"Mum. There's some good news as well as some bad news", she says emerging from the house to meet us in the garden.
Shovel down. Full attention. "Okay. What's happened?"
"Well, the water overflowed the cups and has spilled."
"Where is the spill, babe? What's wet?"
"On the carpet."
"Okay, show me?"
In we go to investigation and this is the net effect of her activities (the process of which involved the spill):
It reminds me of the empty box story - know it?
The story goes that some time ago, a man punished his 3 year old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father: an empty box. He yelled at her, "Don't you know that when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside it?" The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy." The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and begged for her forgiveness. It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
I first heard that story before I became a parent and it has always lingered in my mind. As a result, I have always attempted to investigate first, obtain as much information as I possibly can, before reacting. It's bode well for all my relationships - but particularly parenting. I can't imagine my own heartache, had I reacted negatively at my child spilling water over the carpet (using the water jug herself is something she has only done once before today), only to discover she had poured a glass of water for the three of us, because we would be thirsty after our hard work shoveling dirt in the garden. I understand she needed to take the jug into the family room, because that is the only space with a table low enough for her to steadily hold and pour a heavy water jug.
I'm grateful for being privy to the beautiful, generous, thoughtful spirit emerging within this child.
Bless, Lucy. I feel very privileged to be your Mama xxx