Something happened today that touched me. And it involved the behaviour of my children. My 2 nine year old boys are, well, nine year old boys. If you are unfamiliar with the breed, they are loud, energetic and easily distracted. The can be quite cranky, and have been know to whine, complain, and actually stomp their feet when they don't get what they want.
Case in point. Today after school, and after 40 minutes playing at the playground and one argument with a friend, we walked home. All the way they kept asking me for things they knew I would say no to, and then getting mad when they got the expected answer.
"Can we go shopping?"
"Can we go out for dinner?"
"Can we have ice cream?"
You get the picture. By the time we got home, I was more than happy to hand over the Wii remotes just to get a few minutes of quiet. After hiding in my husband's basement office for a few minutes, ensuring they were appropriately distracted, I came up and began my afternoon ritual of looking at their school agendas. And what I found warmed my heart and made me smile.
Today their school held the Terry Fox Run. It was rescheduled from a couple of weeks ago, you remember, raining, 2 degrees. I had asked them about it earlier, and they said it was great, told me how far they ran, etc. When I looked in one of their agendas, there was a small sticky note that said "I am running for..." and my son had written "Aunty Kelly" underneath. This is their great-aunt who is a cancer survivor. Heart feeling a little warmer, and I am starting to forgive them for the walk home.
A few more questions, which could only be answered by them between battles on Lego Star Wars, revealed that they had both walked for Aunty Kelly, because they remembered she had cancer and got better. There are 2 dedications hanging in the school gym for her.
What I learned today about parenting is that just when you think you might as well give up, because they will be self-centered and greedy all their lives, your children surprise you with a small nugget of kindness, compassion and connection. They got it. They donated their allowance and ran around the field, not for an unknown stranger they couldn't identify with, but for Aunty Kelly, someone they care about. It is a bit of sweetness I just didn't know they had in them.
So, I gave them some ice cream. :-)