We have two six-month old kittens. If any of you have ever had kittens, I don’t have to tell you that they are in one simple word, trouble! They find ways to get into and on top of everything, steal things, hide in impossible places, break things, and they scratch. You also know that they are absolutely adorable and loving, and simply melt your heart if you choose to watch them for more than a second. They keep my life interesting and also provide great teaching opportunities for my son.
As I mentioned, the kittens love to steal and break things. Unfortunately, most of those things belong to my son. He has tons of tiny little toys, shiny gadgets, and puffy arts and crafts. Absolute treasures for our adorable and troublesome kittens! One morning my son came to me in tears and told me that he no longer wanted the kittens in our home. They had destroyed a picture on his wall that he had created and was very sentimental to him. He was sad, angry, and very disappointed. He no longer liked the kittens he loved so much and couldn’t understand why they would be so mean.
As I held my son in my arms and explained to him that the kittens didn’t do it on purpose and that they simply did not know any better, I realized that a very valuable teaching moment had arrived. We have many different beings in our lives that we love, and because we have feelings for them we will at times face some sort of sadness in relation to them. They might do something that hurts us, be or do something we can’t understand, or simply not be at all times what we hope they can be. What is so important to remember in loving others is that we accept them for who they are, even though at times they may not be everything we hope, wish, or want them to be. We find a space for love in our hearts and simply know that they are doing their best and we need to simply be patient.
In the case of our kittens, we needed to understand that they simply are mischievous babies and do not know any better. They see something that looks fun to play with and they are not capable of turning the other way. They do not do it on purpose and certainly are not trying to be mean. In loving our kittens, we accept that they will get into some trouble and that at times, that trouble may involve something that is important to us. In loving them, we help them by patiently teaching them a better way to behave and by making those important shiny and puffy things less easily accessible to them.
Loving others may not always be easy, but it is what fills our hearts with joy and makes all the simple moments special. In finding space for acceptance and allowing we give our hearts an opportunity to grow even larger, opening space for even more love to flow through. Our kittens mischievous moment provided an opportunity for a lesson in love that my son can carry forward through all of his life.