Last night, I felt like I might've done a good job teaching my son, but I realize it was really him teaching me something. My daughter, sweet as she is 99% of the time, was in the midst of a fit. She did not want to leave my parents' house, but really it was just her being really tired and needing to get to bed. When she gets that tired, she has a tendency to pitch a monster fit, and lately I've been working hard to combat them in a more communicative way instead of previous methods. Unfortunately, walking down the street in a double stroller is not as conducive as strapping her into a car seat and telling her when she's done screaming and calm I will be ready to listen to her. In the stroller, she has a victim, namely her little brother. if I had been more thoughtful to him, I would have strapped her in the front so she could not kick him, but I was trying to keep her from jumping out and running back inside in the hopes of getting grandma to help her. But, because I was thoughtless, my poor son got kicked in the back several times before I could stop her feet. I did get her to stop, but only after he was sad and perhaps a little scared. Still, I got them both home with no injuries, and I put her straight into bed once she stopped screaming. I had no plans to sit with her or give her anything to drink at that point because she had been so mean to her brother.
My son had other plans, though. I tried to give him a bottle, but he kept saying "no no." I asked if he wanted milk and he said "yep" as he does when he's ready for one, but he shook his head when I offered it to him. Finally after several attempts to understand I asked, "Do you want to give sister her milk?" and he nodded and said "Yep." So I poured some into her sippy cup and handed it to him and he ran in to his sister to give it to her. Here is a little boy who has been kicked in the back and had to endure a screaming fit, and yet his concern was to take care of his big sister when he knew she needed comfort. That is love. That is compassion. That is forgiveness. What a beautiful example my son showed me last night. If only I could, if we all could be so kind to those who have wronged us. I hope and pray he keeps that kind heart. I know this world has a habit of beating down people like him, but he's a tough kid. Maybe, just maybe, he'll endure the trials and show the world. Here's hoping.
P.S.: For the record, he did take his own bottle after his sister got something to drink. I used his example to teach her, too, about how wonderful a brother she has and how much she should appreciate what he did for her. She thanked him with a hug, a "thank you", and a "sorry, baby brother."