A Valentine's Message

Originally posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Dear Amabelle and Emmaline,
Should you ever read this note I want you to know how proud your mommy and daddy are of you.  We are proud of you every day, make no mistake, but today, this Valentine’s day, you made our hearts swell with pride and our eyes well with tears.  Perhaps you’ll read this and think “what’s the big deal, mom”... and you’d be so very right, and so very wrong.  Here, let me explain.
Lately you both have been trying your best to figure out just what it is to be kind.  It’s  a question and a statement that you keep returning too... “Is this kind?”, “That wasn’t really kind”, “That was really kind!”.  I know that this is something on your minds and it is no wonder really, as it’s a common thread here at home.  The other day you came home from school to tell us that you were so very sorry that you didn’t finish your projects.  At this point we sat you both down to explain a little lesson that I couldn’t possibly imagine you would be able to wrap your 3 and 1/2 year old brains around:
Your mommy and daddy love you and we are proud of you and we want you to try your very best in school... but it doesn’t matter to us what grade you get so  long as you tried, and it doesn’t matter what your project looks like, so long as you tried.  What does matter... what does mean so much to us, is that you are kind.  Kind to your teachers, kind to each other, kind to yourselves, and kind to those who no one else is kind to.  Your father has said, more times than I care to count:  I don’t care what they want to be when they grow up, I just don’t want them to be mean.  (Daddy  may have used different words, and we’ll up-edit this story for you when you’re bigger... but for now, hopefully it helps illustrate that manners and kindness are the two things that will make your parents proud.)
Now what that means to a 3 year old I couldn’t begin to guess.  But you cannot imagine my pride when I picked you up from school this Valentine’s day and your teacher pulled me aside to tell me how kind you are to one little girl.  This classmate happens to think that you two are pretty special, and while she is incredibly shy and apparently has a hard time getting to know her other classmates, she feels comfortable with you.  I can only imagine that she sees in you a kind heart...  And you did not disappoint her.  You did not disappoint yourselves, because you were the best version of you.  
So yes... what’s the big deal right?  You’re just doing something that we all should do every day.  Being Kind.  But YES!  What a big deal!  You are doing something that so many people, much older and wiser struggle with every day.  Being Kind.  There are no roses, rings, or fancy valentine dinners that could possibly compare to the gift of seeing that others see in your children a kind heart.
Happy Valentine’s Day my little lovers.  You are a source of pride, joy and awe to your parents every single day.

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