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You’ve become kinder now, you know?
In an almost matter-of-fact way, tossing it into the conversation right between an anecdote from school and how she really disliked onions in her food, Gy made this statement yesterday. I was standing in the kitchen, washing up the dinner dishes and I paused and turned to look at her, with a sense of curiosity.
At that moment, a veritable mixture of emotions flooded my mind:
I have become kinder? What does that mean? Wasn’t I kind enough before? And what does she mean now? Does she mean this moment, this very instant or is she referring to the present, ongoing state?
Yes, as you can tell, I tend to analyse everything. Blame it on the psyche. As far back as I can recall, it’s always been a trait of mine- good or bad, you get to decide.
So I decided to suspend the train of thought and actually ask her what she meant. Staring into space, she said, ‘I don’t know. I guess you just learnt to be nicer to me, after I’ve been doing things right for the last two weeks.’
Simultaneously, I felt gut-punched. One feeling was overwhelming gladness that she felt I was kind. The other feeling was incredible sadness that she’d felt I had been obviously unkind less than a fortnight ago and that it was the change in her behaviour that had made me kinder.
In truth, though, it wasn’t she who’d changed. It was I.
If you recall, my mother of all meltdowns happened around then and it also shook me up to make some resolutions for my own sanity as well as for my parenting benefit. What helped me was the acknowledgement that time spent with my daughter wasn’t nearly as enough as I would like it to be. And so, I made a LIST on what it took to make me a kind parent. Here’s what it involved.
Or maybe it is just the universe’s way of letting me know that the kindness always existed within me. It just remained hidden under the layers of being busy, distracted and unavailable.
Either way, I know, hope and pray that my child will be kind and stay kind, if she sees her parents practising kindness on a daily basis.