Week 6 (December 17-23) challenged us all to be nice to or, if you are a kid, with kids. I am not a mother, except to my cats and, while I’m an aunt, most of my babies are in their 20s. I do work with teens all week, but that’s my job; it felt like these added kindnesses should be something I don’t recieve a paycheck for. So, how’m I supposed to be nice to kids when there are no kids around?
Luckily, I meet up with Faith, an old friend from college, every few weeks to chat and catch up and *she* has (drum roll, please) …KIDS! Allyn is a mischievous and adorable 2-year-old and Éowyn is a talkative and independant 4-year-old. (Yes, Éowyn , like the Lord of the Rings character who slew the Witch-King of Angmar. She totally lives up to the name.)
If you recall, last Tuesday was so unseasonably warm that I’m pretty sure witchcraft was involved somehow. So, Faith, the kids and I grabbed some brunch and headed out to a park. (A park! In late December! Witchcraft!) At one part of the park, there was rope-web-nest-thing that Éowyn loved climbing. And Allyn did a pretty darn good job of working his way up the ropey-laddery bit. It quickly became our “spiderweb” and all of us were the “spiders.” Éowyn was the Mommy Spider, she dubbed Allyn the Daddy Spider, and Faith and I got to be the babies. (I even celebrated my first Spider Birthday, complete with a wood chip cake, well, several woodchip cakes. Allyn was very interested in the wood chips.)
We were soon joined by a few more kids, there with their grandmother. For the most part, all four kids got along really well – that is, until one of them discovered a large stick that made a lovely dinging sound when smacked against the metal swingset. At that point sharing became difficult. There may have been some mild shoving involved. However, the grandmother stepped in, the stick was removed, apologies were made and we all went back to being a happy Pirate-Spider Family again! (Did I forget to mention the pirate aspect? I’m not really sure where it came from; we were just suddenly pirates in addition to being spiders. It’s best not to ask too many questions.)
There is really no point in the day that I can screencap and say “There! That’s where I was kind to children.” It was just kind of an ongoing theme of the day. I was kind to the kids and my friend. They were kind to each other and to me. Faith and her husband, Fred, had done an amazing job of modeling positive behaviors for their kids. So, brunch was full of pleases, thank yous, and silly stories, with a hefty dose of sharing. The park excursion was full of encouragement, compromise, helping, and even new friends.
You might have noticed a recurring trend in my #CaptureKindness posts; kindness doesn’t have to be a huge, organized event. It’s a constant, ongoing process. It’s in the way you treat people everyday – even when you’re tired, even when you’re hangry, even when you’d really like everyone to just go away so you can be alone for a while. It’s a smile, a compliment, or an offer to help.
Remember to be kind during the holidays and check back next week to read about my Week 7 Challenge!