*This story was written for a children's class on Self-Kindness. I would love to find an illustrator and editor to help self-publish it as a children's book.
Once there was a family with lots and lots of children. The family was not wealthy
but they had plenty of love and all the children were happy because they
felt much loved.
There was a Mama who took care of all the children. Every night she gathered
together all the ingredients she could find to make soup, because a little soup
can feed a big group. She would cut up the potatoes, dice the tomatoes, brown
the onions, and add the water.
At supper time all the kids would sit around a big table and pass the soup pot.
They would each take a spoonful for their bowl and pass to the next kid. Every
night the pot would go around the table, and every night when it got back to
Mama it was empty. She would sit quietly and watch as her beloved children
laughed, talked and enjoyed the flavors of the soup.
Then, with full bellies, one of the kids would volunteer to do the dishes while the
others tidied the house for bedtime.
The next night Mama would once again gather ingredients for soup, because a
little soup can feed a big group. She would cut up the potatoes, dice the
tomatoes, brown the onions, and add the water. The kids would pass the pot and
by the time it got to Mama it was empty, so Mama would sit and soak up the joy of
her children as they laughed, talked and enjoyed the flavors of the soup.
It went on like this day after day for many years.
Then one day the littlest child grew old enough to notice the world.
“Mama” the Baby said, “you never eat any soup at dinner, don’t you get hungry?”.
The Mama laughed “of course I get hungry, Baby, and all the joy and love at our
table feeds my soul.”
“But Mama”, Baby asked “doesn’t your body get hungry?” (Baby had been
learning at school that all living things need nourishment to survive.)
Mama smiled. “Baby,” she said “I think it is time that you help me in the kitchen.
Will you help me make the soup tomorrow?”
Baby nodded yes. All the older brothers and sisters had helped at some
point, but this was the Baby’s first invitation to help.
The next night Mama called Baby to the kitchen as she started to gather the ingredients.
Baby watched as she cut up the potatoes and saw that as she cut them she ate
pieces of each one to make sure they were fully cooked. She handed Baby
some pieces to sample. The potatoes melted in Baby’s mouth.
Then Mama started to dice the tomatoes. Baby noticed as she lifted a few
handfuls to her mouth to savor the sweetness of the red fruit. She gave Baby
bites of tomato too, they tasted so good.
As Mama started to brown the onions, Baby watched her lean over the pot and
smell their spicy sweet aroma. She carefully lifted Baby over the pot to smell. It
was so good.
When she added the water she poured herself and her Baby a big cool glass to
enjoy while the pot bubbled. They drank the water together and Baby felt revived.
Then Baby laughed as Mama dipped her big cooking spoon in to the pot and
pulled out taste after taste for them to share. Baby could taste the soup
ingredients melding together as they took the spoonfuls in to their mouths.
When the time came to share the soup, Mama and Baby were already full- just
That night Baby sat at the table with all the brothers and the sisters. Baby watched as
they laughed and talked and enjoyed the flavors of the soup.
“Mama” said Baby “Thank you for inviting me to cook with you tonight, I have
never felt so full”
And Mama just smiled and kissed Baby’s head, then she sat back and quietly
watched as her beloved children laughed, talked and enjoyed the flavors of the
What did Mama do to keep herself from getting hungry?
What do you think would have happened to the children if Mama had really not
been eating all those years?
Have you ever had the experience of having to make your own meal or do
something good for yourself?
I wonder how taking good care of ourselves can help others.