Learning empathy and humility from a child

This post is a little “more of me” than the ones I usually write.  This is one of the most humbling and thought provoking tales of my parenting experience.  I have many, but this is one that for as long as I live, I’ll never forget.

I always thought I was so great when I’d shop for my boys.  I always did it one season behind.  I could get them the best “names” and best “brands” at 50% off and more, on sale by buying them at the end of the year, for the next year.

I’d gotten Jason the most awesome “ensemble” than I could imagine.  I was just thrilled with my find.  I will never forget it.  I shopped at this “hoity toity” shop that all the “rich” people shopped at and couldn’t wait for winter so he could wear that outfit.  It was black/navy blue and red.  I still remember after all these years.  He was 7 years old.  He had all the matching accessories to go with it.  Jacket, snow-pants, hat, mittens, boots and scarf.  He was quite the cute kid.

The first cold day he got all dressed and man, did he look cute all decked out in that outfit.  I was so proud of my shopping abilities.  He came home from school with everything except the mittens.  He walked in with bare hands and it was cold.  I asked him where his mittens were.  He told me he left them on the bus.  I screamed calmly asked him “what do you mean you left them on the bus?”  He just acted lost and nervous and told me he left them laying on the seat.  I’m getting mad now, “what do you mean you left them laying on the seat” I screamed asked him?

He looked at me, and you have to know he had millions of freckles, and he very calmly said “so and so didn’t have any mittens and I knew I had another pair so I left him my mine.”  He told me that he offered to give them to him but the kid wouldn’t take them so he said he was leaving them on the seat and if he didn’t take them someone else would so he may as well and he just got off the bus.  Talk about feeling about two inches tall.  I learned a lot from him that day.             

What can you do?  I loved that child more in that minute than I’ve ever loved anyone in my life and it was such a reminder to me that “only through the eyes of a child.”  I don’t think I’ve ever felt that humbled in my whole life.  Jason was and still is so kind.  And YES, he got a big hug and I told him I was proud of him.  I just said next time, wait a day and take a different pair.

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12 Responses to Learning empathy and humility from a child

  1. SKL says:

    What a nice story! Isn’t it funny how our kids can amaze and humble us? There’s a bit of proof that everyone has that little flame inside.

  2. You must’ve raised him very well for him to be such a thoughtful person at such a young age! Well done.

  3. darryl says:

    Jason is a thoughtfull person. You said he was a cute kid what happened? LOL

  4. mssc54 says:

    Don’t sell yourself short here mommy. I have been around more than my share of children and not many of them would have even noticed what Jason much less sacrificed for his classmate.

    Quite a testimant to that which has been instilled into his heart. That doesn’t happen by osmosis.

  5. nikki says:

    I have heard this story and it’s something Bailey would do. Jason is a very thoughtful person as is his mom and his son. I love the very last part though, “wait a day and take different ones” lol

  6. SanityFound says:

    You know perhaps you don’t realise this but sounds like your sons take after you. That is something that YOU would do and probably have done so many times but it is so much apart of who you are that you don’t even realise.

    Beautiful you are!

  7. nikki says:

    I will second that Sanity!!

  8. thegoddessanna says:

    That is a wonderful story. So few children nowadays have empathy for their fellow humans.

    My MIL sent down two pairs of shoes that had been given to her by someone who didn’t need them – for Sophia. They’re brand new sneakers – white, shiny, never worn. Sophie fell in love with one pair, all sparkly and very different from her usual sneakers. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit, being a half-size too small (the other pair are a half-size too big), but instead of getting upset, she told me we’d just find someone else that could wear them instead. A lot of our clothing (especially the kids’) is either hand-me-downs or thriftstore finds, but I am so happy that she understands that it’s okay to reuse clothing, and that she is quite clueless when it comes to labels.

    I let the kids choose where to donate our old duds (various women’s shelters, the local charity hospital, Salvation Army, etc). It lets them feel more involved, and it’s easier for them to say goodbye to their old clothes and toys. I look forward to telling Sophie about this story. : )

  9. nikki says:

    I grew up on thrift store clothes. When Bailey was little I always bought his clothes used. They grow out of them so fast, what’s the point in spending a lot of money on them. All they need is a good wash and most the time you can find almost brand new things, so why not?? I don’t thrift shop so much now b/c I get a heck of a deal at the Tommy Hilfiger store b/c my Mom is a manager. I mean come on, I got his back pack for $8!! We go through our clothes and toys with every season change and take them to the Red Boxes. They’re everywhere around here, even on your way out of the Walmart parking lot. It’s a great life lesson to teach children.

  10. kweenmama says:

    This is a great story! One that should be shared with others. What a great kid…and it is good to hear that he is still that kind. You raised him right!

  11. mgat5 says:

    What a sweet little man!! Can’t we all learn something from him?? 🙂

  12. Amber says:

    what a beautiful story… that fills my heart. He must have had a wonderful mother to teach him such kindness….

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