31 August 2009
"Manners are made up of petty sacrifices." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
It really is the little things.
While walking recently with the kids, I found myself just like them - tired, sweaty and sleepy. My arms were already full when Bergen asked me, "Mom, will you please carry my towel?" I took the towel but I didn't really want to. "Thank you Mommy for carrying my towel," Bergen said to me. And just like that, the load seemed lighter. I really didn't mind carrying the extra towel. Because he said "thank you".
Kevin has made it a priority to train our children to be appreciative of the meals I prepare for them. Rarely do we sit down to the table any longer without hearing one child pipe up with "Thank you for this dinner Mommy. It is delicious." And then lots of other little voices echo the same, right down to Piper - "Ank ewww mah-meee". Even if the only things on their plates are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grapes. But their sweet praise is really enough to make the endless dinner preparations seem worth the effort.
I hope my children's manners don't just apply at home. I want to raise polite children who become polite adults. I want them to look into the eyes of the cashier at Publix when they buy their groceries. I want them to sincerely apologize when they make a mistake at work. I want them to put others first, to be kind to those less fortunate, to not condemn people who look different.
And I am pretty convinced that the best place to practice and to learn common courtesy when you least feel like it, when it serves your needs the least, is right here. At home.
Posted by Lacey