The Magic Tea Kettle: Tiny Nurturing Gestures

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For over a year, my morning routine has included making tea in this big 100+ years old tea kettle. For nearly as long as it’s been my routine, each morning I find the kettle full of water each morning with my favorite mug and a potholder on the counter near the stove. In the last 500+ days I’d estimate that I’ve added water to the kettle three times and had to look for my mug twice.

At first I assumed it was some sort of magic elf situation. Maybe the house was infested with cousins of those fairy tale elves that made shoes for the Grimm Brother’s cobbler.

Then I remembered who I am married to. She has this knack for tiny nurturing gestures.

One reason I fell in love with Tasha was her nurturing nature. For the 30 plus years we’ve been together, I’ve been amazed at her ability to tune in to people’s needs, support them, and find simple ways to make them feel valued and special. I freely admit it’s something I’ve been jealous of from time to time over our years of parenting and caring for other people’s children.

She’s always been better at putting the Care in Caregiver. More empathetic, more emotionally available, more responsive, more attuned. I can do it, but it doesn’t come as naturally.

Enough talk about the wonderful and amazing Tasha.

Walking into the kitchen each morning and seeing the kettle and mug waiting fills me with warm and fuzzy feelings: “I’m a mess of a human being and she still loves me!”, “How lucky am I to have her in my life?”, “It’s going to be a good day because she’s a part of it!”

Whether you’re a natural nurturer like Tasha, or you have to work at it like I do, remember that the people you care for enjoy those warm and fuzzy feelings.

And yet it’s so easy not to make them. We get caught up in the rush of life. We zip along, not taking or making time for the tiny nurturing gestures that help the kids (and adults) in our lives feel safe, secure, valued, and loved.

Creating some version of a magic tea kettle in the life of someone you care about takes effort, but it is time and energy well-invested.

I’d love to hear about the tiny nurturing gestures you’ve experienced in the comments section.

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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.

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