MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Posts Tagged ‘empathy’

The elephant in the room

Posted by mbamommy on August 10, 2011

Dear S,

You amaze me every day.  That goes without saying….after all, you’re my daughter and I find just that simple fact amazing.

But, last night you literally floored me.  See, you’re 2.  And at 2, you’re not supposed to have a whole lot of empathy. You’re supposed to be in the “Me. Me. Me.” phase that you (hopefully) eventually grow out of.  I’ve said before that you have a heart as big as a mountain and that you already have more empathy than most adults I know.  And, last night, you proved me right again.

There you were, in a sea of kids running around playing with YOUR toys, in YOUR house…sharing everything without batting an eye.  Your little friend who you were holding hands with all day long was getting ready to leave and began to cry because she couldn’t take the elephant she was playing with home.  So, she asks you for it.  And…you hesitate for a minute…you do love your elephants after all…and then you run back inside and grab an elephant.  Not just any elephant but the elephant you earned from doing your chores.  The one that you worked for and chose yourself at the toy store.  The one you sleep with every night.

I stopped you before you got outside and asked you if you were sure.

S: Yeah, I give MC my elephant because it make her happy!

MBAMommy:  But, S, this is Rosie the elephant.  You LOVE Rosie.  Don’t you think you’ll miss her?  You earned her by doing your chores.

S: I no miss her. I ok.

MBAMommy:  S, you know you don’t have to give it to her, just because she wants it.  She WILL be ok without it.

S: No she not!  She not happy!  She crying!

MBAMommy: Yes, she will.  I promise.  Listen….I don’t even hear her crying anymore.

S: She ok?  Wet me see.

We walk outside and MC has already forgotten about the elephant and is getting into the car with her Mommy.  You look at me, giggle and say “She ok!  She happy!” and run over to say goodbye.

S: zài jiàn, MC!  You come back and play wif my toys!

The heart you already have…that you already wear on your sleeve…brings me enormous joy….and enormous concern.  Will you be taken advantage of as you get older?  Will people understand what a truly amazing gift you are?  I wonder if I did the right thing last night, by dissuading you from giving away your prized toy.  You probably would have forgotten about Rosie soon enough…you are only  2 after all.  But, I just don’t want you to think you HAVE to do these things just to make others happy.  It’s a wonderful trait…but one that could bring you pain later on.

Ah well….you keep doing what you’re doing, little angel.  Leave the cynicism to me. I promise I’ll try my hardest to help you understand when and how to give your heart away while still keeping it safe.

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