Thursday, July 17, 2014

"never mean" - a post from the archives

My friend Tim Fall was kind enough to say the other day how much he enjoyed the stories I tell about the kids.  So I thought I'd re-run this one (slightly edited) which I posted back in June of 2012, when Jonathan was nine years old.

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Jonathan headed for the "yellow-blue-red" as usual today when we arrived at school.  His classmate Sam came over and took a few shots with the small yellow ball Jonathan had brought -- but he missed every shot.  Each time, Jonathan responded by saying, "So close!"  Sam laughed and said, "He says I suck."  I told Sam, "No, he's saying 'So close' -- Jonathan would never say you suck."

Afterward I got thinking about when Jonathan was in kindergarten and one of his classmates told her mom, "Jonathan is never mean."  To me that is a pretty good depiction of character, to have someone say that you are never mean or that you would never insult someone.  I know when I was nine, as Jonathan is now, other kids were sometimes mean to me -- and I was sometimes mean to other kids.  I remember refusing to hold a certain girl's hand when we were playing a game because she was very fat.  I still remember the look my teacher gave me.  She didn't have to say a word; the expression on her face said it all: "BUSTED."

I don't think that (most of the time) we should condemn ourselves for what we did when we were nine.  We're far more responsible for the things we do when we're nineteen, or twenty-nine, or ninety-nine, and our meannesses at those ages are likely a lot more serious.  But the thing is with Jonathan:  he will probably still not be mean when he is nineteen, or twenty-nine, or whatever.  He doesn't have that tendency most of us have (or develop) that makes us judge people according to their skills, or their weight, or their appearance, or their status.  Everyone in his world is a friend -- and not just the garbage truck guys, either.  And if that's how you see the world, how can you be mean?

Sam, you don't suck ... you're close.  Really close.


7 comments:

  1. Jonathan sure is an awesome kid! As are you awesome Jeannie. The fact that you still remember that incident when you were 9 likely means it was an opportunity from which you learned something of value. It helped shape you to become the wonderful person you are today.

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    1. Thank you, Pam - I appreciate your comment, and your friendship. xo

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  2. Jonathan has a lot to teach this world about kindness, Jeannie. What a blessing to never be mean!

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    1. Yes, it really is. Notice I didn't say never naughty. But I'm actually glad Jonathan is naughty sometimes -- that he shows that spark of 100% Pure Boy. Although I'm still not happy about the chocolate syrup .... http://prinsenhouse.blogspot.ca/2013/07/monday-morsel-times-that-try-moms-souls.html

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  3. I suspect Jonathan is one of the Greatest in the Kingdom, Jeannie. Thank you for giving us glimpses of his blessed life. (Naughtiness notwithstanding -- the chocolate syrup incident was classic.) I feel challenged by his example today!

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    1. Thanks, Adriana. Yes, today we had friends over and Jonathan dropped a grape stem in Richard's coffee cup, stuffed a half-eaten pastry in someone else's cup and some Goldfish crackers in another kid's juice glass (reminded me of the sand your daughter poured out of her shoe and into your cup of coffee). BUT he's not mean. That's what I have to remember!!! :-)

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    2. Maybe everyone needed a few extra calories! :-)

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