Our family is Catholic, which means at this time of year (season of Lent), we each choose something to “sacrifice.” Little children do not really understand the purpose or goal of this tradition, so we make a choice for them. This year we decided that the whole family would seek to “bear wrongs patiently.”
This is hard for me. It’s really hard for young children. When little ones believed they have been “wronged,” they want to shout it from the rooftops. They want retribution. They want justice.
I did not have any grand expectations on how this was going to work out. I understand well the process of sacrifice; you give something up, you take it back, you recommit, you slip up, you recommit (etc.). But actually, the Littles have amazed me.
Most amazing has been Tinker. Tinker meddles. It’s her nature. Her teacher at pre-K has a saying: “Mind your business.” We have adopted that saying here, as well, because it is ongoing issue. When someone breaks a rule, she sees it as somehow affecting her and impacting fairness. But since we began a week ago, she has been making a valiant effort to “bear it.” I’m so proud of her.
I think it is a special challenge for siblings. I see The Bigs struggling with it, too; they do get on each others nerves badly. No one can annoy us quite like a sibling! Today, I am going to break out the “bear” squares and long purple ribbons. When I notice them bearing up, I will let them color a bear and fasten it to their purple ribbon. Originally, I was only going to do this for The Littles, but I think it will be a good reminder to all of us that we actually are making progress on this front.
I am reminded again that this is one of the values of siblings; they bring out the “worst” in us which, in turn, allows us to call forth our best!