Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Raising a Compassionate Little Darling

Recently, Carys has been very interested in the lives of others. I field a million questions about people she sees on the street, on television and movies. She wants to know why some people don't have cars, homes, or good food to eat (and that's not because we constantly tell her to eat her dinner because poor children in Ethiopia would love her meal, either).

For the most part, I try to give the shortest, most age-appropriate answer. She's usually satisfied with my response, and returns to her activity. I never really know if what I'm trying to teach her really sinks in. I don't know if she gets it.
I've always been proud when she says something touching or absolutely sweet about someone else. She is constantly doling out hugs and kisses, telling people "it will be alright" when they are upset. She is a sweet, sweet kid.

Today, she stole my heart.
We were in the grocery store, and I was pushing the cart through the aisles like a mad woman. Shopping with two kiddos is no easy feat!
I turn around, to see Carys talking to a lady. This isn't out of the norm - she talks to everyone she meets, and usually tells them way too much information.

My heart sank when I heard what she said next.
"Ma'am, why don't your legs work?"

You see, the lady she was talking to was on a motorized scooter. I was mortified that she asked - but then, after I saw the woman's face, I was quickly reminded that children are children. They are inquisitive, and they should ask questions. It's the only way they learn.

The lady was so sweet. She told Carys that she had a bone disease and hadn't been able to walk since she was Carys' age - many, many years ago. I'm guessing she was in her sixties.

"Do your legs hurt, then?" Carys asked.
"Oh, no. They don't hurt. I just can't run and jump and play like you do, that's all," the lady replied.

Carys asked her a few more questions, like how does she gets her "cool scooter" into her car, and how does she drive if her feet don't work...
The lady answered her questions joyfully, and gave me a look that put my mind at ease. She didn't mind answering Carys' questions.

At the end of the exchange, Carys gave the lady a hug, and said: "Well, I am sorry your legs don't work. But you are really nice. And you smell beautiful - like roses and princesses!"
The lady laughed and told Carys that she was a very sweet, beautiful little girl and that she enjoyed meeting her.

Carys told her she enjoyed meeting her too, and then she said the most amazing thing as we walked the other direction.
"Now she is my friend. I have lots of friends. And sometimes Mommy, my friends' can't run and play with me. But I still love them. They are very special, right? All of my friends are special."

The logic of a four-year-old.
She is such a joyful child. And I am so very, very proud of her for understanding that all people are the same. They can all hug. And they can all be your friends, you just have to give them a chance.


Nikki said...

That brought tears to my eyes!You've done a great job!

Carla said...

If we could only look at the world through the eyes of a child.

amber said...

Oh wow, that totally made me tear up. I just want to scoop Carys up and squeeze her...she's so bright and compassionate, Skye. I know you know that, but WOW!! You are doing a great job!!

Aunt Carmen said...

Well done Carys. AND well done Skye and Chad. She had to get that compassionate attitude at home.Such a sweet story.I'm proud of you guys!!

Melissa said...

What a beautiful story! Can I share it with the patients at hospice? I am always looking for good news or positive stories!!! She truly is beautiful inside and out... just like her mom.

Amanda said...

My goodness Skye what a sweet girl you are belssed with. Savannah asks a ton of questions and I am always tols that she is a very bright girl :-)

Meg said...

What a precious story! And what a precious girl Carys is!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is so beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes also. You should be very very proud!


Kitty said...

Oh, that made me tear up, too! What a precious, sweet girl you've got there. With a lot of credit to her Mama... ;-)