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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

Of Kids, Kindness and Carnations

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Parenting during this pandemic has been difficult.

I have questioned myself once. Twice. A million times.

Could I have handled things differently? Was I too short with them?

Should they be up this late? Is it their third time having chicken nuggets this week?

Always second guessing, always wondering if I should do more.

This week, my husband took our daughter to the grocery store. She insisted on getting red flowers for me as well as candy for herself. As a joke, my husband informed her that she could only get one- the flowers for mommy or the candy for herself. My daughter came home with a beautiful bouquet of red carnations for me.

According to my husband, she didn’t even need to think about it twice. Her immediate response was “let’s get the flowers for mommy, they will make her so happy!”

I share this story because I suspect that a lot of us have been questioning our ability as parents lately.

We work. We work so hard. It’s exhausting, and most days, there’s no end in sight.

They take from us. They test us. Our patience, our rationality, our ability to think clearly.

We try, we persevere, we survive. But there is always a nagging feeling at the back of our minds… are we falling short?

If this pandemic is taking such a toll on us, imagine the damage it could do to them!

Do they feel as isolated as us? Are they overwhelmed?

So, when my husband told me about his experience at the grocery store, I’m certain it was the silver lining we were both looking for in a sea of dark clouds.

We may lose our cool. We may not be perfect. In fact, we are likely far from it.

The television may keep them occupied far longer than we prefer, and diets may not be the most balanced.

But, at the end of the day, we really are making the most of an unfortunate situation.

We wake up every single day. We make an effort. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we fall flat.

We keep moving forward. Hoping. Praying. Learning. Trusting.

And then one day, a tiny human who we think knows so little of this world, chooses kindness over her own interests. She picks red flowers for mommy over candy for herself. She gives her parents confidence that they are doing fine in a world that may not seem fine.

In an instant, a mother’s tired soul lights up with love, a father’s weary heart swells with pride. In an instant she makes them believe that maybe, just maybe, they will all come out of this stronger, kinder. And perhaps, they will all be okay.

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