Kindness for the smallest among us

I was at home with my toddler and his friend, and they spied a spider on our bathroom mirror. My son’s friend shrieked and shouted, “Away, bug. Squash bug!” I gently explained that we don’t squish bugs, we ask them to leave. I took a small box and placed it below the spider, and asked it to go outside with me. The spider walked into the box without any physical coaxing, and the boys and I took it outside. I placed the box gently at the base of a tree so the spider could crawl out when it wanted to. They were fascinated. A few days later, my son grabbed my arm and said, “Show.” He showed me a beetle and said, “Out. Please.” He ran and got a small bowl, crouched silently by the spider, and watched. I hadn’t intended to teach anything with my actions. I just wanted to save the spider from a two-year-old. But in acting thoughtfully, with kindness, I taught my child more than words ever could.

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