When your children make you feel ashamed of yourself
So, here’s what happened…
I was out with the kids; my daughter and her cousin. Actually, we were on our way back from school and I was both tired and in a hurry when I spotted some familiar faces headed towards what was our ‘destination’.
Now, we were in a car while the ‘familiar faces’ were on foot. I was driving while this other mom had one baby on her back while she guided the remaining two kids along the busy road.
Automatically, as I usually do, I should have stopped to give them a ride. But again, let me remind you that I was both tired and in a hurry. I didn’t feel like I could afford making that ‘expensive’ stop, even though children were involved. Okay, let me explain why I described the stop as expensive – You see, it will first involve me ‘screaming’ at my own kids to create room for our car guests and then waiting for the lady and her kids to compactly bundle themselves into the car.
To be honest, I just didn’t feel up to all that ‘inconvenience’ because in addition, it meant I would have to use a longer route in getting our guest-mom and her kids to a convenient drop-off point. So, I kept a straight face as I tried to hurriedly drive the car past them, hoping that she wouldn’t ‘catch’ us in the process. As I did so, I totally ignored the fact that the poor mom and her kids were not only on their daily compulsory exercise, they were also probably being forced to enjoy the sun’s scorching heat.
Okay, at this point, I would say thank you for the uncorrupted innocence of kids. Yes, as I tried playing ‘hide and seek’, my child and her cousin recognized our occasional car guests and screamed my attention to them. Yes, at the top of their voices, they screamed, ‘look at that aunty, look at that aunty…’. Now, the car windows were down and upset, I wondered at the ‘effectiveness’ of their shouts. Had the lady heard/seen us? Or not?
Feeling guilty, I didn’t bother trying to figure out an answer. Instead, I brought the car to a halt and pulling out a huge smile, I waved the lady towards our car. Very grateful for my ‘generosity’, she waved excitedly back at us and hurried her children towards the car.
Really, in that moment, you have no idea how ashamed of myself I was. As in, what excuse did I have for displaying such selfishness? As in, I had been unwilling to stop and help a mom who was probably 10 times more tired than I was. To make matters worse, it took the shouts from a duo of a 3/4 years-old for me to do the right thing. They were suddenly the teachers and I, the student. They were the mommies and I, the little one. I obviously wasn’t practicing what I had taught them about selfless kindness but good enough, in their sweet innocence, they were not practicing what I did but what I had said.
Dear Moms, if our kids were to build their character solely based on what they see us do and not what we say, would they thrive in the positive direction? Would they grow up to be honest, selfless hardworking people, making a difference and leaving a mark for good? Don’t be deceived!!! No matter how much of our words these little ones take to heart, our actions still have the ability to nullify the power of words.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net