Children usually speak more with their actions than with their words. I can't count the number of times after a behavior issue my son has walked up to me and gave me a big hug. To be honest, I think it's better than saying I'm sorry. As adults we want to hear them say they're sorry, but I would rather have a true apology through an action than a forced verbal apology. So when one of my children chooses an action that shows great character it warms my heart. Let me take you on a walk my son and I took a few weeks ago.
My community has several parks and walking trails. One weekend, when my wife and daughter were out of town, I chose for my son and I to take a walk late one evening. I always struggle whether to bring my camera or just enjoy the moment. This day I was glad the camera was with me. We started off walking past a baseball field and watching some guys playing softball. We enjoyed watching them at bat. Nothing grabs a little boys attention like the smack of the bat. But all good things come to an end, so we moved on. There were a steady flow of people walking the trails that evening. A side trail that lead to a city maintenance facility caught our attention. Fenced off places with lots of junk and big machinery are an easy way to attract the male species.
As we made our way back down from the maintenance facility my son found some tall things to jump from. Nothing like jumping off high objects.
As the evening begin to set in we made our way further down the trail. My son found several wildlife markers that told of some native birds in the area. I had turned to take a look at some water dams from an old mill.
From across the water I hear, "Dad, this sign says owls live close to here". "That's really cool", I said.
"Dad, I see an owl."
"Are you sure you're not pulling my leg", as I look around and see no owl.
" I promise, I just saw an owl", he said.
"Son, are you........". Out of the corner of my eye I see an owl with one flap of his wings rise from a log to a near tree.
"See, I told you I saw an owl. And the sign says it's a silent hunter, that's why you didn't hear it", he said.
Guess he told me.
As we turn and were about to leave my son runs over to a near by tree and pulls down a leaf. He shouted, " a present for Mom". As he ran closer I saw the shape of the leaf and my heart melted. He said to me, " Look Dad, it's in the shape of a heart". The fact that he thought to pick out a surprise for his Mom was nice. To add that the surprise was in the shape of a heart was an expression of his love for his Mom.
These moments when our children make decisions that are not self serving and think about others are the moments I'll remember forever.