showed her. She cracks me up.

      I think your mom would be very proud of her devoted daughter. You’re her legacy. Hugs, my fine friend. Happy 5th.

  5. My earliest memories are of my grandmother who died when I was seven. I remember sitting with her in her rocker as she rocked and told me stories. She didn’t read them but told them to me. Most were safety themes, like always look both ways before crossing the street. She told me funny stories and family stories. Then my mother worked as a companion for this elderly man and he fascinated me. I got a chalkboard for Christmas from Santa one year and he would draw pictures of birds and other animals. I think he was the first artist I’d ever seen. Through knowing him and the early years with my grandmother taught me a love and respect for the elderly and the lessons we can learn from them. I still love to listen to their stories. I worked as a nursing assistant and had I not gotten injured I had planned to become a registered nurse. Now I tell stories like my grandma.

  6. “I’d tell you about the birds and the bees, but I’m afraid you’d correct me.”

    That’s a great line.

    • I would frequently visit my 102 year old grandmother when she lived in Illinois & I lived in Wisconsin. I drove to see her often & stayed with a crazy uncle & his family. I would write down fun things she would say & some of them ended up in my books.

      “I woke up & found myself sleeping.”
      Classic.

      • “I woke up and found myself sleeping” reminds me of a quote from my aunt on her 75th birthday — “All the people I know are dead.”

  7. I grew up in a household that was driven largely by criticism and negativity. My parents were both children of the Great Depression–my dad from the Dust Bowl days of Kansas–and I know they meant well. My brother and I never wanted for food or shelter, we always had shoes that fit, and I never felt unsafe.

    But when I play back the transcript of my childhood, I was always too fat or too thin, I didn’t walk right, I didn’t stand right, my handshake wasn’t firm enough, and my friends weren’t good enough. The A’s on the report card went largely unnoticed while the occasional B was the stuff of a lecture. Despite being district champion on the debate team, Dad didn’t think I spoke clearly enough, and despite being editor of the high school newspaper, he didn’t think I was a very good writer. On and on and on.

    I heard the phrase, “I love you” quite a lot–especially from Mom–but “I’m proud of you” always seemed a step too far.

    I share this not to whine, but to set the scene for the moment that changed everything for me, that set my life on the trajectory that I now celebrate every day. I think I was sixteen years old when I realized that all of that negativity could only affect me if I let it. I realized that allowing my dreams and accomplishments to be diminished was a choice I could choose not to make. After one particularly tumultuous blowout, I chose to stop letting it in. I stopped trying to please.

    From that moment forward, I stumbled into mentor after mentor who embraced me as a young man in whom they saw potential, and through them I learned to see potential in myself. With these mentors’ encouragement and counsel, I drove myself toward excellence that I even achieved from time to time. Through that experience, and with the help of a loving, patient bride with whom together we built our own family, I came to realize that my parents’ aloofness was driven in large measure by a fear that the mediocrity that was forced upon them by poverty and war might somehow infect my brother and me. I’m at peace with that now.

    My most formative years began when I was an adolescent and I realized that while I lived in my parents’ house as a human parasite, eating the food they provided and absorbing the education they paid for, I was on my own to find my way through life spiritually and socially. To this day, I look back at my early childhood as the template for what not to do.

    • Wow. Very reflective & intriguing, John. Your life lesson learned, about “negativity only affecting you if you let it” is HUGE. To realize this at 16 is remarkable. Thanks for sharing your story.

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