|Hand-lettering sketch based on a font called “Skitch”…inspired by the kindness shown to my son (and me) today.|
It’s been a long day. For me, it started at 6:30 a.m. with a mad dash to finish up a few invitation orders, reply to client emails and get the boys ready for school by 8 a.m. My husband made breakfast and helped Mason with some of the homework he didn’t finish last night. I packed Mason’s lunch and everything he needed for his class field trip…and then went back to focusing on finishing up my “at home” work before preparing for the day’s painting job. By 10 a.m., I had met a client for an invitation delivery and was headed to my client’s home to paint. My husband has been extremely busy working on a big project and we suddenly realized that there would be a major timing issue today: our younger son, Isaac, would need to be picked up from preschool at noon and neither one of us was working from home. Too late to figure out a babysitter or ask a neighbor, my only option was to pick him up and bring him with me.
Since I was painting outdoors (a bench and doorway in a courtyard), I thought maybe I could keep him occupied with outdoor activities and would somehow manage a couple of hours of work. I picked him up, packed a bunch of snacks and refreshments, grabbed some toys and spoke to him during the drive back to my client’s about how much Mommy needed him to be a good listener and on his best behavior at my client’s house. I would try to work as quickly as possible and we would be done in no time. He nodded in agreement, but within two minutes after arriving and getting him all set up in the courtyard (lawn chair in a shady spot, toys, snacks, sunblock, hat), Isaac announced that he was “bored” and wanted to go inside my client’s house to find toys. Ugh, this wasn’t going to work…I couldn’t paint like this and it wasn’t fair to make a four year-old sit around. I was resigned to rescheduling the work for another day and taking him home.
Then my client came home and though I explained my situation, offering to reschedule, she insisted that it was not a problem at all…and was genuinely kind, welcoming and generous to my little boy. Her six year-old daughter, their nanny, and even their two little dogs entertained and played with him for the rest of the afternoon. They rode bikes, jumped on the trampoline, colored, had snacks and played games. He was absolutely thrilled to have this “play date” and I was able to get my work done.
When it was time to pack up my paints and leave, he didn’t want to go. He asked if he could come to work with me every day…and especially if it was at this particular client’s home. My client said he was welcome any time. He had such a great time and was so tuckered out, that he fell asleep immediately on the car ride home (while eating a sandwich). It was a long day for him too…
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop
It is impossible to treat a child too well. Children are spoiled by being ignored too much or by harshness, not by kindness. ~ Sloan Wilson
|Mason’s sketch today…under (and over) water world.|