A few weeks ago, I posted a quote that really got me thinking. The quote read, “If my child had only my actions to watch today, what would he have learned?”
I worried about this a lot as did a few of you who mentioned reading it and thinking of all the not so good days you may have had with your children.
Fortunately though, I was reminded that it really is the little things we do, without even realizing we are doing them, that make the biggest differences.
While at pick up a few weeks ago, I mis-judged the amount of space I had between my side mirror and a parked car. As I drove by, I hit the other car’s mirror and did some damage to it. I pulled over and left a note. Without even thinking… because who wouldn’t leave a note, right?
Except maybe a lot of people wouldn’t. When the owner of the car called me, he thanked me again and again for leaving a note. And then I thanked him again for being so understanding. At one point, we both commented on how sad it was that we had both thanked each other simply for being decent and doing the right thing. In recognition of the fact that it could have worked out the other way. I could have driven away. And he could have been a jerk. But I didn’t and he wasn’t because that’s just who we are.
On that day, I felt glad that my actions had taught my girls kindness and respect.
And I’ll be glad to think back on that day when perhaps I taught them something slightly less wonderful…
Nicely done. I think you get precisely at the point – “who wouldn’t leave a note, right?” – you showed your girls that this was your automatic and instinctive response. Which says more than all the posturing and “LOOK AT THIS!” would have. xox
One thing I’ve been better at in the last few years is talking about my bad spells with my girls – apologizing if I was snappy, explaining why something made me mad, admitting when I was wrong. It’s really helped my teens to be better able to do the same thing.