April 30, 2009
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April 18, 2009
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April 9, 2009
April 2, 2009
April 1, 2009
Mailing rocks. And other brown paper packages tied up with strings. Absolute nostalgia. The joy of packaging. The love of mailing. Putting parcels in the post. The thrill of sending and delivering a beautiful surprise.
I have been finding myself both shipping and hand delivering a variety of treasures this week. And in the process, learning and living through many a life lessons with the preschooler. My favorite ensued on Tuesday’s postal run.
The four year old refused to carry an oversized box of air. She wanted the small bubble wrap pillow that her baby brother was holding. I insist she help; rise to the occasion. We are each responsible for a package. Each parcel a reasonable partner to our respective abilities to lift and carry.
So I drew a line in the soil. Pick this up, or you will wait in the car whilst little brother and mommy go into the present store [code for post office in the Team Craun vernacular]. So exhausted of this endless battle of the will. And it’s jealous and selfish demands. I knew those words would be difficult [even impossible] to keep.
We talk the whole way to the present store, after the river of tears dissipates. How she chose to disobey. She was presented with a choice. Choice has consequence. She is figuring it all out. Discussing the choose-your-own adventure plot twists the afternoon could have taken. And she is understanding her choice.
Arriving to the post office just after 4 pm, I realize I have slightly more than a small problem on my hands. One cannot park their car in eyeshot of the huge storefront windows between 4 and 6 pm, due to the traffic patterns of rush hour.
So I consider entertaining a conversation with the disappointed but understanding 4 year old that is expecting to wait in the car, carrying no presents into the post office. I was writing my speech about traffic laws, and safety. Not wanting to leave my child in a locked car, in a parking lot far out of eye sight, in an adjacent urban parking lot.
And magic. As I put the car in park. I hear this quiet sweet voice, a melodic: I am so sorry mommy.
Thank God. A way out. I let her know that I forgive her, and that she may come into the post office, and help carry her parcel to the front desk. And we all parade in with our packages.
Waiting in line, the kids spot a spilled pile of postal insurance forms, and offer to pick them all up from under the counter. Strangers comment about how well behaved they are, as they fight with each other trying to pick up more papers than the other. I thank them for helping, for being good citizens [something we talk about a lot in our neighborhood whilst on walks] And they are beaming as they hand them to the postal worker.
This picking up. Being good citizens at only two and four years old. Helping.
I am absolutely amazed that Bella has pulled an entire emotional 180 from when we were leaving for the present store. And she is somehow older and more compassionate, when moments ago she was selfishly falling to pieces on our front porch over the prospect of lugging a nearly empty package to the car.
And the postal worker pulls two lollipops from her drawer, she asks my permission, and I grant it. She holds them out to the Craunlets, reaching over the tall counter. She thanks them for being helpful.
Thank you for helping.
Bella grins ear-to-ear. Rewarded.
These are the tender moments that refine us both. Us all, rather…all of us that share this life experience whilst mailing rocks and other presents.