Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Gift Of Kindness...

    Tomorrow afternoon is the kick off for "The Gabriel Lindsay Spirit of Kindness Week" that our local school does.  At this kick off assembly I usually say a speech.  I have been racking my brain thinking about what I can say that will be powerful, but will be heard.  In my head I have been throwing around two different ideas.  I have half formed both speeches, trying think them all through, trying to decide which topic will have the most impact for grades 4 through  8.
    We have been having this assembly for the last 8 years, since that very first birthday of Gabe's that we had to celebrate without him.  All of the kids at tomorrow's assembly will have heard me talk about Gabe every year that they have attended that school.  I always tell them that Gabe was just an ordinary 9 almost 10 year old grade 4 student.  He talked back to his parents, he acted silly, but he was nice kid, a kind kid.  He stuck up for kids that were being bullied, he helped the weaker students finish and maybe even better understand their work when he was finished his.  He was a nice kid.  I tell the same stories every year, I don't want them to be bored.
    I think that I have settled on my speech topic, but the other one was pretty good, well at least I thought.  I was going to tell them the same

     "Gabe was just an ordinary kid...  I was then going to continue on with "He was kind, but that is something that is important to our family.  Everyone thinks that everyone's family is like theirs, until they meet other people's families.  It is then that you discover how very different everyone else's families are.  Have you ever gone into a friends house and started to take off your shoes, only to discover that in their house you keep your shoes on?  Have you ever been given a snack and make to take in into your friend's living room like you do at your house, only to discover that at their house snacks must be eaten at the kitchen table. Once you have visited a few friends houses you realize just how very different everyone's family truly is.  Some families put a lot of focus on sports, they push their kids to succeed at every sport.  Some parents push academics, insisting that their children are the brightest.   At our house we value kindness above everything else.  When my kids grow up I want them to be kind and compassionate people.  

    In our house there are three rules....

1.  Hands are for helping not hurting!
2.  Think before you speak, because words can hurt more than hands.            (This is something I have to work on.)
3.  Never do something to someone else that you would not want them to    do to you ( that one is the most important one!)

    My ending for this one was a bit weak, but I thought it important to point out that anyone can be kind.  In our house we do value kindness above all else, and because of that I have kind children.  They are not perfect, but they are all kind, which makes me feel like I may just be doing my job right.  Although I have decided against that speech, it was funny that I had thought so much about it, especially since it was about to proven to me last night.
    The tiny town of Madoc has now become the proud owner of a McDonald's Restaurant.  This is something that every country kid fantasized about.  I remember as a child thinking that it would be so awesome if only we could have a McDonald's in our back yard.  Now Madoc has one.  Our kids have been desperate to go.  Christopher decided that last night we should surprise them and take them out for dinner at McDonald's.  Off we went to the golden arches.
    The restaurant was really busy, I guess that everyone had the same idea that we did.  I sat there enjoying my meal, but shocked at the amount of calories that my meal was (1200 calories for a Big Mac, Large Fry, and a Coke).  While we were eating our dinner I saw an acquaintance of mine.  She is also from Tweed.  She asked if I had gone to the new Zumba class.  I have not, but thought it might be fun to try.  The problem with being over weight and out of shape is that you don't want to stick out, and so as much as you "should" go to these exercise classes, you don't.  She thought that maybe we could go together (she has a similar physique to mine).  I thought this was a marvelous idea.  I would not stand out like a sore thumb if there were two of us.  She then said that she was thinking about joining Weight Watchers.  I was telling her that I had been counting calories for about three weeks now, and was having some success.  We chatted a little more, and then parted ways.
    We left the restaurant and belted the kids into the van.  As we were pulling out of the parking lot, the kids were all chattering away in the back seat, all of them except Rowan.  "Mom", his voice sounded troubled.  "Mom, I don't want you to go to that class with Sara, I don't want you to go to Weight Watchers.  I don't want you to change." it all gushed out of his little mouth.  He must have been thinking about it the whole time. "Why?" I asked him thinking that he was voicing concerns that I would not be giving him every spare second of my time, and that was what his problem with it was.  His response was so much sweeter, so much more profound than I could have ever imagined. "I love you just the way that you are.  You are perfect to me.  I don't want you to change."  Tears escaped the confines of my eyes, I was touched with the beauty, with the kindness.  I was perfect to him, just the way I was.  My little boy loves me.
    In our family we value kindness above all else.  I sometimes wonder if my children hear my words, see my actions.  Rowan proved to me last night that he is an avid learner.

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