Children are filled with magic, wonder, hope. Belief. They’re already filled with the things we want to instill in them as their parents, aren’t they?
One of my children has an app that includes a “save the puppies” component. It’s a crafty app, as many children’s apps are, in that you can save more puppies if you earn “rox” through different jobs you can do around the app world. The craftiness comes in, of course, where you have the option not to “earn” rox, but to “buy” them instead.
With real money.
One morning the girls were trying to save the puppies before school and they weren’t able to do complete the task.
Sad, sad morning.
Especially when their mean OLD mother didn’t let them buy rox with real money to get a second chance before school.
Aren’t I awful? Not letting them buy fake gems with real money to save fake puppies?
They certainly thought so.
There were tears from both of them, muttering under the breath about how unfair I am to them, and just general discontent.
One of my goals as a parent is to never send them to school unhappy. I got this gem (for free!) from Betsy at Zen Mama.
So I had a choice to make. Buy them the rox and let them have another chance to save the puppies. Or try to think of a way to send them to school happy.
Because we all know I wasn’t going to pick the buy fake gems option, don’t we?
Of course we do. That would be ridiculous.
So, in a spark of parental genius, I said, “Guys, let’s stop crying over saving the puppies! I’ll tell you what. If we ever looked out in the backyard and saw REAL puppies running around needing saved, I would let you go save them. I would even help you! Even if that meant being tardy for school. I’m just not going to spend our money saving fake puppies. Ok?”
Sniffle, sniffle. ”Ok, Mom.” Sniffle.
So we go to the car, get in and back down the driveway. I know they’re still upset, but they’ve gotten themselves together for the most part.
One of them says, voice quivering with even more tears, “Mom?”
I can tell this is a “I have to stop the car moment.” Sometimes you just can.
So I stop the car in the driveway and turn and make eye contact.
And she has huge crocodile tears spilling over her lashes, with so much hope and fear in her eyes.
“Did you mean it? If there really were puppies in the driveway would you let us save them no matter what?”
“Yes, honey. Of course I would. We couldn’t let real puppies go without being saved.”
And with that, they were both OK. Happy even.
All was right with the world. In the land of children, if puppies needed saving, they could be the supergirls who did it.
And all this reminded me, once again, that the mind of the child is the most amazing, wonder-filled, hopeful treasure trove any of us will ever be witness to.
And we get to witness it every single day.
So go save some puppies with your children this weekend.
Have a great one.