So I don't know about other moms, but most days I feel like I muddle through parenting thing. I look back on my day and can pick out everything I did wrong - and stay convinced that I'm messing up my kids. Then there is a moment when my daughters do something and I think maybe I'm not doing so bad. Happy to say I had one of those recently.
My caregiver told us a story of a family she met that was new to Canada who didn't have much. She was hoping to put together a few things for their children to open at Christmas, and I gladly said that I would go through my place for any gently used toys that we could share. I love knowing that toys and trinkets that my girls enjoyed can be passed on to other children who will enjoy them - and when the story is one that I hear first hand it makes it even more special.
About a week later, I was driving in the car with my oldest daughter. We were actually discussing the "Angel Tree" they have at their school that asks kids to bring in wrapped toys for children who are less fortunate in our community. During this conversation, I told her about the story that our caregiver had shared - how there was a family who she knew who could use a little help making their Christmas special. Marianna got pretty quiet for the rest of the ride home, and I could tell her little hamster was processing what we talked about.
When we got home, she went up to her room - where I found her about 15 minutes later sitting on her floor surrounded by some of her toys. Not just any toys, but there were dinosaur toys in there - some of her favourites. When I asked her what she was doing, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said "Mom, it's not fair that I have a great room with all these nice things to play with and some kids don't have anything. I think I should give some of my toys to the family you were telling me about". I just about lost it. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to give away some of her favourites, and her response put me over the edge.
"I love these toys so much, but it makes me happy to think about how much the other children will love them too". I gave her a big hug, and told her I was proud of her - and in that moment I'm sure my heart swelled to dangerous levels. I am happy to say that my youngest also followed suit and, on her own, went through all her clothes to pick the ones she was willing to part with (a big deal since she is my little fashionista!!).
That evening as I thought about what had unfolded, I sat back and thought maybe the lessons we are trying to teach my girls are sinking in - and that maybe, just maybe I should give myself some credit. And I will...until the next time I lose my cool with them and go back to being sure I'm messing them up! LOL