Let me tell you about my daughter. Sure, she’s a teenager, and with pubescence come a host of conflicts between parents and children, but there are moments between conflicts which highlight who the child really is.
Her brother was upset. Really upset. Having a meltdown. I started collecting Calico Critters and
Sylvanian Families figures on my birthday, and he is only allowed to play with them supervised and when being gentle. Well, he’d broken the toddler car he likes so much, and I asked Ana to put them away. He cried. He screamed. He pleaded for more time. I explained calmly that he hadn’t been gentle. Even though the break was probably accidental, it proved he wasn’t being gentle enough and they needed to go away for a while.
After running from his sister and screaming at her (since she put them away at my behest), he came to me for a tissue (he LOVES ending his upset with a tissue). So, I cleaned his nose, and he sweetly asked for three more minutes playing with my “critters.” I told him not this time, because a toy had been broken and they needed to go away.
He cried again, but this time, he didn’t yell at his sister. She took out his Inside Out feelings books, and quietly read Sadness to him. He immediately calmed down and wiped his eyes. Then she asked him if he wanted to read Anger, because disappointment can be both sad and angry. She read each book in turn, following the cycles of emotions, and before she was finished, he was pointing out parts of the book and cheerful once again.
This is my daughter. Who she is when fears and hormonal fluctuations, and other biological interferences disappear. This is her compassionate, quiet nature, which shines best when she’s helping others and sharing a bit of her time. Her whole worldview revolves around fairness, and it comes out in these moments when someone, especially a young one, needs help. This is why she feels called to teach.
I love her so much it makes my chest ache sometimes.
“‘You just gotta twirl sometimes.’ [Little Fox], come twirl with me!”