Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Empathy

That's the buzz word - empathy.  Kids who show empathy.  Teaching empathy.  Being empathetic.  It's not an easy thing to teach, or to learn.  It is far easier to be a wee bit selfish and focus within rather on those around us.  Even harder when you are 4 or 7.

Today I didn't feel so hot.  We spent the morning at the park playing in the fountains, eating less than healthy food, and probably getting less than an adequate supply of water.  Add to that my late night's editing, a little guy who woke me at 3am due to a bad dream, and a smidgen of hormones, and you have a cranky mommy.  I had a killer headache -something that comes upon me about once every month or two since giving birth for the first time 7 years ago.  Blame the epidural, or hormones, or mommy-hood, but they are this side of debilitating for me.  It is hard to move past them, especially when I'm simply expected to be "on" 24/7.  Today it hit rock bottom.  During "personal time" (what I have renamed quiet time to  make it sound more appealing) I felt the absolute need to lie down.  Despite piles of work, both home and professional, I just couldn't move past it.  I got little rest - the phone rang, texts came through, I thought of another thing to add to my to-do list, and then 50 minutes into it, without truly a wink having been had, the kids started the inevitable: can we come out yet??  I finally acquiesced and let them play. On the one condition that they give mommy a little more time to rest.  The did.  Which was lovely.  And a few minutes into it I felt the pad of little feet, and the quiet that comes only from the stare of little eyes...

"Mommy?  Are you ok?"  -- Jackson staring at me with slightly concerned eyes.  Mommy rarely lies down anymore.  If ever...

"Yeah buddy, just not feeling so great.  Think I'll rest a bit more."

The quiet continued.  Then I felt the bed heave.  And Jackson's wee little body snuggle up to mind.  I felt a kiss more tender than anything he's given me in at least 4 years.  And then, his warm little body snuggling up to mine, and his arm around me.  He was snuggling me.  It gave me the greatest sense of comfort and warmth.  He snuggled me for at least 20 minutes, alternating kisses and hugs and pats.  My headache didn't really subside, but in all honesty, I felt better than I had in a long time.  My son showed an empathy I hadn't felt from him in a long while.  It was honest and genuine, and without desire of reward or praise (so common for 7 year olds).  It was, in a word, true bliss.

3 comments:

Adam said...

what a sweet, genuine, beautiful post. i felt like i had a little window into your day today.

Kimi said...

Tear.

Tales from the Crib said...

He's a sweet heart. I have to remember that sometimes when we are battling it out for alpha standing in the house ;-) I do love him so.