Pancakes Don't Have Feelings #SOL17

"Pancakes don't have feelings," my four year old daughter, Megan, chides me as I wash off the dishes.

I had just tried to guilt her into eating more piece of the pancake cut on her plate. I probably said something to the effect of, "Oh, the pancakes all want a turn to be eaten! They feel sad you aren't eating them." 

Megan was onto me, but assigning feelings to inanimate objects is something I've been doing my whole life. My sister's toast at my wedding referenced how I used to cry when she would kick pinecones at the park because I thought she was separating them from their families. (Ahem. I really thought that.) Oh, how she would gleefully kick the pinecones while saying, "Oh, no, my baby!" and "Mama pinecone, where are you?" I would cry, and scurry to put the pinecones back to where they sat before they were disturbed.

Megan would have said, "Pinecones don't have feelings." 

And so, they don't. But what if they did? What if we thought about everything we encountered as having feelings and a story? 

Last night I read Megan the brilliant book A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young. It's such a clever book and Megan really gets it, laughing belly laughs at some of the scenes. But, also, we could empathize with how the goat (I mean unicorn) felt at certain parts. Reading the book and feeling sorry for "Sparkle" reminded me of the pancakes and the pinecones and thinking everything has feelings. 

I got that from being a reader. Reading has made me a person who can feel the pain of a goat trying to be a unicorn. Reading was responsible for making me imagine pinecones wanted to stay with each other on a park path. Reading helps you see the story in everything you encounter. And knowing a person's story is the first step in showing compassion and kindness. 

What I'm passing onto my children isn't great culinary skills (I microwaved the frozen pancakes) or a myriad of other talents I don't possess. But I am passing on a love of reading, of belly laughing when a goat trying to be a unicorn lets out a little toot, and understanding that all things and people have stories. We can let those stories touch our heart and change the way we live. 


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