Yesterday I planned to take the kids to run some errands. No big deal. I wanted to stop by Bed, Bath and Beyond and use a gift card I had received for Christmas. No big deal. Nothing out of the ordinary. The kids always like to grab a toy or a book to take in the car with them. My four year old had grabbed her “wallet” and some “money” to take. When she had buckled in, she realized that her “card” (pretend debit card) was not in the wallet. She asked if she could go inside and get it. I said no.
At this point, I was looking for the previously mentioned gift card. I knew that it was in an envelope with two other gift cards from Christmas. I knew exactly what the envelope looked like. I had seen it over and over again on the floor of the mini van right behind the driver’s seat. Only now, it wasn’t there. I had the brilliant idea of cleaning the clutter out of the van only a couple of days before. No big deal I thought. I always have one bag for trash and another to collect things that need to go back inside. I went and checked the bag inside. No envelopes, no cards. I am getting frustrated at this point.
The four year old asks me again to go inside and get her card. I said no. She tells me that she “really wants it.” To which I reply, “I don’t care. I am looking for my card with money in it. I can’t find it. Do not get out of the car. You don’t need your toy.” She was upset, but sat quietly and watched her mother go back and forth from the car to the house looking for the lost envelope.
I finally decide that I must have put the envelope in the trash bag. I went to the garbage can and sifted through dirty diapers and food from a recently cleaned out fridge until I found the treasured envelope, complete with the missing gift cards.
I felt guilty for telling my daughter that I didn’t care about what she wanted, so after I washed by hands, arms and elbows, I went and got the card she had asked for. Before she knew that I had found my money cards and before she knew that I had brought out her toy, she hands me her stack of toy money and tells me I can have it. She asks if it will help since I lost my money.
I kissed her, told her I loved her and handed her the card she’d asked for. I told her that I found what I was looking for and we hit the road.
I watch this child interact with her brother and sister all day. She is a peacemaker. She would rather sacrifice something she is playing with than watch someone else be upset. She is concerned about the people around her and seeks to put others first (most days anyway… I mean, after all, she is only four). This is just one of the many times when I realize that the children are not the only ones who are learning here. I have quite a bit to learn from them.
**Please don’t forget to stop by my etsy shop, Happy2Knit, and consider making a purchase. 40 % of proceeds will go toward bringing home two precious little guys to their adoptive family**