Monday, September 12, 2011

27 cent fish

Sometimes as parents, we make mistakes.  And sometimes, if we're lucky we learn a thing or two from those mistakes.

Two weeks ago, Hannah had a dollar to spend.  And me thinking that I didn't want any more junk in the house suggested that she buy a fish with the money.  We had a little fish tank from our last fish and I thought, "What a great way to spend a dollar and they won't be something that I have to take care of very long.

Here is my mistake.  Hannah does not put value on things associated with their cost.  She loves just as deeply something that is free as she does that costs hundreds of dollars.  She will play with a free toy that came from the fast food restaurant just as much as she will play with something that we saved up for months to get.  I made the mistake of thinking that was just associated with toys.

As the first first died, she was okay, but as she went to bed a little over tired, she cried herself to sleep because her little fish had died.  She still had two more in the tank.  The second went with no fanfare, but then I noticed something yesterday.

Hannah came in telling me that she thought her fish was going to die.  She put a little giraffe next to the tank to keep it company. Checked in numerous times through out the day.  She was genuinely concerned about this little fish.  She loved it! She didn't care that this fish cost 27 cents, what she cared about was that it was her fish and she enjoyed watching it bubble around her tank.

This morning when she woke up, the fish was dead.  But she knew that she had helped comfort it in its last moments by providing companionship.  Her compassion is one of her greatest gifts.  She loves deeply and she doesn't withhold her love because there is a chance that she won't be together long.  I think it's exactly how she makes friends so easily.  She allows herself to love every person, animal, toy, you name it, she encounters.  It is a good reminder for me to love without fear of loss.


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