I remember that I wanted to be her, in every way.
Her beauty was remarkable.
She didn't wear make-up or thick black eyeliner like the other girls did.
I don't even think she shaved her legs.
She wasn't into Guess jeans or Esprit or Swatch watches.
She played the violin.
She was really, really good at Algebra.
And she was nice...which, when you're 13 and you stumble upon a nice girl, well, that's a rarity.
And still, to this day, I remember her. Because she talked to the cool kids and the nerds and the cheerleaders and the band geeks and the kids who smoked and the ones who never dreamed of it and she didn't care who you were...she'd sit next to anyone at the lunch table.
So, I started paying attention at the dinner table while my middle child, my second-grader, Kate was talking about the girls in her class. I was mindful that these are girls that she'll be in school with from now through the eighth grade...so, for another 7 years.
And I think, although, I'm not positive, I think she might be the "nice girl" that I remember from junior high. She talks about sitting next to lots of different girls and boys at lunch. She makes mention of those kids who are alone at recess and counts herself in the bunch from time to time. She's aware of the kids who treat others poorly and she says that it hurts her heart. I'm bias as every mama is, but I think she has a natural beauty that shines through from the instant that you meet her. And I'm aware, that she's not aware of her beauty or her intelligence, which makes her even more loveable.
If there's anything that I want for my children, it's a heart that is kind, compassionate, and giving to the world. And, I'm not sure that's something that can be taught. I think it can be modeled, but there's no manual for really pouring the love of your being into the world.
And when you've felt the authentic kindness of another person, you really never forget them. For me it was a beautiful middle school girl...who knows who it will be for my little ones? I just hope that they can be light and love along the way to others.