My children impress me. I'm biased, I know, and I love them on a level that has become my reason for being, but still. There are moments when they surprise me with something new and unexpected where I just stop and wonder how I had a hand in creating such lovely people.
I was reminded of this yesterday when I made the kids breakfast. I don't often make them breakfast anymore because I stay up very late to work so I sleep in a little while Ian gets the kids off to school. We're in a habit of making them a hot breakfast every morning, and Ian is out of town for Army work this weekend, so I decided to make crepes for the kids before I went to work. (That sounds fancier than it is but crepes are easy when you make them regularly. All my kids can make crepes.)
Mona and Aden were still in pajamas upstairs, but Quinn was available to help me. He emptied the dishwasher and set the table while I stood at the stove. When breakfast was ready he rang the bell and settled in to eat.
The girls did not come down right away. I worked on cleaning up the kitchen a little while Quinn and I chatted and he tried a new jam on his crepes. It was several minutes before Mona finally made her way downstairs, but the thing is she and her sister didn't have to worry that they would miss breakfast if they wanted to be lazy on a Saturday morning, because years ago (I'm not sure when) they came up with a system for keeping things fair.
Every time Quinn served himself a crepe, he served one to each of his sister's plates as well.
I didn't know they were doing this until a few years ago when one of the kids didn't come down to breakfast until after the other two were done, and there was a full plate of pancakes equal to what the others had already eaten still sitting on the table, waiting. I have no idea how they came up with this system. Ian and I had nothing to do with it, but it's smart. It removes any sort of competitive element to breakfast that I suppose could arise.
In any case, it's a regular habit of theirs and I find it touching. More so because it wasn't a rule we instituted, but something they developed amongst themselves out of respect for each other and a sense of fairness.
Other parents can have the trophies or honor roll. I'll take voluntary crepe distribution as my parenting win.