HUGS AND HELPING HANDS
Today was an ordinary day. Work, housework, homework, dinner…. the normal routine. On ‘ordinary’ days like this it is so easy to just muddle through not noticing the tiny, precious moments that make the day something ‘extraordinary’.
On this ordinary day I received a massive hug from my manager when I was leaving work. This is someone I have known for just over a year now and who has become someone I admire and respect greatly. She seemed to sense today that I was tired and gave me a warm embrace and told me she loved me! How sweet is that?
I had a half day today so was able to collect all the kids from school. The youngest got out at 2, normally we do homework straight after school but today we decided to leave it until later and just chatted until the other two were due to be picked up at 3.
On arriving home, school bags were stashed away, kids curled up on the sofa to relax for a while and I pottered about the house, tidying up and sorting out food for tea. My middle son came to find me and told me he had ‘something special’ for me. Thinking he had drawn me a picture at school I turned around expectantly only to have him throw his arms around my waist and tell me he loved me! My second spontaneous hug of the day!
During tea time, my youngest son was struggling, he didn’t like the dinner I had cooked and was refusing to eat. I don’t ever expect my children to finish everything on their plate, I accept when they say they are full up, but the one rule we do have as a family is that they taste everything on their plate before deciding whether or not they like it. He wouldn’t even do that.
We couldn’t convince him, he would not eat! His 2 brothers started chanting his name, telling him he could do it. At first I told them to quieten down and behave and then I saw that it was actually having a positive effect. Their little brother was eating all thanks to their encouragement so we all started saying his name and clapping! It was a fun moment and no food went to waste!
After tea, the postponed homeworks were completed and my eldest son helped me do a few jobs about the house. He squirted the floor with floor cleaner and I mopped, he laid out the breakfast things to speed things up in the morning and he did a few trips up and down the stairs to put toys and books away. Chores that would normally take me an hour or more were done in half the time. It was great to realise he is at an age where he can actually help me out and I don’t have to redo it once he’s finished. I must think of more jobs he can help me with seeing as I’m out a fortune on match attax cards-he can start to earn them!
Finally, I got to cuddle up with my youngest at bed time and read him a story! I am not redundant as a storyteller after all. Better still, when the story was over we had a chat about the challenges of being 5. It was great to connect with him, to get an insight into his young mind, to know what he’s facing in school and how hard it is to remember everything. He once told me his brain needed a good vacuum because it was so messy and I was reminded of that while I listened to him talk about his busy life. His mind is growing, he is learning and he is thinking about things – how lovely to be given a glimpse into these processes.
To summarise…. this ordinary day was made into something extraordinary and beautiful thanks to the lovely spontaneous hugs I received, watching my two older sons encourage their little brother, helping hands making my life easier and connecting with my youngest. I am thankful for the friendship that I have with my manager and for her support and acceptance and I am thankful that as my children grow up they are displaying warmth, character and openness. How extraordinarily lucky I am on this ordinary day.