My kids’ actions yesterday sparked a writing topic, so here it is. I hesitated writing this because I never want it to come out seeming like I am portraying that my kids do no wrong, or that they always show integrity, in fact that’s contrary to many moments along the way. But, as you know, my goal and mission is to find the good, especially when I’ve equipped myself with my ‘gold glasses’ for the day. I love to remind you sweet mamas that you’re doing it day by day, or maybe give you a new idea to try. I try to remember that the fruit of my labor isn’t going to present itself quickly, it’s a process over time, so when it does pop out, I celebrate that. And this was one of those moments. I talk a lot to my kids, I always have since before they could respond back. I am conscience of the fact that they are absorbing all that is around them, whether they can vocalize it or not.
So anyway yesterday, we pulled up to Sams Club to stock up! Of course it started with my typical ‘talk’ before we even got out of the car. How do we walk in the store? Do we hang on the cart? How can you show respect to others? And so on. I mean like a 45 second chat, nothing in depth, they’ll check out by 60 seconds anyway. So when we got out my son got a cart for us from the parking lot, the one that had no home anyway, we saw a man getting out of his handicapped spot. My kids looked up at him and stopped as we walked by. One of my kids said, “Mommy, what does his hat say?” I gave the head nod that they know means, yep, he served in a war. And one of my littles said, “Here’s a cart for you.” Then another said, “Thank you sir for your service.” It’s just what we do, it’s what we’ve done since they were babes. I probably watched a mama I looked up to and got it from her, I can’t remember, but I have modeled it for years, since before they were old enough to repeat it. I would tell them, look, he is a Veteran, we should thank him for his sacrifice and service, we have no idea all that he went through. So when they were old enough to speak, they’d say it. With their cute Rs that they couldn’t fully pronounce, and it would bring tears to the Veteran’s eyes, or bring a smile to their face. It also has opened the door many times for a great conversation about which war they fought in and it’s given us a sliver of history. It was less about us, and more about thanking and honoring the one who selflessly served. Afterwards, we talk about it and try to imagine what he went through (a kid version of course). Yesterday, they recognized it on their own, it was a seed of integrity and respect. The 90 something, frail, man was brought to tears. It was not about us, but about HIM, and acknowledging the gratitude for what we celebrate, OUR FREEDOM!
Mamas, many of us want to teach our kids to be respectful and have integrity, so don’t discredit the little celebrations along the way! You’re doing it day by day, moment by moment. Just wanted to encourage you and remind you that on the daily you are modeling and teaching these kids even if it sometimes feels like the fruit isn’t producing. Like I have said before, know what you want to instill and INSTILL IT, no one else is going to do it for you!