Friday, February 2, 2007

A Zebra Lesson

I hate labels. In high school I wasn't a geeky kid, but I was smart. I wasn't a drug head, but I did indulge occasionally. I wasn't a popular kid, but I had a lot of friends. I wasn't an athlete, but I enjoyed sports. So as a parent, I find myself stuck in the middle when it comes to a lot of issues. I guess I would call myself an "attached parent" in that I respect my children very much, and try to be firm, but gentle. I co sleep, I breastfed (err..try to at least), I don't spank or yell, I go to my children as soon as they cry, and most importantly of all...I listen. I listen to Chloe when she is so frustrated that she knocks her books off the shelf. I listen and respond right away to both of my children when they cry. And I listen to my inner Mommy voice that tells me to be calm, be consistent, be fair, and be gentle.

Today Chloe and I played with her Little People zoo set. Chloe was the zebra, and I was the giraffe. While we played I made up a silly song about animals being nice to each other, and my giraffe smothered her zebra in kisses and hugs. Chloe was cracking up laughing, I was smiling and a great lesson was taught.

Imagine this...It's Christmas morning and you eagerly rip open a beautifully wrapped present from your spouse (Grandmother, sister, whoever. Be creative, it's your imagination). Inside the box you find a gorgeous set of diamond earrings. They sparkle in the light and take your breath away by their sheer beauty. You pull the earrings out of the velvet box, throw them on the ground, and crush them beneath your boot. You yell obscenities at them, angrily scoop them up and throw them into a dark, cold closet, slamming the door behind you. Wait, what? You wouldn't treat a beautiful gift with such disrespect and brutality . You are much too practical!

Children are sweet. They are adorable and funny. They are so smart, and talented. Children are amazing. And they are our gift. Treat them as such.


Ingrid said...

Beautiful. Thanks for reminding me that we should not take our kids for granted.

Piper said...

Very touching, Jules! It just had a major outburst at Matthew & after reading your post, I saw a whole new way of approaching him. It's so important to remember how blessed we REALLY are & that our children look to us as role models! :)

Helen said...

That's wonderful! What a great lesson for all of us. I think Skylar and I will play Little People Zoo tomorrow and I'll smother her Zebra with tons of kisses too. Thanks Jules. :~)

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