Last week I got a new bike for myself. It’s nuthin fancy, just an inexpensive beach cruiser from Wal-Mart. I put it together and wanted to ride bikes with the kids. Unfortunately, the bike that I got for Riley months ago off of Craigslist needed to be fixed first. The back tire has a flat and needs to be repaired/replaced. His bike has a bunch of plastic molding all over it to make it look like a motorcycle/dirt bike…so getting the tire off was no easy task.
We made a trip to the store and bought a patch kit. After several failed attempts to patch the leak, we went back to the store and bought a new tube instead. Changing a bike tube/tire is the biggest PITA ever..but I got it done. I put the tire, molding and training wheels back on the bike, but then realized the chain was not in the right place and I had to take everything off again and figure out how to re-attach the greasy, nasty chain. After that was done, and the wheel and training wheels were put back on, we took it outside and tried it out.
I realized that the training wheels seemed too big for the bike. I tried to adjust them, but it just wouldn’t work. Riley was sad and I was beyond frustrated . This whole process took a couple of hours.
Lilly came up to me and said, “I’m so sorry Mom!” and she gave me a hug.
I asked her what she was sorry for and she said, “You have worked so hard on trying to get Riley’s bike fixed today so we could ride together and it still doesn’t work. I feel bad for you.”
My daughter just displayed the biggest amount of empathy I had ever seen. She not only cared but was sad for me and for Riley. She HATES her brother…so this is a HUGE deal.
There were lots of other moments that day where I asked her to put something away, or help with me something and she HAPPILY cooperated. Normally, she would ignore me, whine and complain or have a meltdown.
She was also (for the most part) nice to her brother most of the weekend. She helped him put his sweater vest on for church and even brushed his hair. They played together most of the weekend. Every act of kindness from her just BLEW ME AWAY.
Of course I praised her on how sweet she was being and how proud I was of her. I gave her tons more hugs than usual and she accepted them all without being a grouch about it.
Sunday, I wanted to show Riley this cool old train that you can walk around on and look at up close. Riley loves trains…Lilly does not.
Lilly was so thrilled and excited to climb up on the train and even posed for pictures!
(Lilly usually DESPISES and does not tolerate pictures)
Riley was TERRIFIED of the train. Poor kid is also afraid of loud noises and things unknown. He thought the train was going to start moving or make loud sounds so he screamed his little head off and wanted to get back in the car. Poor thing!
Normally, Lilly would call him names or say rude things about him being a “big baby”…but she didn’t. She tried to reassure him that the train was really cool and it wasn’t scary. *WHO IS THIS KID??*
After that, we hung out at home, went to the park, watched movies and got ready for bed. The majority of this time, Lilly was sweet, cooperative and a joy to be around.
I am not expecting things to be this way all the time. It could have been a total fluke, or maybe the meds she started over a month ago are actually starting to kick in. Who knows. All I know is that my Lilly CAN be a sweet, empathetic and happy little girl and that gives me hope.
|The PITA bike|
|Riley is telling Lilly to stay away from the scary train|
|My pretty girl|
|see...she is smiling!!|
|Me and Riley. Notice how he wont take his eyes off the scary train?|
|Mr. Muscles at the park|
|Lilly pointed out this cloud to me. She called it the "Swan Cloud"|