Today, I want to share a beautiful story with you. It's a bit long, but worth it (I promise :)
This fall, when Gabriel was having a rough time, I started putting notes into his lunch box as a way to be present and stay connected with him during his day.
One of Gabriel's gifts is paper folding, and I knew he'd be totally psyched if I turned the notes into paper art, so I did. I've been doing it every day since (and yes, I send them for Isaac too.)
Fast-forward to this week... Gabriel had a meltdown on Tuesday evening after his agreed upon screen time was over. He hadn't used the time the way he wanted to, and demanded more time. I went over, gently put my arms around him, let him know I heard him, and reinforced the limit. He cried for a while, then got angry and refused to get ready for bed.
Here's where it's so important to know your child. I had let him know that: 1. I heard him and 2. the limit was in place. With Gabriel, once is enough. Any more processing and he shuts down. So, I let him know the time frame for bedtime, and gave him some space.
As Isaac and I worked together on packing his lunch for the next day, Gabriel came over, grabbed his own lunchbox and threatened to tear up all the notes I had written to him (yes, he's kept them all <3) I calmly let him know that the notes are his to do with as he wishes, and encouraged him to think about whether he might be sad once he's not angry anymore and they're all torn up. Then, I went back into the kitchen to help Isaac.
Gabriel stood there at the table, a note in his hand, looking at all the other notes on the table in front of him. He started opening them (I was listening for the sound of tearing, because honestly I would have been sad if he chose to tear them up.) He just kept opening them ~ there are a lot ;)
At some point he went into his room. I invited him to join us when it was time to read before bedtime, but he declined. After a while, he came down and snuggled onto the chair next to me. Bedtime was smooth sailing after that.
When I was putting him to bed a bit later that night, he was extra loving. I asked him if reading all those notes helped him to calm down, and he said yes. He said that when he read one that said 'feel your heart opening' he did feel it open. We talked about what that felt like. It was pretty awesome.
We never know exactly what our kids will do with the information we provide. We're planting seeds, and then get to watch in wonder as they grow.
How have your kids surprised you? Leave a comment below, share your story, I'd love to hear it :)