It has been a terrible morning. Harrison took over an hour to eat his breakfast. I had to chase him around the house to get him dressed. Ella decorated the house with a stack of diapers. She pooped like four times before we left the house. I am frustrated and exhausted and its only 9am. Sometimes, though, you need to look back and find something beautiful to hold onto. Sometimes, that’s the only way to get through the day. I found a snippet in my memory this morning, and here I am, still breathing, still smiling, because I can remember the good in the midst of the bad.
Several weeks ago, we decided to take a trip to the playground with our friends Terri and Olivia. Olivia and Harrison are about the same age. Because they are three years old, they do not necessarily always play well together. But I’ve noticed that Harrison is a bit different with Olivia than he is with his boy buddies. It’s with a slight twinge of gentleness that he interacts with her. His voice is softer and sweeter. He still steals her snacks, and she still doesn’t like to share her toys with him. Terri and I sometimes have to intervene to prevent arguments, but on this hot sunshiny day, we got to witness something truly great.
At the playground, there is a nice little path into the woods. It simply leads to a side road, and the kids like to venture down it because the residents at the end of the road have chickens that they can harass. All three kids (Ella toddling slightly behind the older two) were racing down the path in mirthful giggles as Terri and I meandered behind them. And then I witnessed something that made my heart explode. Harrison stopped, and turned to Olivia. He said, “Oweeveea, may I hold your hand?” She obliged, and they continued on the trail, hand in hand.
This was such a big moment for the mother of a little boy. I witnessed my son ask a female for permission to have physical contact. I saw him show respect for another person’s body. To some, this may have been a small gesture of good manners, but to me, it was my son’s first step towards becoming a good man.