I’ve spent chunks of the past week volunteering at my son’s school’s spring fundraiser. It’s a jump-a-thon and we’re in the gym all week cheering kids on and counting their jumps. Today, as I was watching Magoo jump with his kindergarten class, my heart swelled with pride. He truly is the sweetest boy, the cutest boy and the best kid in the school. The. Best.
I know a lot of other mothers would disagree and there are many great kids at this school but there’s just something about Magoo that makes me light up from the inside. There were other mothers there volunteering and each one had the same reaction to her own kid, a beaming smile, a loving look. You could easily tell which one was her kid because each mom was totally playing favorites.
Every kid deserves this, to have someone love him unconditionally, to know that someone is convinced that he is the ultimate in kidness, the best of the best. I wish they all did but I know they don’t.
And that’s why I feel like it’s our job as moms to reach out as much as we can to the kids around us who need love. Maybe their parents don’t have the time or the emotional resources to provide it. Maybe their parents are providing it but it’s just not getting through. Maybe the kids are just having an especially difficult time and they need a little extra attention.
Whatever the circumstance, it never hurts to be too loving, especially to a child.
This does not come easily or naturally to me. In fact, I was worried about having my own kids because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fall in love with them the way you always hear about, the way my mom and dad loved me. But with my own kids, it’s been sort of a no-brainer. Even when we’re not getting along great, I still feel a strong overarching love for them.
With other people’s kids it can be harder, especially when I don’t know them very well. I had a humbling experience recently where a kid asked me for something I wasn’t willing or able to give and I handled it badly. Without thinking or considering her feelings, I shot her down in front of a group of people and really embarrassed her.
Right after the incident, I thought, “That was completely the wrong way to handle that. I would have felt horrible if someone had treated me that way.” It’s okay to say “no” to someone. You just need to say it with love.
So this week, although everyone knows I have my three favorites, I have a goal to go out of my way to treat all the children in my life with love. How much effort will it take to infuse just a little more kindness into my words, to be just a little bit more patient and a little less selfish? How good will it feel to know that I’ve made a child feel like he’s the one that matters, the best one, the one who’s loved?