Thank you for being part of our journey these 3 years! We've so appreciated all your kind words and visits. Onward and upward with our journey!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Wisdom from Half Chewed Candy
Dear My Toy Garden friends,
The hand dipped into the bucket and whoosh! A rainbow of color cascaded once again through the air landing with a pitter patter. Little hands scurried to remove all signs it was ever there. A few minutes later...another hand....another whoosh...another rainbow and poof! It vanished as if it had evaporated into the pavement. It was the highlight of the day for many children. No, not the marching bands, or the floats or the character costumes. Not the motorcycles, fire engines or 8-seated bicycle. The highlight of the 4th of July parade for the children is the candy. Second only to Halloween for it's sugar collection.
My family and I joined the tens of thousands of others to brave the heat and enjoy this annual tradition. This year, we were joined curbside by 3 young boys. Three boys who, at first, leaped to gather like pros. They were not aware of a little girl next to them with an empty bag. It took a few direct requests from me and then they began to share a bit of the bounty.
Halfway through the parade, the pile of candy became too much for the youngest boy near me. He selected the chosen first piece, unwrapped it and popped it in his mouth. Not finding it to his liking, he thhhhwt....spat it into the street in the path of the oncoming parade marchers. An observant adult behind him questioned him and, despite his denial that is was his, guided him to remove it from the impending soles of the marching band's shoes.
Sharing/Thinking of others is an art form not part of a child's genetic code with which they are born. Learning to share comes from repeated opportunities to practice words and actions that put others before them. Children are, to their core, very egocentric beings for much of their early years. According to Maslow, they focus on getting their basic needs for food, rest, security met before all else. I believe that we, as the grown ups in this world, can begin building a child's ability to see others and their needs one connection at a time. We can build less of a Me, Me, Me generation and more of a We, We, We generation. How?
Hold a door open for another. Deliver a hand drawn picture to a neighbor just because. Pay for the bill of the car behind you in a drive through. Volunteer for a local charity. Drop a quarter on purpose in a public place. Learn a few magic tricks and visit the nursing home. Smile at another. Sincerely check in on your friends and family. Children watch what we do. What are your actions saying to them about how you care for others? How do you invite them to show a we focus rather than a me focus. Important behaviors like this do not happen overnight but rather one conversation at a time. My Toy Garden is here to support you with a listening ear, an extra pair of hands, words of support and ideas for moving to the next step! Stop by for a hug, a hello and help anytime!