If I knew the magic formula that would guarantee a generous child in every case, I imagine I’d be a billionaire. Or at least the most successful parent in the world! But I don’t. I don’t even have a fraction of a formula. All I have is one incredibly generous child who would probably give the shirt off his back if he encountered someone who needed it more than he did. I have no clue how I managed to instill this awesome quality in him. If I did, you can be sure I wouldn’t have three other children who were polar opposites!

Bitty Girl has been incredibly cranky today (OK, she’s been incredibly cranky for the last week, but let’s not dwell on the past!). By lunchtime I’d reached the end of my noise-tolerance for the day (this doesn’t bode well for our afternoon…), and after fifteen minutes of listening to her go on and on and on and on and– Well, she wouldn’t stop whining and wailing. I wiped peanut butter off her face, brushed crumbs off her derriere, and hustled her off to bed.

Silence.

Literally. I mean, how is it possible that one child, the smallest child at that, can be the sole contributor of the noise and stress of the day?! I think she was asleep before I even made it down the hallway back to the dining area where the other kids were rushing through lunch so they could have the promised cookies. One by one, they appeared in the kitchen to claim their cookies. As Mr. Generosity took his cookies, I raised my voice so they could all hear me, “Bitty doesn’t get any cookies today, so just eat yours and don’t say anything about it when she wakes up from her nap.”

Five minutes later I started to clear the table and noticed half a cookie waiting on Bitty Girl’s plate. Not only that, but it looked to be the larger half of a cookie. One of her loving siblings had given up their right to eat two cookies so she could have some too. Fighting back tears, I peeked into the play room and asked, “Who saved half of their cookie for Bitty?” My oldest son glanced up casually, “I did.”

Of course. The bottomless pit who loves second helpings and asks for more food an hour after a meal is over, yet who is also willing to share a special treat to make sure his younger siblings can experience the same pleasure he is. I love it! This isn’t the first incidence either. He is especially attentive when it comes to his baby sister. My space-cadet son who can literally walk from one room to next and forget why he left the first room to begin with, somehow inherited the generosity gene that attracted me to my husband so many years ago. He may forget where he dropped his coat and which direction to write his “b’s” and “d’s,” but by the grace of God his brain is the first to notice a need or a wish that he is able to provide for. I’ll take that over the ability to spell “b-e-d” any day!

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