This afternoon, our doorbell rang. It was our next door neighbor. They said they came because they had never really introduced themselves to us. They also said that the pizza delivery guy brought them an extra box so they were wondering if we wanted an early dinner. I graciously accepted and thanked them for their kindness.
As we said goodbye and I closed the door, Oliver said, “Mommy that was really kind of them, right?” I responded that it was. Then he asked, “Were they much kinder than you expected?” I immediately said, “Yes”.
But I realized something and explained to Oliver that it was not really that they were kinder than I expected. It’s just that, since they moved in next door a little less than a year ago, the closest interaction I have had with them was a wave, a nod, and maybe a quick “hi/hello“. I didn’t really have an opinion on whether they were kind or not. I told Oliver that we should never expect others to be kind to us because we may become disappointed. But, we must always do our best to be kind to others.
Late this afternoon, Aiden wanted to go outside to ride his bike. As I sat and watched Aiden ride his bike, a mother and her little son was walking by. Aiden stopped biking and watched them walk by. I think I told him to “watch out” (only because that would be instinctual for me to say). I’m always on guard with my children possibly causing accidents or hurting others.
A little later, a little girl came rushing on her scooter towards us. I told Aiden to “watch out” and “be careful”. He patiently waited for the girl, and then the girl’s sister, and then the girls’ mom to pass by completely before he started biking again.
Then, the same family came back our way. As Aiden heard their voices, he looked and then he stopped without me even saying anything. He waited for them calmly and patiently. I even saw him smiling as he looked at them pass by. I saw kindness in his eyes. And I wish I can put into words how proud I felt at that very moment but I don’t have the words to best describe it!
When we came back inside, I couldn’t wait to tell Hubby what happened outside. He commented, “You know, I always want to teach Aiden to care about how others feel and about others’ needs. I don’t want him to expect others to treat him with kindness and give in to him just because he has a disability.”
I agreed and realized how very fortunate we are that part of Aiden’s progress up to this point has been his ability to exhibit empathy and… kindness.
“Don’t Just Teach Kids How To Count – Teach Kids What Counts Most.“