15 May, 2009
Something interesting happened yesterday afternoon while Henry and I were reading. We were snuggled up on the couch together enjoying P.D.Eastman's "Are you My Mother?" when we came to a page that held particular interest for Henry. The one near the end when the baby bird is crying for his mother. He asked three times to go back to the page, which we did. He started saying things like "bird sad", "miss his Mommy". And then he started to cry. Not a full sob or anything, but tears in his eyes, about to spill down. And he then told me "make me sad". I was struck by this demonstration of empathy from such a little boy, and again reminded of how much more sensitive we all are then we honor, even in our earliest years. A good friend and I were having a conversation about this very thing a few days ago. I think this quality is all too often underestimated, especially in our children. I know how easy it is to do. We justify actions/words towards our children that we would never tolerate as adults, all with the rationalization that they are too young to understand. This is my thinking- they are not too young. Understand differently, perhaps, with less sophistication. But understand never the less. Maybe all the more reason to handle this unfolding emotional development with a bit more care. Let me remember this today.