So ever since I was carrying Becky, I have been sharing with the little being in my tummy about my belief in showing compassion to others. As she was growing up and discovering the world, I would also ask her to check in with daddy, grandparents, our helper or other family members, to basically reach out and care for them and to relate to their feelings and situations.
I had hoped that by doing so, she will grow up to be a generous and understanding young lady who is able to empathise with others.
She has surprised me with so much more. Way way beyond what I would expect of a 32 month old toddler.
Of course, I am not saying that she has become a selfless toddler, who takes everyone’s wishes upon herself. No no. My little Becky is one individualistic toddler with a firm mind. And I encourage that, often asking her to make decisions like what she would like to do in our cosy learning corner, or what dress she wanted to wear. And if she doesn’t like something, she will say so quietly and firmly with a shake of the head.
She will have moments when she will want to be by herself to draw or reflect. Or she will absolutely refuse to let her younger brother play a certain toy, claiming it as completely her own and throwing a fit if Ron Ron even lays a single finger on it.
But then the moment Ron Ron cries, she would immediately stop what she is doing and run to me saying ‘It’s ok, it’s ok.’ If any adults stop her from doing so, she will throw a fit.
What touches me greatly is her ability to show compassion to even strangers. Not too long ago, I brought her for lunch at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Just the two of us. When she had finished, she wanted to get out of the baby chair to play with the little girl from the next table. While I finished up my pasta, she played with the girl, and occasionally played with the baby chair she was sitting on. Even though I warned her not to, she continued, until she slipped and fell backwards on to her bum, pulling the chair with her. Thank goodness I was quick enough to grab the chair, and as I picked Becky up, I could see the fright in her eyes, but she did not shed a single tear. She quickly braced herself and continued playing with the other girl. I guess the other girl was curious about the baby chair too, and wanted to play with it the way my girl did. The moment Becky saw that, she reached out, held the other girl’s arm, shook her head and said no. In her own little way, she was warning the other girl about the danger, and didn’t want her to fall down like she did.
We left CBTL to run errands and happened to walk past the girl and her mother again. The girl was still playing with the baby chair. My little Becky ran to the girl, and did the same thing: held the girl’s arm, shook her head and said no.
I was really surprised at what Becky did. She was reaching out to a toddler she completely did not know, showing care and concern, even having the ability to ‘predict’ what might happen if that toddler had continued playing with the baby chair. What is more amazing is she actually ran to that toddler again to prevent her from playing with the chair. She didn’t just walk, she ran, toddled quickly as she realised the urgency of preventing the danger.
Just the other day, I brought her to pay respects to my grandparents. She had seen my grandfather in the hospital bed, before he passed away earlier this year, and she remembered him. My grandmummy, she had never seen before. My dearest grandmummy had passed away in 2005 and I still miss her dearly. I was explaining to Becky about her mummy’s grandmummy, how her greatest wish was to have great grandchildren, but she never got the chance to. She never got to meet Becky or Ron Ron. I shared with Becky how sad I was that her mummy’s grandmummy never got a chance to meet her great grandchild, and how happy she would be if she did.
Becky looked at me, patted me on the shoulder, gave me a hug and said ‘it’s ok’.
That touched my heart deeply.
At such a young age, Becky has such great empathy for the people around her. It’s amazing how she is able to reach out and make you feel so much better. It does not really matter whether she truly understands what is going on. The fact is she is able to relate to what the other person is feeling, and reach out in her own little way, a way that is pure and innocent. A way that makes you feel all warm and cosy inside.
Caring for others is as simple as that. There is no need to think too much about it. Or contemplate ‘should I, or should I not’.
I started out wanting to teach Becky about the importance of caring for others. She has shown me that we adults often hesitate in our caring actions because we think too much.
If you care for someone, if you feel the compassion, just reach out, no matter how big or small the act may be.
Thank you, my dear daughter, for showing me the pure simplicity of it all.
Who have you cared for today?
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