Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Radical Tuesday- Taking Note of Generosity and Kindness
Most of the smoothie had already sunk into the carpet. By the time I found the mess, it was just a wet, dark stain with little strawberry seeds.
"Someone spilled a smoothie," I called into the living room. "It needs to be cleaned up." I said it matter of factly- spills happen.
"That was me," E said. "But I don't want to clean it up."
"If it doesn't get cleaned up, ants will find it," I told her. "I'll get a rag wet."
"I'll clean it up!" L said. "I don't want ants in our house!"
"Thank you L!" said E.
I went out by myself and after an hour D called me to come home. The baby was inconsolable. When I walked in the door, E was holding Z and Z was happy. D told me that he had tried everything, but Z just kept crying. Then he put her down for a minute to do something and E picked her up.
E said "Mom, Z was crying and crying, so I picked her up. That's what I do, because I'm a big sister and I help people! I help my little sisters when they are sad! And she was happy with me!"
Noticing when my kids are generous or kind and really taking note of it, helps me not to worry during those times when they are fighting with each other or not wanting to do something I have really attached myself to doing. Sometimes people argue. Sometimes we say things we don't mean or do things we regret- usually because it's all we can think of and the best we can do in the moment. I've noticed that if I focus on getting something done "the right way," or who "should" be doing it, playing tug-of-war with the resisting child, it just escalates the situation, everyone gets more upset and in the end, no one wins. If I can remember to breathe, remember all the many times a day when my children are generous and kind, and look at the big picture, my anxiety melts away and I am able to clearly see my children, their needs and the solutions to whatever problem we are having..