Tonight the boys went to church with Bryan while I stayed home recovering from some virus (sore throat, aches and fever last night). The boys talked about loving others and each made a special card for someone they love. They are in separate classes at church so they didn't know what each other was doing. At the end of church, Clay came out and gave Jaden his special card. Inside it said,
Tonight I was thinking of
someone I thank God for.
Someone who cares for me.
Someone who makes me smile.
Someone who loves me with God's love.
Someone like you.
I want to let you know
I LOVE YOU.
Of course this was written by Clay's teachers but Clay chose the name he wanted in the card and who to give the card to. He chose Jaden. So sweet that he thought of his brother when the teacher read him these things.
The sad thing is that when Clay gave it to Jaden, Jaden said that he didn't like it. Even when Bryan and I prompted him to say thank you. He still said I don't like it. Clay even drew a picture in the card for Jaden. It didn't matter to Jaden. He didn't like it.
Jaden did understand what Clay did because Jaden did the same thing. He made a card for his cousin, Kira, and wants to mail it to her.
At first this was so saddening to me and disappointing that I couldn't get it across to Jaden that he made Clay sad by saying this. Clay tried to make it seem like he didn't care but it did seem to bother him a little.
The more saddening thing is that Jaden is a reflection of me. There have been too many times in my life that I haven't appreciated the gifts that I have been given. I am a critical person just like Jaden. Jaden probably saw the picture that Clay drew and thought I don't really like that picture, as he says about most of Clay's pictures. We are trying to teach him to keep that to himself and only offer compliments. That is hard for me to do, let alone teach my 4 year old.
I am saddened by Jaden's reaction to Clay's expression of love but I am even more saddened at my own unappreciative heart. I need to appreciate other's love for me. My dear Bryan has been the recipient of too much of my criticism and not enough of my appreciation and I wish that I wasn't passing this onto my son. I am choosing to show more love and appreciation when others show me love.