Monday, May 5, 2014

Kindness Deepens Beneath the Surface

“this is her silent season
that moment of quiet 
when selfishness withers and fades, 
cold indifference falls away, 
while kindness deepens beneath the surface,
understanding is rooted in the loam of living, 
and love springs newborn in the soul” ― Kate Mullane Robertson

Some days it can get easy to resent your kid. It's easy to explain, even if you hoped and prayed for this child, even if you wanted a baby more than anything. It's easy because of one simple thing: children are naturally selfish and unthinking of others. It has been one of the biggest challenges of parenting for me, trying to drum empathy into that self-centered little head. Other people are PEOPLE. People have FEELINGS. When you hurt me, it HURTS. Sometimes I am TIRED. Over and over.

And when the nature of your job is to be selfless, and your child is unabashedly selfish, you're bound to resent the little thing eventually. At the very least, you shake your head every now and then and say, it must be nice. Because it's been a long time since someone made you three meals a day, cleaned up your toys, did your laundry, then took you to the store to pick out something for free.

But sadly, I remember as a kid the feeling of, that's just what moms and dads do. Nothing special. It's their job to take care of me. I probably thought my mom made dinner every night out of sheer desire to create food. Sorry, Mom!

The lucky thing for us parents is sometimes kids are so darn cute or funny, you can shake off those feelings of resentment and remind yourself that your kid will not be young forever, that someday your empathy lessons may just rub off! And that besides being pretty selfish, they are pretty hilarious, and every now and then, they do something to show they really do care.

Like yesterday, I was at the park with Maeve and Patches, and she leaned over while she was playing on the airplane, and gave me a little spontaneous kiss on the arm. Spontaneous kisses can keep me going for days.

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