Today is Easter Sunday, for those who celebrate. So I thought I'd share a special memory of my son from his early years.
When he was nearly four, he had his first Easter with us. As the holiday approached, his school began to plan for an Easter egg hunt. Eggs, sidewalk chalk, and many other treats were planned. Being a new "mom", I was happy to contribute what I could. Both my son and his little sister (who was two) were excited for Good Friday to arrive.
I was disappointed. The egg hunt was going to be held at a time when I was working and wouldn't be able to watch. That morning I dropped them off at childcare and gave each one a kiss, telling them to have a fun time.
When I arrived to pick them up that afternoon, my son's teacher shared this story with me:
"We had gone out to the playground for the egg hunt," she explained. "Your son had collected a lot of eggs in his basket. He found so many! Once we finished, it was time for us to line up and go inside." My son had found a place in line next to his "best friend" at preschool, a little boy I'll call Tom. As the boys waited in line, Tom suddenly realized that all the eggs he had collected had fallen out of his basket.
"Tom was very upset," the teacher explained. I could only imagine how upset Tom must have been. Anyone who lost all their eggs on a hunt would be, including myself! I knew my son was very fond of Tom and hoped I was going to hear a kind story of my son's empathic nature, of him sharing a hug or comforting his friend. To my surprise, his teacher continued, "Your son saw Tom's dilemma and proceeded to fill Tom's basket with his own eggs." In the end, both boys had a basket with some eggs, and both were happy.
I stared at my son in wonder and awe. Working with preschoolers has taught me that this kind of empathy isn't very common at this age unless children are in environments that encourage this behavior and the child's temperament is such that it's possible for him or her to think about how the other child feels. My son had lived with us for six months; prior to that he had experienced neglect frequently. Yet instead of hoarding eggs as one might expect, he gave what he had to his friend without hesitation or irritation. Sharing what he had came naturally to him.
Much as God so willingly shared His Son with us.
The teachers had been so in awe of that sweet moment they had taken pictures of the boys sharing the eggs. Despite the fact I had missed it in real time, I had a memorable souvenir of his egg hunt.
So that's my story for today. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, I hope you find it as inspirational as I do. Children are amazingly wonderful and often do unexpected, loving acts for others. If you have an inspirational story to share about a child, please leave a comment below!