Joe was in the choir on Sunday. He'd been working toward this for a couple of week, dutifully heading off to choir practices even when he didn't much feel like it. He was singing in both morning services but as Ruby and Sadie were spending the weekend with us, we decided that the three of us would join Joe for the later service and then all come home together. This meant that the kids would be my responsibility from getting them up to getting them on the bus.
Both Ruby and Sadie are very aware of how we adapt routines when I'm the one whose role it is to get it all done. It had gone very, very smoothly and we even had a bit of time to sit and chat before we had to go down to the bus. Ruby headed off to their bedroom to get something she wanted and Sadie and I fell into chat about school. She began telling me about three kids who aren't very nice to her. She identified that they mostly excluded her from activities that she wanted to join, that they didn't hit her or call her names, but even so, she recognized that exclusion was, in her words, :"still like bullying."
She's right of course.
I asked her how it made her feel when that happened and she said that it hurt her feelings but "only a little bit." I told her that I was glad it was only a little bit but sad that her feelings were hurt at all. Then I asked what does she do when this happens. She said, "I go an play with my friends." That sounded reasonable and I said "and that's why it only hurts a little bit because you've got friends there?" She looked at me and said, "No." Curious, I asked, "Why does it only hurt a little bit then?" She said, "Because I only let people who are nice to me into my heart. That's why they can't hurt me very much."
I was bowled over.
That's a great strategy.
I told her that I hope she kept doing what she was doing her whole life long.
And then I asked myself why I wasn't doing the same.