The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the “usual” ways we are able to care for one another. Thanks to The Glorious Table for allowing me the opportunity to explore how we can shift a bit and still love each other well. See preview below or click for the full post here.
A few months ago, my five-year-old came home with a scrap of paper. I mean that quite literally: a scrap of paper. She had rolled it into a miniature scroll and presented it to me with great enthusiasm. “Here Mommy,” she said. “I made this for you today!” As I unrolled the scroll, I saw a series of shapes. Squares, triangles, circles, rectangles—all things she had been practicing in school for the past few weeks. “Thank you honey,” I said. “I love it.” And we moved on with our evening.
As I put her to bed, I asked her about her “highs and lows,” the best and worst parts of her day. I don’t remember what she said about the worst part, but the best I will remember: “The shape scroll Mommy. That was the best part of my day.”
I was so touched by her perception of that gift and a little convicted by my own. I didn’t think it was a big deal. Just another little note among the many other little love offerings she gives me. I would never have known how much it meant to her if I hadn’t paid attention and asked her about it. The way she put so much love into something so “little” made me think about how we love one another. I pulled a few lessons from this experience.
Lesson 1: Don’t Let Effort, Size, or Expense Distract You from Noticing
It is now several months later, and I still can’t tell you why that purple-markered line of shapes means more than any other note she’s ever given me. It was not bigger, it did not require more effort, and it was not even the best work she’s ever brought home. But for whatever reason, the care she put into it that day made it valuable to her and, thus, a meaningful gift to me. It stays on my refrigerator as a reminder that I shouldn’t simply bypass the little love offerings my children give me, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
On a bigger scale, it has also reminded me to check myself regarding the efforts and gifts others offer me. This pandemic has caused many people to not able to care, do, or be together in ways they normally take for granted. Moreover, the economic impact, along with the mental health stress, has made it so that many people literally can’t give or care in ways they normally would. It’s a good lesson for us to pause when people offer us even the “littlest” gift or care. It may be all they are able to give. If we can recognize it and receive it with love, it may end up being the best part of their day—and ours as well.
To read the full post on The Glorious Table click here.