Thursday, May 20, 2010

Practice

On the way to take the almost fourth grader to school this morning we had a brief conversation. It went as follows:

Little Bit: "Mom, why do you always talk to everyone in our neighborhoods?" Mom: "Because some people don't have anyone else to talk to... and they might be lonely. If I take time to listen to someone who has no one else to talk to, how do you think they might feel about that attention?"
Little Bit: "Woo-Hoo!"

Last night, on the way home from youth group, Middle Child and I also had a conversation (Conversation with a 13 year-old is different from the give-and-take with a 9 year-old.) along these lines:

Middle Child: "Today on our field trip we were at a booth and the lady told us she was glad we were there because she had a miscarriage and they still made her come to work and she was really sad so we felt bad for her and Meredith was almost crying so we went and played a game. (pauses for breath) We won a teddy bear and Courtney, Meredith, and I wanted to give it to the lady because she was so sad and we all felt really bad for her so we did give the teddy bear to her and the lady said said we were the only people who cared for her so we were really glad we gave her the bear because we were so sorry she was so sad and that something so bad happened to her."

Last week with The Boy he showed recognition, that once would have been absent, of how his actions affected another person:

The Boy: "I sure would like to see Joe."

Mom: "Let's stick to family activities right now. Besides, Joe has had a rough year. How do you think Joe would feel if he had the opportunity to hang out with his friend, only to have something go wonky with your homecoming that left him without his friend again?"
The Boy: "He's a good friend. I know he would be hurt by that, so even though I really want to see him, it is better to protect his feelings by waiting until I won't have to leave him hanging. It must have been pretty bad for him since the last time we talked he was doing something that made him short with me on the phone. Then I was gone."

These three conversations speak directly to my mother's heart. These kids are kids, and as such, are often egocentric; yet, they choose to see the needs of those around them. One is questioning and learning, but her elder siblings are practicing. One can only imagine what growing maturity will bring to this fledgling compassion.

2 comments:

czstout said...

Wow Holly, I loved these accounts of daily life! You must be doing something right huh?? Hope you have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon!!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Love their empathy!