Choose to be Kind

Note: all children’s names changed to protect their innocence.

My fifth grader walked in the door, set down her backpack, and declared that she had a horrible day. I stopped thawing the pork chops and walked over to hug her.

“Aw, sweetie. I am so glad you are home so you can feel better. Tell me about your day.”

“Well, it all started in English class. We finished reading Chapter 20 of Where the Red Fern Grows. So, we were all sad because that’s a sad chapter. Then we watched a short movie and it was really sad, too. Sarah was crying and Amy said, ‘Sarah, you’re such a big baby. Why are you crying?” which made Sarah cry even more.”

She picked up Basil (the real name of our Min Pin) and sat down on the floor, holding him and petting him.

“At recess, Amy kept saying Sarah was a baby for crying and Sarah kept crying. I went over and gave her a hug and told her it was ok to cry and that was a sad movie.”

I put my hand on my daughter’s head and stroked her hair, “I am so proud of you, sweetie. You are such a good friend.”

“Then, Amy went to Hannah and told her what happened and how Sarah is a baby. Hannah said that it was a sad movie and Sarah is not a baby for crying.”

I was surprised because Amy is usually so polite, “boy, it sounds like Amy was having a bad day.”

“No, she is usually like this.”

“Sounds like a real Eddie Haskell situation.”

“Anyway, Amy came up to me and said, ‘isn’t Hannah mean? Isn’t she dumb?’ and I said, ‘I think Hannah is a good friend and a nice person.'”

I am so proud of my daughter. It is so much harder to choose kindness over just joining in when someone is being picked on.

I don’t know how the story ends because those pork chops were not going to cook themselves…

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