Someone Else's Shoes
I don’t always give my kids enough credit for doing the right thing. Every once and a while, I discover they have something to teach me too about being a good person.
My kids went to nature camp on Columbus Day. This included hiking, observing trees, looking at bugs, and catching worms.
My son’s friend was doing the camp with him. They’re six years old, and at the end of the day, they got half an hour to play on the playground. Because it was a lot of climbing, the teachers asked them not to climb or run if they weren’t wearing sneakers, and my son’s friend was wearing rainboots so he had to sit on the side.
Very nonchalantly, my son told me this story when I came to pick him up, about how his friend had to sit out and couldn’t run. I asked him what he did, fully expecting him to tell me that he sat on the side with his friend, but that wasn’t the case.
He gave him his shoes.
I had him repeat himself.
Yes, he took off his shoes, put on his friend’s rainboots so his friend could run around, while my son sat on the side instead. Then after a while, his friend came back and they switched back so my son could have a turn playing. Then they sat on the side together.
I love my son. I know he has a good heart and a good soul. He’s tenderhearted and snuggles every night. He’s pretty empathetic.
But he’s not always the most aware six year old. He definitely doesn’t always do the right thing at home. I correct him a lot more than I have to instruct my daughter.
When I heard this, I stopped. I paused. I realized that he has something to teach me too. Something about friendship, and love, and giving. He’s more observant than I’ve ever given him credit for. His goodness runs deep into his soul and I will continue to nurture that.
And I will let him teach me too. Because I’m not sure if I would have given someone my shoes. I’m not sure if that would have even occurred to me. As parents we always assume that we know best. That they’re learning from us. And sometimes we need to look and listen and learn from them.
Somewhere in his soul, God is hard at work, making him into a great man. I can’t wait to see how he turns out.