August 28, 2018

One Day, In a High School Bathroom, My Daughter Showed Me What Kindness Looks Like

Sweet daughter,

Oh, our second and last baby, how we love you. People told your dad and me that your big sister was our "sucker baby": she was so easy-going that she suckered us into having another one. And it is true that when you came along, you were another story . . . your own story. Your approach to us was, "What have you got? Bring it on, 'cause I've got more." That "more" has challenged  us, but it has also thrilled and delighted and stunned us, because it reflects pieces of who you are.

You are complex and complicated and, as my mama and your grandma put it perfectly, "unusually unique." You feel what you feel, deeply, and you don't hide it. You are determined, focused, driven, and passionate. You can be tricky to figure out, but you are a puzzle so worth putting together. 

You are also kind and compassionate . . . and one day, in a high school girls'
bathroom, you showed me what kindness and compassion look like.

It was band camp week, and I'd been in and out, playing band mom and feeding kids. I'd messaged you earlier in the day and commented that there were a couple girls I knew for a fact were lonely . . . girls who'd told me they didn't have any friends.

Right away, you texted back: "Do you know which ones they are? I'll try to talk to them."

So I was already proud of you for that, but then when I walked into the school later that day to do freezer-pop duty, one of your marching band instructors told me, "Your daughter is a real trooper." And then, gradually, I found out what had happened.

I found out how you had walked into the girls' bathroom and discovered one of those lonely girls there, her arms covered with cuts. I learned that you'd tried to comfort her and found her some Band-Aids and gave her a hug and took her to where she was supposed to be.

I also learned that some of your fellow band members gave you a hard time for that. "Why did you do that?" they asked you, and you told them, "She's a person. She deserves to be treated with respect."

My daughter, I know I'll be proud of you many times in the future, but I'm thinking those times will always have to measure up to this one.

Later that day, I came across one Bible verse and one quote that were so right in light of what had happened, I might have called him coincidences, except that they had the mind and heart and hand of Abba written all over them. 

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" (Matthew 25:40)
"May I urge you to love the overlooked? When you talk to the lonely student or befriend the weary mom, you love Jesus. He dresses in the garb of the overlooked and ignored." (Max Lucado)
That day in the school bathroom, you showed me what this verse looks like when it's lifted off the pages of a Bible and put into action in real life. You showed me what this quote looks like when it's not just something somebody says but something somebody does. 

And you showed me what kindness looks like when it's given a voice and hands and feet—and, sometimes, a Band-Aid.



**This post may have been shared at some of these blog link parties.**


  1. All the feels right now. All the feels!

    1. I'm feeling them, too, sweet Lisa! It was interesting: just a few hours after this happened, Anna had a terrible band camp performance. Yelled at by her director, music blowing around so she couldn't see her rhythms for her FOUR drums, etc. But I told her, "In the sight of heaven, what you did earlier today mattered more than any performance." And I think she actually believed it. Thanks so much for your encouraging feedback! You are a treasure.

  2. Replies
    1. Aw, thank you, dear Sue! These moments when our kids become our teachers pretty much knock us over, don't they? Love to you! xoxo

  3. this incident must be a direct result of your loving and tender upbringing of her. you have much to be proud of! i am just getting to know you through you blog but i can tell that you are going to teach this grandma a lot!!!

    terre at 'zoomama speaks...'


    1. Oh my goodness, Terre, thank you so much for your kind words! I do indeed love my sweet girl tenderly and fiercely, but I often think she has taught me more than I have taught her! ;) Bless you for stopping by...I'm so glad to "meet" you here today!

  4. This is lovely. God teaches us so many lessons in just ordinary life. And I am learning, our children teach us so much about God. Your words brought the incident to life in my mind.

    1. Thank you so much, Theresa! Our children are our teachers again and again, aren't they? Thank you for taking time to stop by and for your kind words!

  5. That is wonderful to hear how she was showing kindness.

    1. Thank you, Beth! I was so proud of my girl, and I loved that afterwards, she she it had felt good to do what she did. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the blog world! :)

  6. I have tears running down my face. I fight hard for the unloveable and see so many people walk on by. I am so proud of your daughter with her kindness. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Christian LInk-Up. You will be my featured post for this week. Maree


I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!