Sunday, July 24, 2011
A Lesson In Gentleness
It all started with wanting to meet friends and to adapt to the local culture. And the best way we have found to do this is, is to just jump in the pool, no fear, no regrets. We have been standing on the edge for many years, only poking a toe in the water when someone threw us an invite, but never have we thrown ourselves in! Of course nothing less can be expected from desperation! And so my venture in living life outside of these 4 walls, actually there are a lot more walls in my house ,but I won't take the time to count them now, culminated in signing up to help with the children's games at our church ice cream social. Yes, helping, not being in charge of,just helping... well, when you are the only one who offers you end up being in charge.
And so this afternoon I found myself filling up a hundred water balloons,because in case you missed it, the Midwest has been having an insane heat wave and getting wet is about the only reason you want to be outside! So I thought to myself, I should get the boys to help (what in the world was I thinking!?!). I call them over and explain we are filling up water balloons for our friends at church tonight, would they like to help? And as usual it was a resounding, Yes! My kids have their flaws (don't we all) but they do love to help Mommy. In fact, they help even when I don't ask them too, not always in helpful ways though. Anyways, in order to defy the laws of stinky boys I had to translate how the process was going to work into 3 year old terms. This meant telling them to gently put the balloons in the box, like they would with a baby... Well, Blake took this to heart and like the sweet boy he is, he kissed every last balloon he stuck in the box and even enlisted my kisses. They broke a few at first because the temptation to throw them in was just too much for one small child to handle. But after a few reminders to be gentle and some broken balloons they began to admonish each other to be gentle! There is nothing that brings a smile to my heart like when I hear them encouraging each other to be a better person. I have seen them developing this trait lately and it brings me so much joy. I often think how wonderful it must be to always have someone rooting for you, even if you just bit them on the arm a second ago! By the end of the hundred balloons they were being very gentle, great helpers and I even learned a few things.