Family Life

'I felt like an a**': toddler reminds mum of the importance of kindness

M. Lunt was having a bad morning. 

It was one of those mornings where one thing after another goes wrong. 

Writing to Love What Matters, she was annoyed at financial burdens, the stress of grocery shopping, forgetting her gloves: 

"Just average middle class, 21st century America problems." 

Driving home with her toddler in the back, Lunt noticed a man begging on the side of the road. 

As she rolled down the window to give him a bit of change, she was wary: 

"The entire time thinking that he’ll probably use the money for unhealthy bad habits, that I didn't have enough money for myself this week, let alone extra to give away, and that my husband would probably scold me for rolling my window down for a man that could potentially be dangerous." 

She was getting ready to race away, until the 2 and a half year old piped up in the back, asking the man's name: 

"I felt like such an ass. I was so focused on rolling my window up and down quickly, and driving away, lost in my own selfish thoughts that I didn't even say 'you’re welcome,' or look him in the eyes, let alone consider the fact that he had a name." 

Lunt felt terrible that she had made the giving process about herself "and there I was in my car, with my heated seats, pissy about forgetting my gloves." 

Of course, like every two year old, she didn't just stop at one question. She asked why Lunt had given him money: 

"I told her so he can buy dinner with it. And then her sweet little soul says, 'I have food at my house. He can come eat some dinner at my home.'

My toddler humanized this man and this situation in a way that I didn't."

Lunt spent the rest of the day feeling grateful of just she did have, instead of stressing about what she didn't: 

"The same little girl that cries if you cut her toast wrong, innocently put me in my place and reminded me to be giving and kind and to be grateful for what we have.

I came home this afternoon more mindful and definitely more thankful than when I left this morning. Next time I will remember to get a name."


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