Originally Posted at SproutOnline on 12/05/2013. Rescued via Internet Archive 10/26/2015
As a parent, it’s fascinating to see my daughters learning their place in the world while interacting not only with the other Sproutlets that we might encounter, but also through contact with the creatures that share our space.
A gentle touch to the praying mantis in the garden; a respectful admiration of the butterflies and bees on our flowers; an enthusiastic hug for the neighbors’ dogs (after asking if it’s ok, of course)… in many ways, it seems that being kind to animalsis easier for little ones than immediately being kind to one another (“kind hands,” goes the reminder). But they’re learning.
The newest member of our family is a brilliantly-colored red Betta fish that my oldest daughter, Addie (she’s four) named “Lula” within minutes of meeting. While Lula has only been living in her glass “apartment” atop my daughter’s dresser for a couple of weeks, the kindness that Addie has shown toward “her” (Lula is actually a boy) is really something to see. “She’s very happy to be living with us,” Addie has repeatedly told me during feeding time.
Each night, just before bed, with Caillou and Chica looking on, Addie recites a poem to Lula… a poem that she has heard Nina speak on The Good Night Show countless times before…
“Hush, hush little fish. We are here to make a wish. We close our eyes, and then we start. To make a wish with all our heart.”
It’s a little gesture that means a lot, because “small acts matter big.” While Lula might not really understand what’s going on, Kindness Counts, and for a kid? Being kind makes them feel like they’re at the top of the world.