“I am so proud” is what Helena said when she got home from yet another trip to the dairy to get lollies with our 6 year old neighbor. They went to get the lollies for only the 3rd time, I think, after they had earned another dollar by collecting stink bugs from the garden for the princely sum of 5 cents each… Apparently this time the 6 year old talked to the shop lady (the “usual woman” but I wouldn’t know as I never go) asking for something and also choosing something different from Helena. Helena came back telling me all this in a very excited voice, in front of the 6 year old, saying how proud she was of her friend. Helena didn’t want me to write this down until I said that I wanted to say how important it was to give children the opportunity to be independent and have control over their lives. To be in the position of being active in their life not passive, making the stuff happen. Was she was proud of her friend because she did the things that Helena herself finds hard? Helena said that her friend usually said nothing and got Helena to do the talking which is what Helena also does… I suspect neither of them would have spoken to the shop lady had I been there and they would have used me in my role of translator. I think we all do this. I let my friends make any bookings, I have made enough mistakes, wrong day/wrong direction, to hate doing it but I can do this and probably should practice. There lies the importance of the independence as we don’t know what we can do untill we have to, sometimes we need to be in the position where the only option is to do the hard thing, and once we’ve done it we feel proud, empowered.
Then today Helena went on a bike ride with a 3 year old friend and when they got to a wee hill he couldn’t bike up it so she got off her scooter and pushed it up the ‘hill’ so “he wouldn’t feel that he couldn’t do some thing I could do”. Perhaps it is just that she is working on her empathy muscles.