Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sharing Chocolate

On top of my fridge I keep a ceramic jar with candy in it, chocolate to be specific.  Periodically, I will offer the chocolate as a treat.  It is an unspoken rule, that the children never help themselves to it.

The other day, Luke (as usual), was entertaining the neighborhood kids.  The neighbor kids were delighted watching Luke ride along a piece of wood and then off of a bike jump...  They were fascinated with all of his ropes that he had tied to this and to that...  Luke soon came in explaining to me that he was having a show, and could he take out a treat for each of the kids that they can pretend to buy at the show?  "Yes, fine," I replied, "They can each have one piece of candy."

In the meantime, Mike called to say he would be late getting home.  Megan was choosing to not be as obedient as I would have liked.  Dinner was hot and ready to be served.  Drew was emptying drawers at my feet.

In a nutshell.
My patience was being put to its limit.

Drew and I sat alone and ate dinner, while the kids played outside.
Megan soon joined us.
The other kids soon trickled in, dismayed at dinner being eaten without them.

I went to the front of the house to turn on our outside lights.  When I returned to the kitchen, there on the counter sat my ceramic candy jar.  It was cold to the touch and had a single piece of candy in it and one empty wrapper.

My patience, unfortunately reached its limit.

"Where has this been?" I asked, more loudly than I'd have liked.
"Outside," came Luke's soft response, "I took it for my show."

"The whole thing?" I continued to question loudly, "It was full. How many pieces did everyone have?"
"I had two, Joshua probably had five and the other kids were going crazy wanting some," Luke admitted.
"Of course they were going crazy, wanting some. What kid wouldn't, when given free reign over that much chocolate?" I questioned.

I was mad.   I will not detail the next few minutes for the world to see, but to ease my tantrum, I left for a little while.  And, my husband, being the good man he is, cleaned the kitchen spotlessly, and enlisted the children to get into action fast.  They worked, practiced and cleaned.

I returned home an hour later.  Feeling sorry for myself and my lack of patience, feeling sorry for my children that they have an inpatient mother, and feeling sorry for Mike, having to come home from a days work to 'that.'

Sitting on my kitchen counter sat the following: 

For the first time in a few hours, I smiled.

I immediately went and found Luke, who was obediently, sitting at the piano practicing.  As I hugged him and thanked him for the card, he told me the money was to buy more chocolate.  I told him that would probably be the right thing to do, but he didn't have to spend five dollars on it.  I thanked him for his generosity.  As Luke's little repentant face looked up at me, I hugged him again, apologizing for my outburst.  "It's just chocolate," I humbly admitted.  "It was nice of you to want to share."

That night, as I relaxed in a bubble bath, reading an uplifting magazine article, referring to a faithful dad, I read,
"As children, blessed with such parents, we can feel heartfelt gratitude for 
their simple yet profound examples and sacrifices."  

And I realized, that for that day, it was the other way around.
I felt blessed for my children, and felt heartfelt gratitude for  
their simple yet profound examples and sacrifices.


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