Magical Moment

We were hanging out at the school playground after school the other day. This seems to be the best way to get some social interaction going for the child, so when it is sunny (frequently lately) and we don’t have something more pressing to do, we stay and play for an extra 30 minutes or so after school. This means my four-year-old twins are running around the school playground with other younger siblings through 5th graders, and I always marvel a bit at how easily they negotiate it all.

I was sitting in the shade chatting with another mom when I noticed another parent talking to the twins and a little girl similar to their age, plus an older boy. The little girl was somewhat upset. I immediately jumped up to go see what was going on. I was afraid that one of my kids had done something to hurt the little girl. They have been known to try to enforce rules on other kids, and they don’t have the best sense of personal space, so my concern was not unfounded. When I asked the other parent what was happening she assured me that my twins had been offering sympathy to her daughter after she was hurt by one of the older kids. My children – being appropriately kind and compassionate to another child without adult prompting. I almost fell over from relief.

I couldn’t help but draw the comparison to their older sister, who at age four would have much more likely been the one inflicting the pain. In fact I never would have walked away from her and sat in the shade to talk with another mom at that age. I would have been hovering over her and wondering where all the other parents were, anyway. Then I think of where she is now with  her skills and another wave of relief washes over me. I can be one of the parents sitting over in the shade, still watchful, but more at ease.

The thing is, I think I enjoy the shade way more than I would have otherwise. If I had not walked through that challenge of keeping constant watch, these moments of relief would not be quite so exquisite. Now they are magic.

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