Evie has a certain sweetness about her that is so natural. I can demonstrate kindness, and being polite for the girls to follow, but the natural sweetness in her soul is all her. Her goodness, and caring nature is just who she is. She is only four and she has shown me how to be a better person to others. In simple acts like saying hello to everyone we pass or asking the people working drive-thru windows how they are today.
A few weeks ago we were at a birthday party and for some reason or another Evie and some of the other girls weren’t getting along. Nothing out-right bad happened, the other girls just didn’t want Evie to join in on what they were playing. At first she was upset, and cried. She told me she was sad they didn’t want to be her friend. I tried my best to distract her with other options, other toys, other people, even a donut. Before I could fix it for her, I found her playing restaurant with all of the older family members at the party. She was serving them all plastic food. Each person got a plate followed by a “do you want more?” She played like this for the remainder of the party. She made a new friend with the birthday girl’s great-grandma. Evie sat in her lap while the kids gathered around and opened presents. I might be putting too much weight into her choice of friend, but I think she found the one other person who looked a little lonely. Great-grandma of course was being taken care of, and was in the room full of people. But she was in a chair, by herself, watching everyone else. Evie walked up and made a new friend and included her in what was going on.
At dance class yesterday, a little girl arrived late to class and felt overwhelmed and shy. Evie looked at me, looked at the girl, then back at me, wondering why she was upset. She ran over and asked me if the other girl was ok. I explained that just like when Evie has a hard day, this little girl was having a hard time.
“She’s just being a little shy Evie, that’s ok,” I explained. Evie shook her head, understanding what I was saying. A few minutes later the teacher brought out rhythm sticks and Evie ran two over to the other little girl. Evie held out her hand and said, “It’s ok, don’t be shy, we are friends.” The two girls spent the rest of class, hand in hand, laughing and dancing together.
Last night, Millie and Livie decided they both needed my full un-divided attention at the same time. Livie wanted to be somewhere quiet where she could nurse herself to sleep. Millie wanted to be on my lap, listening to these obnoxious nursery rhymes on youtube. Obviously, both couldn’t happen at the same time. I did my best to run back and forth and give both of them what they needed, but I was failing. It was 5:00, dinner wasn’t ready, and I was losing my mind. Sean wouldn’t be home for at least another hour. I stopped for a moment by myself in the kitchen away from all the girls. I sat down, buried my face into my hands and listened as Livie cried for me from the back of the house, Millie screamed from the floor of the hallway, and here I was having my very own melt down on the kitchen floor.
With my face hidden in my hands, I saw these 10 tiny toes step in front of me. Before I could look up, Evie wrapped her arms around my neck and squeezed.
“It’s ok momma, they’re just crazy.”
Evie and I laughed in agreement, “they are crazy” I replied.
Just as quickly as she appeared before me, she skipped back off to the other room; she knew her hug was enough.
Raising a kind person starts early on and is one of the most important qualities I hope to instill in the girls. I look all around me and the world is full of anger, sadness, and malice. Even on a simple trip to the store I find it more common to run into negativity then positivity. I don’t consider myself naïve about the world around me; I know that we are in times of great struggle. Many people close to me are struggling immensely with financial burdens, health ailments, loneliness, mental illness and drug addiction/ recovery. The girls will grow up around these struggles, around these people. She will see that people are in pain, and people will have a hard time from day-to –day. While I want to keep her safe and protect her from certain parts of the world and growing up too fast, I do not plan to hide her from the realities of life. I hope to show her that having compassion and kindness as these struggles become more visible is our only hope for a better future. I also want her to see that life isn’t always perfect. You won’t only feel happiness you will have hard times, and good times. I hope that Evie never loses her goodness. I hope that she always finds it in her heart to reach out to people around her who are sad, or lonely, or shy. She gives me great hope that the world could be a better place because of her. She reminds me that we are not merely passing ships; we are all connected and have the ability to brighten each other’s day.