Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Empathy

Each of my children has had particular moments of sympathy and empathy.  They have both, of their own volition, at one point or another, given all of their money to causes through church, such as feeding the poor. These are not small sums to a 7 or 8 year-old child.  Fifteen dollars might as well be a thousand in their minds.

I'm always encouraged when these little bits of empathy spark into view.  It soothes me when I am dealing with their sometimes bratty, selfish behavior towards one another and assures me that they are growing into kind people.

Last night, while watching The Biggest Loser again(I know..I know...not exactly ground-breaking, intellectual TV) a few of the contestants were very emotional.  Their teams were being split up and one team in particular, a father and son, was greatly affected.  They were both in tears.

I didn't think much of it.  Cynic that I am, my first thought was ,"Get over it already!"

Later on, as I tucked The Rationalist into bed, covering him with his patchwork, monkey-decorated quilt, he confided in me:

"I felt like I was going to cry when we were watching that show."

I was proud of him, not because I want him to cry, but because it revealed an ability to care about people he had never met.  

I comforted him and reassured him that the father and son would be OK; not to worry about them.

I shared that sometimes movies, or television, can make me cry too.

Reassured that his feelings were normal, he hugged me and hid under the covers as I left him to sleep.

Watching them mature and evolve has got to be one the best things about mothering these rowdy children.

No comments: