A quiet celebration of the gentle child

Late yesterday afternoon, our family went for a walk through the neighborhood.  Every time my son came upon a trash barrel lying on its side, he took the time to stand it upright.  I know that eventually the neighbors would come home and get their own trash cans, but my son was lifting them so all they would have to do is pull them up their driveway.   After each trash can was set upright, he kept walking.  No credit.  No praise.  Just his version of a random act of kindness.   


It was a nice gesture, but it meant more to me because two boys had been mean to him at school.  Every kid has bad days at school and almost every one of them gets picked on or teased.  Even a few receive full-on bullying which is an epic problem these days, but that's not what my son got.  It was just meaness and a few shoves but in the end he proved he was the better guy.  His spirit remained kind even though his body took a few licks.  

Children don't have to be *star* anything.  And it's okay to be *gentle* in everything. They don't have to be the best athletes, musicians, artists, or really good at science fairs.  Children can just be children who find their way and their passion in their own time.  They can be good at many things, but they don't have to be the best at something.  Not all children thrive when driven and pushed.  Many are hidden in the shadows doing quiet things which are just as extraordinary. You may have a talented and gifted child, but so do I; you just won't see him running down a field or standing on a stage.

The gentle ones may shy away from the bright lights of attention, but a lot of times they're the ones you may never notice holding doors open, offering to clean classrooms or volunteer.  The gentle ones might seek out another loner and make them smile and feel included.  My little guy loves people and loves animals and helps both when he can.  I loved watching his heart light up as he helped a turtle across a road.  Sometimes only moms know the good things children do and can see a light as beautiful as one that comes from the heart.

The world is going to need the gentle ones even if they don't see them. 

I have no idea who my son will grow up to be.  I haven't got the first clue what his title or profession may be, but what I do know is that he will be compassionate and kind and thoughtful. He is gentle now and so far life hasn't changed him.  

And I celebrate - by quietly whispering, *hooray!* 


Seeds to Share

Philippians 4:5 - Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.  The Lord is near.