We were at my mom’s house for dinner on Friday night. We have dinner at my mom’s house most Friday nights. It truly does take a “village” for our crew, and we’re very fortunate in the “village” department. There are plenty of us, too – enough to make all kinds of noise over dinner.
We were, eating, talking, laughing, and playing, when all of the sudden we heard a primal toddler-shout from across the kitchen, “Somebody feed me!”
It was our two-year-old. He’s quite capable of feeding himself, however, he doesn’t like to get messy. So, when he’s eating something with the potential for a mess he enlists support. He demands it, actually.
In this case it was cereal, something my children eat for dinner from time to time (judge away, after four kids in eight years I’m impervious to it). He didn’t want to get milk on his shirt. He needed some help.
When I looked over he was staring at the bowl, still shouting, “Somebody feed me!” So I did.
As I patiently ladled each spoonful into his mouth, without spilling a drop, the words rang in my mind.
“Somebody feed me.”
I thought, isn’t that something every kids needs in one form or another? Then I thought, isn’t it something we all need? For better or worse, don’t we feed one another all day every day?
Then I thought about food. When we eat healthy food, we feel good. When we eat unhealthy food, we don’t feel so good (in the long-term, at least).
As parents and educators we are responsible for feeding the children we serve, and for feeding one another in healthy ways, that promote and perpetuate positive partnerships.
We are responsible for feeding hearts, minds, and spirits. We must push ourselves to only feed one another the good stuff – kindness, gratitude, humility, compassion, hope, & inspiration.
We must model a growth mindset, take the time to show how deeply we care, interact respectfully with one another, even through challenges, use language that matches our core values and drives our expectations, and always seek to enhance the learning environment in which we exists, through mindful, reflective problem solving and connected adaptation.
“Somebody feed me!”
If that is our call, we should be looking for routes toward independence while staying focused on answering it only with stuff that supports nourishment and well-being, for ourselves and for those we serve.
And if that’s how we set our course, with intentionality & purpose, we can forgive ourselves each stumble, shake it off, and do better next time.
In it together for the kids.
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead. Thanks.