Orange Peels

This afternoon, after playing with the sprinkler in the front yard, Ava and Oakley needed a snack before rest time.  They each picked out a little orange from the refrigerator.  “Mom, can you peel this for me?”  “I can’t peel mine!”  “I CAN’T DO IT!”  This statement was repeated in about 8 different ways in 60 seconds.  I’m trying hard here to raise self sufficient, independent and productive little people.  So my standard response is usually “You have to TRY first.”  I know they can peel oranges because they both have done it before.

A minute later, lo and behold, I hear from Oakley “I do it!”  Good job buddy.

We eat our oranges outside.  Ava wants another, and because they were extra sweet today (the oranges), I say yes and to bring me and Oakley another one too.  Ava comes back with three oranges and she again starts with the “Can you peel my orange?” bit.  No Baby.

“Oakley, will you peel my orange for me?”  Ava really doesn’t want to peel her own orange.  I think she doesn’t like her fingers getting orangy from the peel.

“O-tay”  Oakley, who seems to have more compassion for Ava’s plight, sets down his own half eaten orange, takes Ava’s and and starts peeling away.

Over the next couple minutes, I watched as Oakley carefully peeled Ava’s entire orange for her.  Bit, by bit, the little peel came off and he carefully piled up her peel with his own.

“Here Ava, all done.”

“Oh thank you Oakley!  I love you.”  And they they hugged.

My heart almost burst into pieces.  Little 2 1/2 year old Oakley, who can hardly stand it when it’s Ava’s turn to sleep on the top bunk, who snatches his Matchbox cars away from Obed, just did the most selfless act of kindness I’d ever witnessed from my children.  “Oakley, that was sure kind of you.”  I said, somewhat mystified by what I had just witnessed.  “You know what?  I bet that made God’s heart really happy, you peeling Ava’s orange for her.  I bet He has a big smile on His face right now!  I can tell, because it made my heart really happy too.”

“Mine too Oaks!  I feel my heart being really happy too!”

And for a minute, we just all sat feeling really, really happy together.  For a small moment, all was right in our tiny little corner of the world.

Oh those two.  I’m writing about this right now because while my children are lovely, they aren’t normally so sweet and unselfish with each other and I had to document it for remembrance sake and future proof that they can be kind.  Just this morning I had to tell Ava several times to stop telling Oakley he can’t go to VBS.  She was doing it to be mean and make him cry.  Oakley likes to bite Ava.  We are not a well of overflowing kindness around here.

But today sure made my heart happy.

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