Sunday, April 17, 2011
I try to teach my boys the difference between feelings and character. Feelings can't be helped or changed...they bubble up inside of you and they are what they are. They are your natural reaction to an outside stimuli. Character is how you choose to act on those feelings. For example: you may feel sad or disappointed that you didn't get that star wars lego kit you wanted for your birthday...your character is defined by whether or not you cry and throw a fit or decide to use the target gift card you got from your grandma to go out and buy said lego kit. You may be angry that the ref at your soccer game gave you a yellow card...your character is whether you yell and argue at the ref or continue to play your best. You may feel happy when the kid who has been teasing and bullying you all week at school falls off the top of the jungle gym...but your character is defined by whether you point and laugh or say, "hey dude, are you alright?" So, these are the lessons I teach my children. This morning I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down at the computer to write a blog entry. I'd been thinking about it for a few days and was excited to finally have the time to type it up. For almost an hour I wrote about Kabuki syndrome (the genetic disorder my oldest son has). I added a picture, proof read it and...clicked on the wrong button...I deleted the whole thing!!! Then in my frantic efforts to recover my lost entry I also deleted a game that Robert (my youngest) had been saving on the computer. Guess what I did...I threw a fit! Robert looked at me from the doorway and I said, "Robert, I am so so sorry I really blew it...I lost something on the computer that I'd worked really hard on and then I accidentally deleted your game." Then I threw myself on the bed and just sort of whined (I know...real mature). Anyway, Robert came over, sat by me, put an arm around me and actually started rubbing my back. He said, "I know it's frustrating" (The same words I use on him all the time). What a powerful lesson I got from my eight year old boy today. He is a kid of amazing character and I'm so proud of him! I'm also very glad that, in this situation, he choose to listen to my words and not follow my actions!