A kindness story from “a bit more kind” in Chicago

By Val Boyko • November 14th, 2010

This post appeared on the Active Kindness blog yesterday. What a heart warming story! It shows the power of seeing our mothers with different eyes … and the power of our love and compassion. Enjoy!

“My mother is a challenge for me. Somehow, no matter what idea I propose, she has to change it, take it over, or criticize it. Recently, we discussed gifts for one of my grandchildren, her great granddaughter, who is a challenge to buy for. I decided I would buy her an American Girl doll — a big expense but I was excited to do it because my granddaughter was so eager to get one. I told my mom what I decided. The next week, my mother sent me an email that she bought the American Girl Doll, and she also plans to take my granddaughter to the American Girl store in a neighboring city. I was stunned and furious! I was ready to argue and demand to know why she once again could be so insensitive. ”Why is she doing exactly what I told her I was doing?” I thought indignantly. I began my usual refrain when my mother irritates me. In my mind, I was judging her once again for her selfishness, her obvious motive to irritate me, and so on. I was on a roll in my own self righteousness and planning my response to her. Then I read the reflection on the kindness blog. Wow. Could I consider a shift in my thinking about my mother? I gave it a try and stopped to force myself to think from her shoes. What else might be going on for my mother? And I realized after some initial foaming at the mouth — that she really doesn’t know what to get a little girl of this generation. In her aging, she has often felt lost, out of step about what is “cool” or how to relate to her great grandchildren. It then occurred to me — the doll was her way of knowing for sure it was a gift her great granddaughter would appreciate. Something moved inside me then — a softness. I felt my heart break a little for my mom. The irritation melted away. And I was inspired to call my mom with a very different tone. I actually called and told her what a great idea it was for her to get the doll. And that by her doing that, it freed me up to get something a bit less expensive. This truly felt like an “untruth” that was rooted in love. Instead of proving what an annoyance she caused, I truly wanted to give her kindness, love. I hope I can use this experience the next time — and there will be one — my mother and I “pinch.” (A bit more kind in Chicago)

You’ll find more on kindness at www.activekindness.com

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Comments

I love how this daughter reframed the situation and saw an opportunity for her to give her mom the benefit of the doubt.
Sometimes these actions on the part of Mom’s are rooted in competitiveness. They want to be seen as giving the best present! But then shouldn’t Grandma have that privilege?

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