being practical

 

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Photo credit : Facebook

Yes…this sometimes happens. In a world where entertainment is the focus a lot of the time, my ‘kids’ still get bored with it sometimes. Reading a book is usually the next option for them, but every now and then they get cabin fever. The bored is usually in referral to the fact that they need to go somewhere, and do something.

Yesterday, I was standing washing the dishes, when the two little boys across from my house came out to play. On one of their dads business trips, he had purchased each of them handmade wire push cars – in South Africa, you will often see the handmade wire items for sale on the side of the road. They are truly exquisite, and the time and effort that goes into them must be priceless! The push car looks something like this :

Photo credits : 123RF.com and unsungart.co.za

The younger of the two (6) has a car, and the older one (7) has a small truck.

I live in a townhouse complex, in a corner of four houses. The roads are not very wide, and our little corner is quite safe traffic wise, especially if we’re all at home. The neighbour next to me, and this family who are across from me to the left, have become my friends, after 7 years of us all living here.
The boys are adopted, and I was there for each one ‘coming home’. They have the same biological mother, but different fathers. Both were discarded at the hospital – she just ran away. Both times, I was called on because ‘new mom’, my friend and neighbour, was a little unsure. And to them I am an expert with babies 😛 I’ve cared for quite a few that have not been my own.

But I digress…

So the boys were playing and I was watching and smiling, with my arms buried in a sink full of hot water and dish soap. The older one disappeared inside, and came out with two Father Christmas teddies being transported in his truck. The younger one was not happy – he also wanted to drive someone around. But the soft toy his brother shared with him just wouldn’t stay put. He was becoming upset and frustrated. The older one disappeared back inside, and a few minutes later he was helping his little brother tie the teddy to the roof of the car.

By this stage, my dishes had been forgotten, and I was giggling – off they went, racing to see who would deliver their precious cargo first. My heart was instantly warmed and happy.

And I was reminded of a story from so many years ago that I can’t even tell you if I read it or heard it, or how old I was when I did. I found the story this morning, and wanted to share it with all of you, in case you hadn’t heard it before. It’s called ”The Broken Doll” and this is my re-telling of it :

~~A little girl was late coming home from school one day. Her mother was, of course, upset and worried. When she at last walked through the door, her mother demanded an explanation as to why she was late.

The little girl explained, ”I was walking home with Julie, and she dropped her doll. It broke into a million pieces.”

Her mothers heart softened and she asked quietly, ”Oh honey, you helped Julie pick up the pieces of her doll and put it back together?”

In her young and innocent voice, the little girl replied, “No, Mommy. I didn’t know how to fix the doll. I just stayed to help Julie cry.”~~

We all know someone who has a problem. It’s magnitude terrifies us, and we cannot even begin to wrap our heads around what it feels like to them. We have no idea how to help, or change things. For most of us, it’s in our nature to want to fix it. We think up solutions, and offer advice. We try to assist in practical ways – we reach out and offer knowledge and research.

But do we just stay and help them cry?

There are hardly ever ‘quick fixes’. Practical help is truly great, because it changes the situation, and can often make things seem less overwhelming – offer hope of something better to come.

But sometimes, all that is needed, is someone to cry with you, to comfort you, to reach out and just ‘be’ with you.

Be practical, yes. Offer solutions, yes. If you’re in a position to assist, then do it, yes.
But don’t forget to be emotionally practical.

Because sometimes, having someone who cares enough to just cry with you, can make the biggest difference of all.

 

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Photo credit : goodreads.com

6 thoughts on “being practical

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