The Flu + Three kids = ???

Posted By on August 17, 2010

I had the flu this week. It completely knocked me out.

Like many of my illnesses, I took it as an opportunity to listen to my body which possess far greater wisdom than I (the ego). The most I could come up with was that I needed more rest than I’d been giving myself.

As I laid half unconscious on the bed, I realized, I also had three boys in the house. How was I to care for three kids when I could barely stand? I told them my predicament and asked for their help.

The answer came as I laid motionless and listened.

Jing Wen said, “… you take this Burian, and Clay and I will hold this … Burian, how about this … (pause) Burian, what do you want? … Okay, how about this … ”

My heart leaped with joy, Jing Wen was looking beyond an undesirable action and searched for the underlying need and proceeded to search for solutions that met everyone’s needs. He had learned a very vital part of Compassionate Communication (NVC).

I heard a dispute and looked up to see Burian pulling Clay’s hair. Clay climbed on top of Burian to stop him from doing anything else. Before I could say anything, they separated both crying. In between sobs, Burian said, “I need space.” Then walked off to his bedroom. Clayton walked silently to my room and shut the door.

I did not catch what went on between them earlier but apparently, they settled something and knew that personal space was what they now needed.

When I opened my eyes again, they were playing happily together again.

“Mom, I’m hungry.” Said a voice.

“Do you think you could find food?” I murmured.

When I eventually got up for water. The kitchen table had remnants of what looked like a meal of buttered toast and apple sauce. I told the children my appreciation for their help in caring for themselves.

I laid down again and had a restful nap. The final thought that drifted into my mind was: my weakness provides an opportunity for my children to discover their strength. As someone who prides herself in being healthy and strong, what a gift I just learned to open.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.

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