Monday, February 16, 2009

Role Model

Tonight at work we had one of our monthly meetings for the families we are working with and their mentoring groups. At this particular meeting we had four families/groups and a few staff members/volunteers - totaling about 50 people. There was a beautiful moment that I thought I would share.

One of the mothers had called me earlier in the day and left a message for me to please call her back. By the time I finished with some appointments and returned her call it was close to the evening meeting time. She told me that she is battling a cold today and she didn't know if she would be feeling well enough to come tonight (which was why she called earlier). But now that I was talking to her later in the day she said she was going to come anyway.

At the meeting her two small children (boy 3, girl 2) were very active and were constantly needing her attention. There was crying, fighting, and occasional laughing. She is a good mom and she usually is consistent and patient with her children, but I knew that tonight they were wearing on her and she was already feeling drained.

All this to say...I was sitting there thinking that it would nice if her mentors would pick up on this scenario and try to distract and interact with the children a little more. By this point the mentors were sitting at their table talking and the mom was at the other end of the gym "playing (mediating)" with her kids.

Not ten minutes later I looked over again...

One of the older mentors had gone over to where the kids were playing and started a game with these two. The mom had taken the chance to get a break and she was now at the table with the rest of her mentors.
The older mentor had gotten on his hands and knees
and started crawling around with the kids.
It looked like they were playing a game
or perhaps pretending they were animals.

I don't know how much this moment of relief meant to the mother. I'm not sure the kids will ever remember that moment. The mentor certainly didn't know anyone was watching him.

That's why I respected him so much. He is a very approachable person and naturally stepped in to spend time with these kids. He saw an opportunity, a need, and he didn't hesitate to step in - even if that meant being on his hands and knees on a gym floor making animal noises.

What a role model.

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