Children. They are joy and beauty wrapped into one little person.
They teach us without lectures. They demonstrate without pride.
They love freely and laugh contagiously.
They are color blind… seeing far beyond the skin color we define others by.
They know not of rich and poor and do not discriminate between homeless and housed.
This picture here is of two beautiful girls who are friends of ours.
Their mom has been a part of every Acts of Kindness Adventure so far. She lives with a generous heart and gives freely in every way she possibly can. She brought clothes, books and toys from their home to give away that day at the park. Last week she shared this story with me.
“I have to share with you what Jocelyn told me this morning. Okay, so she picked out a t-shirt that she likes with two smiling cherries on the front. As she’s putting it on, I hear grunts and whimpers. Finally, it’s on and her little tummy sticks out at the bottom of it, and the arm holes were tight on her arms. I said, “Jossie, I don’t think that shirt fits you any more honeybun.” So she takes it off, and she hands it to me and says “Are you going to give it to the babies?” I said, “you want me to give it to someone else’s baby so they can wear it?” and she says, “Yes, give it to the babies, so they can wear it.”
In that story, we realize that while we endeavor to bless others, our children are watching. And imitating. And learning. Jossie is three years old and already learning from her mama that someone else can use our things when we have enough. She is not worried about where the next shirt will come from. She just knows that this one is now available for the ‘babies.’
I took the day off on Monday. To celebrate my birthday, my goal was to extend kindness to as many people as I am years old. For part of the afternoon, my 24 year old daughter joined me in spreading joy through Popsicles. We ended our time together on much tougher turf with grown-up size problems a world away from where we live in the same town. Hannah stayed by my side, however, offering conversation and compassion to the girls we were listening to. This week, my 21 year old daughter is a counselor at camp. Today she called to tell me that one of the leaders asked her to speak about serving others through kindness. She wasn’t sure what to share. I encouraged her to simply share how she has lived it.
As we continue to venture out, I am reminded that we are not only making a mark in our community, but in our families as well. Thank you, Jessica, for being such an awesome role model to your little girls and thank you, Jossie for reminding us all to remember the babies. To my children, thank you for stepping out with me in these sometimes random and crazy adventures. We never quite know where they will lead, but we always come home knowing we have loved others in tangible ways.
Loving to Serve Side-by-Side With You,