Sometimes these brothers me little lessons about compassion.
Scene: A day of boys arguing followed by a “didn’t I just tell you to keep your bodies to yourself” and a red mark on a cheekbone followed by a taking away of an object.
After I took away non-said object and sent one kid to his room, the other kid—the one with the red mark—broke into sobs.
“Mommy, you didn’t have to do that. I’m okay. Give it back to him. It feels unfair to him. I’m okay.”
I looked at the sobbing brother and raised an eyebrow. This… this was new. There was no smug look. No “haha! I am victorious” glint in his eyes. Nope. Pure sadness. For his brother. I stood there debating whether this was a “battle” I needed to “fight,” a lesson that actually needed taught—or if some compassion might work a little better.
Of note: Compassion feels harder to offer up the longer summer goes on. We’re having a fantastic time as a family, but some summer days are longer than others. Sometimes it’s a deep dive and a series of deep breaths to remind myself that they’re just children, not adults. They make mistakes; they’re human. Compassion is good.
And so, I said I would give the object back to his brother. He jumped out of his chair, rushed over to me, grabbed me around my waist, and hugged me tight.
“Thank you, Mommy,” he sniffle-sobbed into my shirt.
Compassion, so easily given. They’re good at this.
Like the other day at the pool, when BigBrother gave up a large chunk of diving board time to help get his brother used to the deep end. Like, almost an entire hour. It worked, everyone got ice cream, and these two brothers continued to teach me little lessons.
Little, important lessons.