I realized something about myself today. I tend to see the negative in my kids faster/more often than the positive. Emelyn came home from school with a letter from each child in her classroom saying what they like about her. Over and over, the children wrote that Emelyn is compassionate and caring - she "rubs their back and makes them feel better" when they are upset. They wrote that she is very smart, but doesn't brag; that she is kind "she would never hurt a fly;" that she is caring and a good listener; that she helps the other kids with their work. These themes repeated themselves on almost every page. It was amazing. But here at home, so often, I focus on her faults. That she didn't feed her bunnies on time; that she was mean to her sister; that she's cranky or demanding.
Tonight, we have 2 little friends sleeping over b/c their mother is having surgery early in the morning. Each time I walked past the room, Abby was leaning over and talking to the littlest girl. Now normally Abby is our most rambunctious one, our clown. So I assumed she was goofing off, and keeping the others awake. I reprimanded her and told her she would be in big trouble if she didn't lay down and go to sleep! I went in a little later and the littlest one was out of bed again and I saw Abby sitting up. When I told Abby to lay down, she started to cry. She explained to me that she was checking on the little girl. That she was making sure she could hear the bedtime music and making sure she was comfortable. Abby's little heart was broken b/c she got in trouble when she was trying to be kind.
I get so busy - laundry, dishes, putting the baby to bed - I didn't take the time to figure out what was really happening. I just assumed the worst. I need to give my children more credit. I need to take the time to find out what's happening in their lives more often. I need to see their good qualities.
I'm thankful for reminders like these. I want to be a better mother. I want to teach my children love and respect for others by example. I need to start with them - with remembering that they are just little people, who need my love and respect more than anyone else in this world.
5 weeks ago