Main Entry: em·pa·thy
Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion
the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this
I’ve always guided my actions with my children by putting myself in their place. There are no naked bathtub pictures because I don’t want any of me. I never tested the tub water with a thermometer, if it was a temperature that I would sit in, it would work. Sweater? When the lady on the street (as last evening, actually) would butt-in and tell me to put a sweater on her, I would respond (as I did yesterday) “I’m not needing one and she is smiling, should I comment on your dress?”
I wish I had more to go on, to know what she feels, how she sees things. I cannot ask if she is cold. I do not know if she sees me clearly or just a fuzzy view (if she’s lucky …). When she winces in pain, I have my “special for non-communicative person to figure out where the heck the pain is” checklist. If wiggling her ears makes her wince more, I found it. If a fetal position seems to help, another clue. Etc …
But I want to know more. If it is an earache, I know the pain since I have such issues. If she has an obvious cold or the flu, I know how to handle it, I’ve been there.
Today, I really want a menstrual cramp.
But just one, thanks.