Monday, September 4, 2017

The Message Remains the Same

The first week of school has me feeling sentimental about firsts and lasts, and the political climate in our country has me focusing more than ever on the verbal and behavioral messages I send to my children. This post - which, like last Wednesday's post, is an edited and updated version of something I wrote a few years ago - wraps all of that up in a couple hundred words.

Every morning since Will's first day of kindergarten I have sent him, and then Hallie, out the door with a hug, a kiss, a declaration of love, and a simple request.

"Work hard and be kind."

Throughout the last two weeks, children across the country began a new school year complete with new teachers, friends, expectations, responsibilities, and experiences. I wish for every one of them a year overflowing with academic learning, emotional growth, and opportunities for physical activity, creative expression, laughter, and fun.

I also wish - and hope and pray - that as Will and Hallie (and all of our nation's children) navigate the educational and social paths ahead of them, they remember my simple request. I hope they remember that while grades are important, report card percentages matter less than the hard work that went into them and the learning that occurred along the way. I hope they remember that a victory in the classroom or on the playing field means nothing if others were pushed down in order for them to rise up. And I hope they remember that acceptance, kindness, and love go further than indifference, intolerance, and cruelty.

When they feel discouraged, frustrated, sad, or even angry - which they will undoubtedly feel at some point throughout the school year - I hope they hear my voice in their heads, reminding them that hard work and kindness matter most of all.
Kind of sums up "work
hard" and "be kind", doesn't it?
Besides "I love you", what words of wisdom or support do you share with your spouse, children, family members, and/or roommates as they head out the door and into the world?

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