Last night Mr. Loux and I went out to dinner with friends. It doesn’t happen often, but we needed it.
The last two months have been tumultuous for “family life,” and the little one’s behavior has been deeply impacted by perceived instability and lack of normal routine.
We have had two long hospital stays back to back and three major snow storms that disrupted school routines. In our world that is trauma.
Through it all we made sure that one of us was home at bedtime, because bedtime can go south fast during trying times. (Well… that is when you’re 7, 6, and 6.)
Last night, we left before bedtime after lots of reassuring words, making sure they knew that a “date” wasn’t forever. We would indeed come home.
It went like this.
Me: “Daddy and I are going on a date.”
Me: “Because we need time together.”
Them: “I wanna go on a date with you.”
Me: “Well, if you came it wouldn’t be a date.”
Them: “Awwww, but I wanna!”
Me: “It is just a date. We will eat dinner at a restaurant, and then we will come home. I will come and kiss you even if you are sleeping. We will sleep in this house in our own room. We ALWAYS come home. We WILL come home.”
That “Ok”, lasted until my darling Isabelle and dear Taylor who had been amazing, getting them dinner, playing with them, reading to them, and getting them ready for bed, said the words: “It’s time for bed!”
What followed was not pretty. It was down right mean and ugly. I won’t elaborate, but it was bad, really bad.
Today, I thought about how we would handle this. Something big needed to happen.
So, we handled it with Kindness Shoes.
After school, we sat them down on the kitchen floor. We talked about their actions. We worked through it. We prayed together.
We forgave them.
We told them that when we are forgiven, it is like what we did was thrown out the window. Jesus forgives us, and so we forgive each other.
Several months ago when confronted with the issue of needing more kindness in her heart, Elia told me, “But mom, we don’t know how!! We’re just kids. You need to teach us!”
Tonight I presented them with Kindness Shoes. (Please understand, I’m not ultimately that great of a mom. They needed new sneakers. I got them today. Then I realized they couldn’t be rewarded with new sneakers for Pete’s sake, they were horrid little beasts last night…. so I turned the necessary new sneakers into a lesson in kindness.)
I said, “Here are your Kindness Sneakers. When we are unkind to others, we need to think of ways to turn our actions around. Tonight you are going to bless Taylor and Isabelle with kindness.”
We prepared gift bags with a small gift.
They delivered them with their Kindness Sneakers on and apologized again, with big hugs.
They said, “How can we serve you, Taylor?” And they emptied the dishwasher for him.
They said, “What kind of salad dressing would you like? What would you like to drink?” And they delivered dinner to them.
They rubbed their feet and brushed their hair.
All with Kindness Shoes on.
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, KINDNESS, humility, gentleness and patience…” Col.. 3:12