The last several days I haven’t done anything phenomenal, not that any of this has been amazing. Just general kindness, compliments and coffee (of course.)
I did have a neat experience, though simple and small, at a basketball game. It was a home game and we were playing another local homeschool team. If you aren’t familiar with the homeschooling community that means large families, and lots of small children. My youngest is 7, almost 8. She was determined to take her favorite doll along with stroller and necessary baby items to the game. We didn’t have any conversations about sharing before leaving. She brought her doll and all the goodies to me and asked me to watch it because she wasn’t able to keep track of every thing where all the kids were playing. She wanted me to keep an eye on it. I told her I would and off she went playing while I watched the game. A little girl, probably 2 years old, noticed the toys pretty quick. Her mom told her “no, no” and I immediately explained that if we have toys with us we plan to share. When Audrey came back to see the little girl playing with her most prized dolly she looked at me with her eyes as huge as saucers. I thanked her for letting the little girl play with her baby so that she would know that I allowed it. It was such a wonderful moment to teach about kindness. Audrey smiled at the little girl and ran off to play again. I’m sure my child gained far more than the little girl that got to play for a few minutes.
I don’t force my kids to share everything they have. Somethings are just ours. However, if she isn’t planning on sharing, if that isn’t something just any one can touch she shouldn’t take it to a public place like that where there will be a ton of kids. She knows that. If, she changed her mind while we were there I could have put it in the car. But more important than sharing is the lesson of loving those who are littler than her and being kind to someone who doesn’t understand the world as she does. Gentleness and kindness to someone who “needed” something is a lesson as important as taking care of and valuing the things we have. Sure, that little one would have been fine with out the toy. But, Audrey doesn’t have little siblings. She has to learn how to care for others in those small moments along the way. As I predicted, the kindness project is surely going to be more of a blessing to me, and to my children, than any one I have to opportunity to be kind to.