This week for the Kindness Challenge, we were focusing on observing kindness around us.
Sunday night, James had a baseball game, in like 40 degree temperature. Sunday also was the day that Aunt Flow decided to have her monthly visit . Like brings you to your knees in complete tears kind of visit. Matt was at work late and James had to be at the field by 5:45. Before we left the house I asked James probably ten times if he had everything he needed for the game, by the tenth time I got the “Jessssssssssss, I got everything, I promiseeee! Can we just go now!” We pull up to the field, park, and James runs out of the car. I look at the top of his head and guess what was missing? His baseball hat. That he NEEDS to be able to play on the field during the game. I asked him where it was and his face turned from excited happy smile to the fear of death. He left it at home.
Jojo (our nickname for Jordan) and I jumped in the car and rushed the 30 minutes home and back (keep in mind the intense cramps I was having). When we pulled up to the field and walked up to where Stephanie, Paul, Noah and her dad were sitting, she had this look on her face that she was about to feel bad for what she was going to tell me. She told me James hit a triple and got his team’s first run of the season…and I missed it. It took all of me not to just cry right then and there because of stupid my hormones going crazy. Jordan sat down next to me, told me she was sorry we had to miss that and gave me a kiss. Noah (Steph and Paul’s 3 year old son) came up to us, put his arm around both of us and said “Hey guys, how are you!” and it put an instant smile on my face. He entertained us during breaks between innings of the game with his kung fu moves he learned from watching Kung Fu Panda. By the end of the game he was sitting on my lap under a blanket and we watched James hit a home run! Matt showed up just before it happened too! The feeling I got watching James run all of those bases with the biggest grin on his face, was so worth the 30 minute drive.
We got home from the freezing cold game and everyone chowed down on Taco Bell before the kids headed to bed. After they had their PJs on, the kids said they were going to pack their lunches for me so I could lay on the couch with my heating pad and relax. Um, thanks for the instant tears kiddos. What amazing little people we are raising. Seeing the kindness they give out so freely makes you feel very proud as a parent. Not to mention, it made me totally forget about James forgetting his baseball hat.
The rest of my week was pretty disappointing and trust me when I say I really looked for kindness everywhere around me. Even dropping the kids off at school was out of control. Parents were selfishly weaving in and out of cars in the school parking lot and disregarding rules that are in place to protect the children in the drop off lane. We also have a lot of construction going on in our Metro Detroit area. Major highways closed or shut down so the state can fix our crappy roads and we can all stop blowing our tires over pot holes that are deeper than Jordan is tall. Of course no one shows kindness in gridlock traffic during rush hour. No matter how many people I “let it” to get over after passing 30 other cars in a closed lane.
I decided to try and observe children. Kids can be so kind to one another. I said something to a friend last week along the lines of, “I miss the days of being a kid and walking up to another kid and say ‘Wanna be friends?’ and that was that. End of story. You made a new friend for life. Easy as that. Instant loyalty and friendship.”
I volunteer in Jordan’s class room every week. What a perfect time to observe kindness! Within minutes of being in the classroom, one kid threw a hard covered book at another kid’s face and one little boy bitched out this little girl for using a pen on HER paper instead of a pencil which then caused the little girl to have a complete melt down. Well, looking for kindness here doesn’t look very promising today.
I’m feeling discouraged. Why is it so hard to observe kindness around me this week? Am I just blocking out the kindness around and me and only seeing the negative? Am I being a negative nancy this week or has the world turned into a place where finding kindness every day is actually really that difficult?
One of the tips I used from Niki was not watching the news this week. Which is usually something I do in the morning before the kids walk out of their bedrooms. I let them watch the weather, but as for the actual news, I always turn it off. Having the news off this week helped me to NOT start my days with such sadness of what is going on around the world or even in our own backyard. I sure hope next week is a better week then this one. I need someone to restore my faith that the world really hasn’t gone down the drain with kindness…