Monday, April 7, 2014

kindness matters

I love the underdog. The person who has to work twice as hard to get half as much. The one who appreciates the small things. The one who isn't the most popular, the fastest, or the smartest. I don't care about any of those things. I am drawn to the dreamer, the believer, the hoper, the lover. The try and try againer. The people who share little spots of beauty with the rest of us.

Kindness. It's free. It never runs out. And the more you give, the more it creates.

Over the weekend we went to Big Hat Days in the neighboring town of Clovis. Eleven blocks of Kettle Korn, rides, and crafts I never even knew I never wanted. Oh yes- and people watching and bump-its.

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Grey was crazy about the rides. The bigger faster spin-ier they were- the better.

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Doodle and Grey both enjoyed the rides. JUST KIDDING! That's not Doodle! I tricked you. That's our Friend Liam- yes, Sawyer's big brother. Unfortunately Parker got sick Saturday and couldn't be there.

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We went back again today... Grey covers his ears when things are too loud.

I wanted Parker to experience Big Hat too. Thank goodness he was feeling better. I hate when my little buddy is sick.

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We went on rides.

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Grey and I went on this awesome Super Hero flying ride. I swear someone with autism created it, it made Greyson so happy. Swinging, spinning and flying all in one. The first time we went on, as he clicked us in- the guy running the ride said to Greyson- I need you to move up and put your head here, pointing to the head rest. I was already strapped in and I couldn't do it for Grey. Grey doesn't understand those kinds of directions because he hasn't been taught them specifically. Many children with autism have difficulty following directions. And two directions in one sentence?! Forget it. 

One day he will be taught opposites. Up, down, left, right, empty, full, little big. It will begin as a cognitive/language goal. After he masters that- he will learn to generalize it in different social settings. Move left. Look up- etc. Language is a foreign language to Grey. Verbal, non-verbal. All of it.

I looked at man and said I'm sorry- he doesn't understand, and then hesitated not knowing what else to say. It's alright if you touch him and put him where he needs to be though, I told him. And the man was so kind. He gingerly took Greyson's arms and pulled him up- explaining everything while he was doing it. I'm pulling you up, little buddy. Great job! Now I'm going to put your arms up here- and he smiled over at me. And I was so grateful for that moment. It was one of those random moments where your emotion takes you by surprise. It was such a simple act, and I was grateful for that extra ounce of kindness the kind gentleman exerted. He gave me hope, that even though there's much my boys don't understand about the world- there will be people around to help when I can't.

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The world will always keep spinning.

Colin Powell shares a line he heard that has impacted him for decades, that was extremely fitting for us today. Always show more kindness than seems necessary, ­because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.

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For dinner we went to the greatest place on earth. I'm much more a greasy french fry fingers girl than a fancy napkin on your lap gal- although I enjoy both every so often.

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Ketchup is Parker's religion.

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I love his little ketchup face.

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And, ONE BITE AT A TIME, was clearly said just a little too late.

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Afterwards we explored the campus at Fresno State University. It's so beautiful there.

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Sometimes I think God comes up with themes for our life. Writing helps me figure mine out. Today's theme was all about kindness. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, and it doesn't have to change the world in huge and monumental ways.  We saw this plaque on campus, created by The Rotary Club. Words they follow when thinking, saying and doing. Is it truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

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That's my goal this week. Just a little kinder than necessary. I know how good it feels to be on the receiving end.



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  1. That flying ride?!?! Awesome socks! And the gentleman that helped Grey, he's like a Frank in disguise. And GO you! for letting him help Grey. I probably would have gotten myself out and acted like an over protective fool, instead of trusting in the kindness of others.
    I love the Colin Powell line about being kinder than necessary. I also think one of the kindest things we can do is to accept other's kindness. That one can be tricky.
    Thanks for this great reminder today. I am going to write General Powell's words on a sticky & put it on my computer to help me remember. And thank you for sharing the fabulous pictures!
    Did I mention I love this place? <3
    Much love & happiness to you, sweet momma! xoxo Jen

  2. Your photos take my breath away. I am so glad you can capture the sweet moments the good moments. You gather them so sweetly. You challenge me to do the same with mine. They are in high school and I regret so much of how I handled their younger years. One day at a time and be kind...

  3. I love your amusement park buckle-clicker man too! Literally brought tears to my eyes (I'll admit, I'm a total sap.) And I hadn't heard that Colin Powell quote before. What great words to (try to) live by. Thank you!

  4. You have inspired me to head out on an adventure with my kids. Exploring. It won't matter where we go, as long as it is new and has plenty of room to run. I think I will head to our University campus as well! Brilliant idea! And I can't agree more about kindness. Be. Kind. Always.