As I rummaged through my cart figuring out what I still needed to get,
my son handed it to me.
"What is this?" I asked looking at a baby rattle with big eyes in front of a smiling baby.
"It's a rattle. I want to get it for Baby Rey."
I felt like sunshine had suddenly burst through the roof of the store
and shone onto my heart as I looked into his eyes.
"You mean you want to give it to Baby Rey as a gift?"
To his nodding response, I asked, "What made you think of that?"
As he took the rattle back from me, he replied, "I saw it sitting on the shelf, and I knew he would need a rattle to play with once he is born. I thought he would like this one."
You see, I had worried about him.
Worry: the thorn of motherhood.
Both my girls are very giving, always offering to share a bite,
wanting to make pretty pictures for whomever comes into their minds.
My son, on the other hand, only seems to be engrossed in his own world.
I understand that. He is like myself. I get so lost in thought, so determined not to forget something on my endless list, that I often pass by the people in life, and then suddenly realize later how selfish I have been.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
I remember it from childhood. It was called the "Golden Rule."
I seemed to hear it a lot then, in Sunday School,
the theme of many childhood stories I heard and saw on the old-time shows,
coming often from the lips of the older generation.
I don't hear it in my adult ears as much,
and yet I need it more.
I realize it when I see the same unfocused disconnect that I have,
reflected in my son.
I want him to realize that the people around him would be better off if he was more aware of them, but how do I do that when I often flinch when I think of the
stupid unthinking questions I've asked in an effort to make hasty conversation, the short answers I've given to avoid a lengthy interruption to my "important" tasks at hand,
the rambling discourse of "me" that I've gotten lost on,
when I realize later how much I could have given and actually benefited from, if I'd just thought about the other person standing on the other side of my moving lips.
How does one instill in a child to be a giver and not a taker...
when it isn't a well-manicured trait in oneself?
I can only pray to the Greatest Giver that He would teach myself
and my son.
And so, when, for the first time I see him thinking about buying something, a toy, for another child,
and one who hadn't even been born yet but was growing in my sister's womb,
a moment of ordinary events became a beacon of happiness to a mother's unschooled heart.
It was there.
That hopeful seed of kind, unselfish thought may get buried under dirty rocks of worm searches and swampy salamander hunts,
but he is showing that he is thinking of others;
his heart has found a way to make time for somebody else.
I am so thankful for that.
Now he has seen the flip side of the Golden Rule, the unexpected, sweet reward:
the happiness and joy that comes from giving.
If you would like to see a post on how to draw the eye,
using my son's eye as the sample,
head over to my new blog, a place for artwork and house projects: