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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Perks of Parenthood

Yesterday was an interesting day to be a parent. The day started off with hearing my 6.5 year old son telling us that he didn't have a good nights sleep. Apparently, his dreams had gone to the dark side and kept waking him up. I think he's on Christmas overload as his dreams had involved the Grinch. He's not afraid of the Grinch, as he enjoys both the original cartoon version and the live action one with Jim Carey. I think he just doesn't want him in his dreams. Who could fault him on that one, right?

Then came phase two of the day, a parent, teacher, principal & specialist meeting about our son. My son has issues that stem from his birth. I wont go into the details, but he is a handful while at school. Fortunately, he is surrounded by people who love him and want the best for him. To get all the help he needs it was important to hear all of his issues from his teacher. Normally, a parent might get defensive after hearing problem after problem. The truth is, we were in complete agreement and know he can be a handful. The thing about our son though, is that when he stops bouncing off the wall he is the kindest and gentlest soul you will ever meet. You go from pulling your hair out to hugging him to laughing all within 5 minutes. He makes life interesting and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Which brings us to the end part of the day. In our house we have a recycling bin for paper. This time of year it is filled mostly with the tons of holiday catalogs and junk mail we get daily. One envelope was from some mission seeking donations for poor families in Third World countries. We have donated to these types organizations in the past, but we can't give to everyone that asks. So this organization's letter was in the bin. Our son had noticed a picture that the organization included with their donation request. It was a boy, close to our son's age, and his mother and father. Our son was moved as to why they looked so sad in the picture. My wife tried to explain about how some people live in poverty. At dinner I noticed my son was quiet and sad looking. We asked him what was wrong and he broke down in tears because of the poor child in the picture. He wanted for us to send him all our money so the boy would be OK.

That is our son. The pride I have as a parent is unmeasurable. I don't know if other kids are like that and if it's normal for a 6.5 year old to show such compassion at this age for others based on a photograph. Moments like this fill you with hope. Despite all his other issues, inside this little boy is a caring man. Merry Christmas to us, Merry Christmas to you.


Diane said...

If he has a good heart it will guide him through the rest of his life. If he shows compassion for others, like he did for that family, he will touch the lives of others in unmeasurable ways throughout his lifetime. He will be a success in spite of his dificulties - or because of them.

Tara said...

It is amazing isn't it? Encourage it- it seems raising kids to be to kind and generous is a rare thing these days.

We cleaned out my daughters room a couple weeks and I told her she should donate some of the stuff she no longer uses. Of course, she is 5 and did not want to part with anything. I did not push it. The next day I picked up a toy for the toys for tots bin and put it in. She wanted to know why, I explained why we give and to whom it is intended. When we got home she didn't say a word, she went to her room and loaded up 3 boxes of toys and brought them down. I asked what that was and she said she wanted every little kid to have a nice toy to play with and it wasn't fair some have none while she has so many.

PeaKay40 said...

Having a good heart is really important. I too have a child with a good heart and struggles to this day. He's 47 now and he still
gives even when he shouldn't. He never thinks of just his own needs,though he has very little.
I do believe that God takes care of these people and even though they never seem to reach the place they want to be, they become the survivors and Lord knows the world needs more of these kind of Good Hearted people.
Merry Christmas to you and all your readers.