While a monkey was busy winding yarn for me (and a kitty was trying to unwind it), K read Winter Days in the Big Woods to C. Shortly afterwards both girls felt inspired to create paper dolls like Ma did for Laura and Mary. K got straight to work and seemed rather confident in what she was doing. I noticed C, on the other hand, hesitating and watching what her big sister did. Once she observed long enough, she got to work. K had a doll done in no time and quickly made her some clothes as well. Then she got to work on another doll. C was still trying to draw her first doll and you could see a frown developing on her face. She was becoming frustrated. K looked up at her little sister and gently reminded her to be perseverant and that it would work out. C took her big sister's advice and soon afterwards was cutting out her own doll.
After K had finished two dolls (one for me!) with a change of clothes for each she was hungry and looking for something to eat. I asked her and C to reach a stopping point and clean up because dinner was almost ready. When C heard me say that she burst into tears. Before I could even come to her aid, K swooped in to comfort her. I stood back observing, seeing that this was a moment I should not interrupt. After a minute of consoling her little sister, K looked at what C was working on and then empathetically looked back at C. She seemed to understand what was the matter. She asked C if she could cut out a dress for her doll. C sniffled and nodded yes. Then K got to work, checking in with C at every step to make sure it was just what she wanted. C watched her big sister and each minute you could see her frown slowly fading. When K finished she handed it to C, and C showed her gratitude with a huge smile and hug for big sister. By this time, dinner was ready. I called them over to the table and with a nurturing glance and a huge smile, K grabbed C's hand and away they skipped to the table. For K, the greatest gift was in the giving to her little sister. I pray that all my children always feel this way.
Later that night after dinner I witnessed the compassion and love K showed C spill over to Little L when he wanted a paper shark doll but couldn't make it. C stopped what she was doing and went over to Little L, just as K had done for her. She then proceeded to create that shark for him, smiling with each cut she made.
Compassion is contagious. I believe it's something we all need to practice more often and on more souls we come in contact with (I know I personally need to work on that!) Couldn't we all use a good dose of compassion (and empathy) in our lives? It's trickle down effect is just what this world needs!