Empathy Lessons

by | Oct 28, 2011 | Little Gratitude, Little Luca, MOTHERHOOD | 2 comments

Thank you
So firstly, I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who read yesterday's post. Every time I share the stories that are hardest to write, I learn just how important it is to tell those stories. My traffic spiked dramatically and that is always so gratifying but especially when the post is so personal.

But it was so much more than traffic to the blog. I felt so humbled by the stories that you then shared with me. I feel so empowered by authentically connecting with other mothers, with you wonderful women.

So to everyone who commented, both here and on Facebook, thank you so very much. For your kind words. For sharing your own stories with me. I read most of the replies while at the hairdresser's and I can tell you, crying while someone does your hair is really awkward.

When we share our sorrows, we create further space for healing. We become lighter somehow. And maybe, just maybe, there is a girl, sad and frightened, just like we were, reading our stories and feeling less alone. I hope so.

I think I've managed to reply to everyone. I always want to reply – if you've ever left a message that I haven't replied to, please know it is not personal but rather due to the time constraints associated with having way too many kids….


And now, for something a little lighter, I wanted to share with you a recent conversation with my four-year-old. I've shared the musings of Luca before and the way we're going, I can only see myself having more material as he gets older. Kids say some crazy shit.

On this particular occasion, we were stopped at the lights and volunteers with collection tins went from car to car taking small change donations. I popped a few coins in and the woman thanked me.

Luca asked me, "Mum, what was that lady doing?"

Now if I'm honest, I must admit to you that I can often be very lazy when it comes to answering my child's one ZILLION questions per day. Sometimes I even, you know, lie. Just to shut him up.

But this seemed like an excellent opportunity to build his understanding of empathy and charity. Four-year-olds by nature, or at least by my four-year-old's nature, aren't exactly overflowing with empathy. It is there and when I see him exercising it, I am filled with great hope for the person he is becoming. Other times, he smacks his brother upside the head.

So. Empathy lesson. Yes!

"Well, honey," I began, "there are people in the world who aren't as lucky as you and I to have all the wonderful things that we have and so other people set up charities to collect money for those people who need it."

At this point, I looked at the flyer the woman had handed me to see exactly what I had just donated money to. Elderly people. Wheelchairs. Other necessities. A worthy cause but not one I felt would resonate particularly well with a preschooler.

"For instance, " I continued, "there are some people in the world, even little kids like you and Ziggy, who don't have enough to eat. So people like that lady collect money to help buy food for those people so that they won't be hungry. Does that make sense, honey?"

"Yes," Luca replied without so much as a pause. "And I'm hungry for a donut."



Hello friends


I’m Angie!  I mum. I write. I wife. My husband would say this is the correct order.  He’s so neeeedy. I live with my family in Melbourne, Australia, where I complain about the weather for 90% of the year – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Except maybe in Lake Como, waving to my neighbours George and Amal each morning.

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  1. ruthy

    I love that boy…classic. And I read yesterday’s post…gave me goosebumps and tears in my eyes. You have a powerful way with words my girl. Thank you for sharing that story xoxoxo

  2. Robin Farr

    Ha! Sigh. All you can do is try.


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