Friday, November 12, 2010

Living Epistles

I know my own testimony is my living epistle, but I think as a parent I also influence the writing of the living epistle that is my daughter's life. I have a long and growing list of values that are important to me and it's a concern of mine how to effectively inculcate them in Marguerite (especially if I might be struggling with some of them still). I just wanted to share a couple of episodes of which I'm really proud, although I can't take credit for either of them since I don't remember myself at any time being an example for something like the following:

The day the Sunday School teachers came over to our house to work on the Christmas pageant props and backdrops, my dad came home with four packets of strawberry cookies. Besides Chip, Mom and myself, there were her two aunts (who are both Sunday School teachers) and her Ate Icee and Ate Bianca. As what has been her habit, Marguerite started offering the packets around. She gave one each to Ate Icee and Ate Bianca and then gave a pause. She had two left and there were still her two aunts. She obviously hasn't learned fractions yet at four, but after a split second, she decided to give all her remaining packets to her aunts. We all sat there waiting to see what she would do and all went "Aaaaw" at her "sacrifice". I just got so choked up to see that she would rather go without as long as the others had their share. Icee and Bianca did give Marguerite back their packets (I guess they felt sorry for the little girl, lol), but not until after she had already given away all of her cookies.

The other episode happened last Sunday after Mom's party. There were just five balloons. My cousin Luigi got them down and managed to pop two in the process (he tried to remove the masking tape from them - we'd taped them up, lol). The third one - he left the tape on - he gave to Marguerite. Naturally, the other kids wanted balloons too. Luigi gave the fourth to Antonella's grandmother, but forgot to warn her not to remove the tape, so that one popped. The last one, Antonella and her cousin managed to play with before something happened and it popped as well. Antonella was upset, of course, and wanted another balloon. She's only three, after all. The only remaining balloon was Marguerite's and Antonella came over, looking sadly at it. Now, I was actually torn myself. I wanted my daughter to be able to keep her balloon, but I thought it was one of those opportunities for character building. Tentatively I told Marguerite that she would make Antonella really happy if she gave her balloon to the little girl. I didn't tell her to give it to Antonella because I knew she would have done just that, but only to obey me. I wasn't really sure how that would have turned out, so I didn't know how to deal when Marguerite gently handed her balloon to her friend and then burrowed her face into my chest, crying. I told her that she did a wonderful thing and assured her that she could have another balloon the next time we went to the mall. I think Marguerite was also tired at that point, so she just stayed in my lap crying quietly. When it was time to go home, Tita Maf (Antonella's mom) brought the balloon back, thanking Marguerite for letting Antonella play with the balloon. We told her that Marguerite had already given it to Antonella, but Tita Maf really wanted to give it back. I asked Marguerite if she wanted it back or if she wanted Antonella to have it and she said that she wanted Antonella to have it (and her still crying about it too). Tita Maf was adamant though (laughingly pointing out that she had a hard time convincing Antonella to let go of the thing), so in the end Marguerite did get it back.

Am I bragging? I guess a little bit, which totally takes away from the awesomeness of those moments. Also, it's not all like that, of course. She has moments when I have to remind her to share her toys, when I have to roar before she pays attention to what I'm saying, when she throws a fit at what happened to the sky (nothing... the sun rose and it officially became morning)... But whatever. I have these memories to cuddle and stroke during dismal moments for the rest of my life. More to come, I hope. And I just pray ceaselessly that ... oh please, please, please, with God's grace and guidance that I get the parenting bit right...

Now, here are pictures of living epistles...

4 comments:

Sound Proud International said...

You have such a sweet daughter. Sometimes us parents are being too hard on ourselves, thinking that we might not be doing our job well. But in opportunities like these, we feel so proud that we have somehow managed to inculcate good values to our children. Kudos to you!

swirlyagelessmind said...

I rarely see kids make that decision, normally they're prompted by parents to be generous but midge...when she's brilliant, she's brilliant and I'm an aunt just busting with pride.=)

Sharkbytes said...

What precious pictures! You tempt me to pull out pix of my guys when they were little. And I didn't write down nearly enough of the wonderful moments like the ones you shared today.

Steve was a generous, good child. He gave me several moments like these, but I didn't get them recorded.

spinninglovelydays said...

@Sound: Thank you, although if I were to be honest, I really don't know how I could have managed to teach that... :D

@Chip: Isn't she? I still get choked up when I recall those moments. :)

@Sharkbytes: It would be great to see those pictures. I recall seeing a couple included in your Christmas post last year. :)
And so long as you still remember the moments, then it's all good. Maybe you can still record them after all this time...