When you learn life lessons from a 3 year old…

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Something really weird happened to me today. Well, something weirder than normal, anyway.

Let me give you the back story:

It’s Easter. The kids have just finished Easter-Egg hunting and all have lots of loot in their bags, some more than others.

My 3 year old cousin Dylan (third cousin? fourth cousin? I’ve lost track – it’s a big family) has about 10 eggs in his bag, and is walking around with his grandma (my second cousin – definitely my second cousin), showing everyone his eggs.

He thrusts his bag towards me and tells me, “Look!” and so of course I look. Then he thrusts it towards me again, telling me, “Eggs!” And my cousin tells me that he wants me to take an egg, that he wants to share.

Well, crap. He only has about 10 eggs in his bag, plus a goodie bag that has a cookies-n-creme bunny in it. I am totally not taking candy from this kid! But I want to make him happy, so I take an egg, I open it – discovering that it contains M&Ms – and tell him to take one. He takes one, pops it in his mouth, and while he is doing that, I sneak the egg back into his bag. I say thank you, and he moves on to the next family member, who basically does the same thing I did.

So here comes the weird part. 

On the way home from Easter dinner, Angeline tells me that Dylan offered my nephew Dakota the same way he offered to everyone else…except that Dakota is only 4 years old and he actually took what was offered to him…only he did not take an egg, he took the cookies-n-creme bunny.


I wanted to cry. Of course you can’t fault a 4 year old from accepting something that is being offered to him by a 3 year old – he didn’t do anything wrong. I just felt so bad for Dylan, who was being so nice to everyone, offering up his candy and trying to share…and he ended up losing his best piece of candy.

He told his grandmother, “I’m sharing!” and he was so proud of himself!

I started thinking about this as we went home and started settling in for the evening. Yes, Dylan lost his best piece of Easter candy. But it’s not like he didn’t get an Easter basket at home – I am sure his granny spoiled him rotten this morning with goodies galore. I am sure of this because I know his granny – my second cousin, who is the kind of selfless person who will give you the shirt off her back if you need it, and then ask if you want her shoes too.

She’s that kind of good people, you know? And she’s helping her daughter to raise Dylan to be that kind of good people too.

At 3 years old, he’s already doing something that I probably wouldn’t have done myself – offering up the very best that he has to give, and when someone takes it, he is happy about making them happy.

I want to be more like Dylan.

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  1. says

    What a sweetie! You know most kids this age wouldn’t even think about sharing their Easter goodies let alone their best piece. My daughter is 4 and she got so many eggs I had to give her a little nudge to share her eggs with other kids that didn’t get as many as she did. At first she wasn’t very happy but as she saw how excited the other kids were, that they were getting more eggs she realized that it feels good to give to others.

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