cut and paste empathy

September 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm 3 comments

rescuersThe Rescuers is a book about two mice rescuing an orphan girl named Penny from a raging red head bent on finding diamonds. They are successful, of course, but in the end she is not reunited with her parents and family because she has none.

Let’s remember that in our house the large frying pan must be snuggled with the small frying pan because they are mother and baby. So the fact that Penny is still without a mother even after her traumatic adventure is too much for Echo, just too painful. So one night after  bucketfulls of hugs and:

“I know you’re really sad. You want Penny to be with her mom. Oh wow you’re really sad!”,

with no end in sight to the tears, we got out of bed and found the pens, scissors, and glue. I squeezed a mom in between Penny and the newsman (who is acting as a papa).

Sometimes empathy can look like this, not the “right” series of words thrown at a crying child, but a way of seeing them and their world, a way of being with them through their struggles, and in this case literally crafting a solution.


Entry filed under: empathy, favorites. Tags: , , .

you just never know do over…(airplane style) or, “they were so good!”

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gabrielle  |  September 26, 2009 at 4:02 am

    I love that. Larkin was so worried about a picture of curious george looking out the window by hanging from a windowsill that we finally drew a stool beneath him to provide george with a way to have gotten up and a way to get back down. In another book by richard scarry there is a bunny driving a car that is about to be hooked by a crane and Larkin became so concerned with where his parents were that eventually we “found” the mama rabbit on a previous page getting groceries and the papa rabbit just ahead on the next page and decided that they were all headed home to have supper together. For me, changing a book by writing or drawing in it was such an intense taboo that it took me a while to think of it. But I love the idea of it now. I think it is not only a loving way of showing empathy but a powerful message to kids that they can change “the story”.

  • 2. Krista  |  September 26, 2009 at 4:22 am

    Empathy… mmm. A timely post, with World Empathy Day coming up on the 2nd of Oct. Also timely because we just read this exact same book at the hairdressers while waiting for our cuts this week. I love how sensitive Echo is. It is precious and such a gift. I love hearing your stories, keep it up please!

  • 3. freaky flickers  |  September 27, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Yeah, AWESOME!! I like all these stories, Now I am waiting for the next one, Thanks.


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