On the ride home from the hospital, Cole didn't say a word, nor did he respond to questions and comments my mother and I used to try to engage him. With lips pursed and eyes bright, this not-yet-three-year-old boy appeared to be in serious contemplation about leaving his mommy and daddy ... and the new baby sister.
I gave him a kiss on the cheek.
As my own father, mother, and I tried to determine which "expensive cuisine" menu items we would like from Taco Bell, Cole piped in that he didn't want a "soft OR hard ta-o." From this point on, I would describe him as inconsolable if it weren't for the leadership of my mother.
I've seen her comfort him on numerous "inconsolable" occasions and watched yet again her patience and love as she held him, explained to him, listened to his wants, and tried to distract him with his favorite topics and objects.
My mother's leadership has ultimately taught me to be compassionate ... to help others in need. Not only has her example shaped my communication in working with young human beings, but it has also influenced my life attitude ... my wanting to make a difference in the world.