Yesterday Natalie was eating the (unusual) snack of crackers and feta cheese. She said she was done, so I took the remaining feta and put it back into its container.
"What's Mommy doing?" she asked.
"I'm putting the leftover feta away to save for later," I explained. "Food takes time to make and money to buy, so we don't want to be wasteful. We want to be grateful."
She was paying careful attention to what I was saying. I've told her before that "we don't want to be wasteful," but I don't think she really got it. Also, annoyingly, in the past she'd say back, "We do want to be wasteful" just because she wanted to be a defiant toddler. But yesterday was different. She was in a good mood. So I kept going.
"Actually, did you know there are some people in the world who don't have delicious food to eat? Isn't that sad?"
I could see the gears turning in her head. I expected her to respond with something silly or break into song or grab a toy or do some other age-appropriate activity. Instead, she kept talking.
"And we have a house that protects us from thunder and lightning," she said.
I was rather shocked. Perhaps she was getting the whole gratitude thing, at least a little.
"And we have a beautiful house," she said.
She got me. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes.
"And some kids don't get to do special things like make crafts," she said.
The tears just fell down my cheeks.
"That's right, in fact most kids in the world don't get to do all these special crafts," I said.
We hugged, she ran away to grab a toy, and soon after it was nap time.
Not every day is perfect, but yesterday was.