Day 59: A lesson in Empathy from a 9-year-old

Three things you cannot recover in life: the moment after it’s wasted, the word after it’s said and the time after its wasted.

I started writing today’s post at 7am as I sat on the train into London. It is 9pm now. I have written and re-written this single page almost 10 times.

I left the dinner table early to write. I took my laptop into the bathroom and tried to write instead of playing with my son at bath time. I was impatient with my daughter when she asked for help with her maths homework because I was writing and when it came to bedtime – a time when I usually spend 20 minutes reading with her, I slammed my laptop shut and huffed my way into her room, making my displeasure apparent.

She looked up at me and said, “Poor mum. You must be so frustrated. You’ve been working so hard,” and she hugged me.

In that moment, my 9-year-old daughter handed me the keys to unlock myself. She helped me bring all the aspects of my life back into focus and shift my perspective and, in doing so, saved her own bedtime. We hugged, chatted, smiled and enjoyed each others company – a far better experience than the alternative where I sulk while she reads.

It was a great reminder about the importance of drawing someone close and opening your heart when their behavior makes you want to do the exact opposite.






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