It was the first preschool pickup of the year when one of the educators stopped me.
“I love preschool days with your daughter”, she beamed. “She’s always making me little things. It might only be a little paper heart that she’s punched holes in, but she comes over and says ‘I made this for you’. And I just love it.”
It’s true, my four year old daughter is a maker. She’s a prolific crafter and drawer. I’m constantly on the receiving end of many ‘messages’ and other craft surprises made just for me. And, because they are so constant, I had lost sight of their value.
Each and every one of her creations made for me is a small token of her love and thoughtfulness.
She’s only four, so her ‘messages’ are often a little of a puzzle for me. Obviously her skills are not that of an adult, or even an older child, but her intention is profound.
That small heart, hole punched for her preschool educator had come from a place of thoughtfulness. Her affection and generosity coloured the artwork, making it appear more valuable to that educator than a Da Vinci.
That small gift had made this woman feel loved, seen and appreciated.
That small gift – one simple act of thoughtfulness – had made a big difference.
It also made me see my own shortcomings. Aside from my less than grateful response to my own ‘messages’, I had to ask myself the question: when had I recently shown that sort of thoughtfulness for someone else?
When had I brightened up someone’s day with a simple act, motivated out of consideration and kindness, eschewing any reward?
And, for that matter, when was the last time you did?
So let’s kick off a more thoughtful outlook on life, and the people around us: How can we show someone a little thoughtfulness today?
Written by Emily Shaw
Emily is a former ACPA award winning magazine editor. Emily shares 15 years of marriage with her husband, Ben, and is now stay at home mum of seven and freelance journalist. Emily’s work has been featured in a variety of media internationally, writing on all things faith, parenting and craft. She brings close to 20 years of experience in media — print, online and social — as well as several years in active youth ministry including three years as the Diocesan Coordinator.