Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Compassion in all things

I love my local hardware store.  The folks there know me and are so great.  The owner, Tom, is a fantastic guy and I enjoy all of his employees.  Yesterday I stopped in and was once again reminded of how much I love that place.  They have always helped me figure out the best way to do something, and believe me, sometimes I go in there with some crazy ideas!  But yesterday not only was I helped with my hardware needs (some rope), I was also helped with my motherly duties.
Here is kind of how my conversation went:
Me- "Wow, thanks again for helping me figure this rope thing out.  You guys know everything!"
Nice new 60 year old employee- "Yeah, life experiences sure teach us alot, and I have had a lot of life to live and learn."
Me- "So what else are you an expert at besides ropes?"
Nice employee- "Kids, how to love them and help them learn and grow."
Me- (taken by surprise at the topic) "Okay, so I have this 7 year old . . . Wait, I think we should talk about my 10 year old.  She is sure getting sassy lately and gets so impatient with me."
Nice employee- "Well, compassion in all things."
Me- "Okay, explain."

He went on to tell me about the logic behind Love and Logic and how it can really work.  How as parents we need to use that balance of MERCY and JUSTICE when disciplining our kids, even as we drag them down the hall to their rooms, and then show them compassion and love.  It was a long long long conversation and I enjoyed it very much and learned quite a bit.  Or maybe I was reminded of quite a bit.  Either way, it got me thinking.

On Sunday, I listened to a talk by an amazing woman, the General Primary President of the LDS church, and she said something that stuck with me as well.  She said something like "Nighttime is such a precious time in our homes.  It should be a calm, peaceful, and loving time with your children.  Whether there is a bedtime story or not, it is the perfect opportunity to have important talks with your children."  Well, maybe she didn't say exactly that, but that is what I got out of it.
As I listened to her and to the fella at the hardware store I reflected on what bedtime is like at our house.  Not too peaceful, calm, or loving.  It is most often me barking at the two middle kids to get their PJs on and their teeth brushed, and "Oh my goodness, I didn't know your room was such a mess!  Hurry and pick this mess up!"  It is me telling Kelsey that right now is not the best time to practice the trumpet, let alone the violin and "I thought you said your homework was finished!" as she shoves a paper at me to sign.  It is me telling Matt, if he is home, to take the baby or brush Emmitt's teeth, "one or the other!" in a not so sweet voice.  It is me picking up toys and feeling so exhausted and tired myself that I just want the kids in bed and not arguing with me or with each other.  It is all of us sitting around the couches with sulking faces saying a nighttime family prayer without a whole lot of loving feelings going on.
Well, how do you feel about that little glimpse into my house at night?
Not so pretty right?
So, for the past two nights I have made a conscience effort to make our home a little better, a little more peaceful at night and take advantage of this glorious end of the day to love on my kids and listen to them, and not get so uptight about them being in bed at exactly 8:31.  You know what?  It helps.  Immensely.
My kids get a train ride to their beds about half of the nights of their lives so far.  Sometimes that train, me, is so darn tired I can't even "chugga choo choo" or toot a horn.  Maybe it isn't that I am so tired, but so done with the day and with my little ones that I can't put a good and patient effort into their train ride.
Tonight Spiderman Emmitt and Incredible Hulk Kendal got the best train ride to bed that they have had in a long time.  They got extra patient hugs and kisses as well, even with a smiling mom.  They were given COMPASSION and they could feel that good feeling tonight that just made them want to snuggle in and go to sleep without any tears, from either of us!
Compassion in all things, even bedtime, is my new motto for awhile.  I think it has proven itself as far as mottoes go!


Jenny said...

It is posted on my white board as a reminder. LOVE IT! I was a little more compassionate last night, baby steps! Now we need one of your awesome crafty friends to make us a cute sign so we can post it all over our house to remind us as we are inforcing the Justice and Mercy part dragging our kids down to the bedroom. I am going to need at least 5 signs so I will see one of them along the way!

Mom said...

Wow, some good things to think about. It akk makes sense,,,,just gotta make it a good habit every night.

Anonymous said...

Rachel, you have inspired me. I don't have kids to put to bed but I am adopting this as my motto too. I need to be more compassionate in all I do. Thank you for the good example and words of advice. Necha

Amy said...

I gave you an award here: I hope you like it! :)


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