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The answer is “Shame.”

Yesterday morning I was in a lot of pain due to my back injury, and I was managing to take it out on everyone.  After calling my son downstairs three times for breakfast, he arrived with his hands behind his back.

“Where have you been?” I demanded.

He sweetly smiled and said he’d been thinking of a way to help me.

“Come down when you‘re called,” I bantered, “That’s how you can help me.  What do you have behind your back?”

Unrealisically, he was undaunted... “Like I said, I could tell you weren’t happy, so I wanted to help.  I found these for you.”  Cupped in his little hands in front of him were three tiny Tootsie Rolls.  “I thought these might help you be in a happy mood!”

I took the candies and set them on a shelf, motioning him to his piece of toast on the table.  He sat down, we had prayer, and he ate.  I hope he didn’t notice me ducking shamefully into the restroom to cry my eyes out; both out of shame and out of pride.

There’s a lot to learn from our little ones—sometimes it only takes a little niceness to make us appreciate what and who we have.

This morning I took my son to school, remembering this post and confided, “You know, what makes me happy?”  Silence.  “When my kids are happy, I’m happy.”  My eyes welled with pride and even spilled over a bit at the recognition.  Two seconds later my son asked, “Do you know what makes me happy?”  I waited, prepared to rupture with pride as he announced, “The Family Fun Center where you can skate, bowl...”  Thank goodness he’s still seven!

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