Last week, my wife was away on a business trip. I viewed it as a fabulous time for me to bond, one on one, with each of my children. Whether it was taking Ryder to the hospital to get his stitches removed, helping Reina with her homework by finding someone who could read enough Chinese to actually be of help, or waking up every night at 2.30am to take Bryson to the bathroom, I was there for my kids. Naturally, my body decided it was the perfect week to contract the flu, but I couldn’t let a simple thing like that stop me. Slow me down, yes, but not stop me.
Despite Savvy’s absence, I (and my team of highly trained ayis) managed to keep the household running. Yet it was my daughter who quietly shined during this time. Without the usual prodding and pushing, she completed her homework each day. When her brothers were getting ready for bed, she offered to read them bedtime stories. And when I had to get the boys to sleep, she simply got herself ready and would read in bed until I could come bid her goodnight. They are all small things in and of themselves, but it made life a little simpler, especially since I was so ill.
I mentioned all this to Reina the day before her mother returned and she seemed oblivious to what I was talking about. It seems she didn’t make a conscious decision to be more helpful or self-sufficient. I found it interesting that this coincided with the word that her class was focusing on that same week – Responsibility. Obviously the lessons of the word sunk in deeper than my daughter had expected. I would accept responsibility for it, but that would cheating.
Photo: Scott and Elaine Van der Chijs (Flickr)