While the past two months have certainly had their ups and downs in the Douglas household, I would be remiss if I said I wasn’t feeling a bit of a funk when really…we have so much to be thankful for when so many other, truly terrible things are happening across the world. I try to rise myself out of the grumpy feelings that occasionally (or often really) creep into my mind when battling the crying, whining, fighting and pure mental and physical exhaustion associated with our raising our current three-nagers. As an American and and Alaskan, it is important to keep in mind that freedom is not something everyone around the world gets and shouldn’t be taken for granted. I then remember other things that remind me how lucky we really are to grow up and raise our families here.
My girls don’t have to wonder where their next meal will come from, with growling bellies and malnutrition around them.
They have a roof over their heads, with heat in the winter and a warm place to sleep, when many aren’t afforded this luxury.
We can step outside our front door and not feel fear; fear that danger lurks right around the corner, like in many other places.
They have so many opportunities to learn, to go to school, and to socialize with our community.
They have access to great healthcare and don’t have to fear that a basic illness can turn life threatening without access to medicine.
Watching the documentaries and interviews for the 20th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on our country provided a strong reminder that we need to raise our kiddos to be good, respectful of others, and loving individuals in a world that can be cruel and scary.
It is a good reminder that while evil exists all across the world, showing its face that day more publicly than many others in our lives, we have to be diligent and work toward raising the next generation to not only remember these acts, but to triumph over them by doing selfless and loving gestures, big and small.
I will get off my soapbox now- my point in all this is- I’m still trying to figure out how to teach my littles the importance of major events without scaring them. Obviously we aren’t to the age yet of serious discussions like the World Trade towers and major loss of life, so for now my main goal is to teach them basic humanity and kindness, toward their sisters (working on this one), toward their parents and teachers, and to others.
It starts small and even at this age! The other day all three demanded that Craig stop at the coffee shop on the way to preschool drop off so they could bring their teacher a hot chocolate. This was kindness inspired completely by them! When Harper or Emerie are hurt and crying, Reagan will deliver her own toy to her sister (sometimes); this is compassion. When sitting quietly with Emerie, she will look up with those baby blues and say she loves you; this is love. When building a fort out of blankets, Harper will make it bigger and invite her sisters to join; this is sharing. All these attitudes and gestures need to be shared by all of us, big and small, to make this world a happier place.
All traits must be taught and re-taught and encouraged over and over and over again until they become part of my little humans. We’ve had a number of days this summer with crying dots, fighting and arguing, and much less kindness than aggression.
For now I recognize it is baby steps…and we will get there, and that the adults in their lives play a huge part in that. Actions speak louder than words, meaning I need to be kind, compassionate, and loving to inspire them to pursue those attitudes. Some days are better than others for me, as any parent will attest to, and I know I can do better.