My son: Mommy, I don’t think Uncle likes me.
My son: He always calls me Matthew and that’s not my name.
Me: *Holding back laughter* He doesn’t call you Matthew he calls you Nephew.
In an attempt to get back in better shape and have more adult conversation. My friend and I started taking evening walks a few times a week. Nothing major, we would just walk around the neighbourhood and chat. On the way back from our evening circuit I saw an old bicycle at the bottom of some ones driveway.
The bike had been left out in the rain for a few days and it was pretty beaten up. The chain was brown,the tires were almost bald, the bike frame had visible rust, and the seat was torn. Despite all of its imperfections it was the perfect size for my son. My daughter recently got a brand new bike for her birthday and my son didn’t have one. He had an old tricycle that he had outgrown; When he tried using his sisters bike it was too big.
I was thinking of getting him a bicycle for his birthday, but I wondered if he was too young. I figured I could clean this old one up and see how it goes. If he was was unable or unwilling to use it, I could put it at the bottom of my driveway and another kid could take it home.
So the next day I drove over to the house and took the bike and a bag with purple training wheels. Later that evening my husband cleaned it up,oiled the chain and put the training wheels back on.
I looked at the bike and to be honest it looked pretty pathetic. I was racked with guilt. My daughter had a brand new shiny bike and my son was going to ride this old rusted thing. My husband assured me that it was safe and that we could always repaint it; But it still didn’t feel right. My daughter’s bike came from the store and my son’s bike was something I salvaged from the trash.
The following morning the kids wanted to go to the park. We went into the garage to get the sand toys and my daughter saw something. She walked over and saw my sons “new” bike. She called him over and exclaimed ” Look Mom & Dad got you a new bike.” My son was so excited; The look on his face was priceless. He was so proud to have his very own big boy bike. He was so happy that he couldn’t wait to go for a ride.
“I love my new bike” he shouted as he rode around the street. It was only then that I realized that kids don’t care if something is old or new. He didn’t notice that it was old and rusted. All he knew was that his parents got him a bike. I was the one who wanted the new bike. I wanted him to have something shiny and new. I wanted him to be proud of his bike and I wanted him to be proud riding it.
Instead I was proud of my son, he was too young to be jaded by the need to have the latest greatest and newest thing. All he wanted was something to call his own, and in the end he got his new bike. My son reminded me of a valuable lesson, its not the price of something that makes it valuable. Rather its how much it means to the person.
My son’s bike may not be new in the traditional sense; But its new to him and he loves it rust and all.
My daughter has started waking up in the middle of the night. Usually she uses the bathroom, says good night to us and goes back to bed. Last night she got up at around 11:30 pm used the bathroom and came looking for me.
There I was sitting in the kitchen with a basket full of the kids clean clothes. She asked me what I was doing and I explained to her that I was folding laundry. I told her that Mommy & Daddy have to tidy up at night because we are busy in the day time. I let her know that we do our chores when they are sleeping so that we have time to go to the park,have play-dates, take swimming lessons and go to pre-school.
My daughter walked over to me with the saddest expression on her face and gave me a big hug and a kiss and went back to bed.
I had a long day and was pretty exhausted; Maybe it was written all over my face or perhaps it was because it was late at night. But in that moment my 4 year old daughter showed an incredible amount of empathy. Her sweet little face conveyed an expression of tenderness and sympathy. She could tell that after a long day Mommy was tired, and instead of sleeping I was making sure that she had clean clothes.
I’m not sure what she thought I did at night after she went to bed; But for the first time I think that my daughter really understood how hard I work to take care of her and her brother.