When my oldest child, my son, was in junior high, he and I were talking about something.

I don’t remember what it was.

At some point, he got upset.

The amazing thing about my son is that when he does get upset about something with me, all I have to do is let him know he’s not being kind and he finds a way to put himself back on track and continue the conversation in a kind and loving way.

It always amazes me and I admire that so much about him.

Well, this time he was upset with me and my first mention didn’t seem to get his attention.

We had a lot on the schedule that day and I really needed to diffuse things so we could move on.

So, in a mock serious tone, I said, “Bud, you’re making me sad.  And that gives me a sad face.  And sad faces give me wrinkles.  And we do not give the mommy wrinkles!!”

It worked.  He started laughing.

And from then on, we all used that phrase, or a shorter “Do not give mommy wrinkles!”

Then, last year, one of the girls learned something in Girl Scouts that gives another great perspective on wrinkles.

They took a piece of paper and crumpled it up.

Then they opened the paper and flattened it out, noticing that the paper is flat again but still has wrinkles.

Our words can hurt others.  And though we apologize and try to smooth things over, as we should, it leaves a wrinkle on the other person’s heart.  Just like the wrinkles on the paper.

I love this visualization and analogy.

When we speak to others, those so very close to us that we love, and those casual acquaintances, it makes it so much easier to remember to choose our words more carefully.  It’s easier to treat others with love no matter how heated a conversation gets, when we know that those words could leave a wrinkle on their heart.

Treat each others hearts with care.