A few weeks ago, when we were having all that trouble with the bully, one of the neighbor kids did something really kind and generous for my daughter Soledad. While she sat on the bus being ostracized, he leaned over stroked her back and told her it was going to be okay. Then he handed her his last Oreo cookie and told her to feel better, and walked her off the bus.
It was just a little thought.
But it was HUGE. To her and to me.
He exhibited the type of character that I hope all my children have one day. He didn't look aside and try to ignore the injustice that was going on. HE didn't join in. He didn't laugh. No. He stood up, and made a difference. He showed love and compassion when he didn't have to. Even when, quite possibly the bully could have turned on him.
He did something nice because he is good. Even though there would be no reward in the end, no pat on the back. He did it just because it was right.
And I thought that was beautiful.
So I wrote the Principal a little note, to let her know what a momentous thing this kid had done for my girl. This kid, who isn't the one who always gets the pat on the back. Sometimes (I've heard) he talks too much in class, gets into trouble here and there, and doesn't always listen. But he's EVERYTHING I want my kids to be.
I wanted the Principal to know that this kid is AMAZING. That his heart is the heart of hero. So I typed up my letter and hit send. Done. And didn't think about it again, until yesterday. Yesterday at our neighborhood's Annual Block Party (National Night Out), the kind little boy's mother came up to me and asked if I told the Principal what her son had done for my daughter.
Her face was a little sullen. Her voice quiet and weak, and my heart sank. I thought, Have I done something wrong?
I answered her question in the same meek tone "Yes." And then her eyes began to water. She swallowed and said, "Oh my. That was so kind of you. The principal told us. Your kind act came at a time when we were having a really hard time, and I wanted you to know that it meant the world to us that you would spread that kind of good news. You didn't have to, and I'm grateful." And she smiled at me in the most sincere way, and gave me a hug.
She didn't need to thank me. Though, it did feel really good. I soaked up her hug and her kind words, and I'm still living on the high I got from it.
Kindness is contagious, I think.
And love, love is infectious.*
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I think I'm a kind person. Generally. Except for when I'm not.
But this time of year, on the cusp of Holiday Halloween Cheer, I really want to do something nice for my neighbors, and myself.
It's something small. But I think every time they see it they will smile. And I will smile. And maybe all our hearts will be just. a. little. bit. happier. today.
So I decorate my yard. A little classy. A lot spooky. And I wait to hear the comments. And I wait to see the little kids stop in front of my yard and point, and ooh and ahhh. It makes me feel so good. I hope it makes them feel good too (and creepy).
*PS- Last Friday, the bully got on the bus and apologized to Soledad. And she accepted his apology :)
How To Make A Giant Spider Out of PVC Pipe
This is cheaper to make than you might think. PVC pipes are sold in lengths of 10 ft and cost less than $2.00. The connections are generally less than $1 a piece, some costing as little as 24 cents. We made this spider for about $30.
(Like I said, I'm a little overwhelmed with spreading Halloween cheer, so these directions will be pretty brief. But. . .if you're confused or have a question, just leave a comment and I'll answer you back ASAP. Kay? Great!)
This makes one 8 1/2 foot by 7 foot spider - BOO!
What You Need:
A large heavy flower pot (with a diameter of 20")
7 10-ft. long 1/2" wide PVC Pipes cut to the lengths listed below*
*Lengths for Piping (pipes can be cut using a saw or a PVC cutter)
8 - 3 ft long Pipes
8 - 3 ft 4" long Pipes
2 - 20" long Pipes
6 - 4" long Pipes
4 - 2 1/2" long Pipes
4 - 1" long Pipes
Large Ball or Hard Round Object for the head
Large black plastic bag
About 3 cans Spray Paint
PVC Connectors (located in the same section of the home improvement store as the PVC pipes)
8 - 1/2 in. 90 degree elbows
1. Make the base, by making a large rectangle. To make the rectangle, connect a 90 degree slip x slip elbow to each end of both 20" pipes. Into one of the 20" pipes with the slip elbows connected, attach one 4" pipe. To the connected 4" pipe, attach a Tee. Alternate until each 20" pipe has three 4" pipes and two Tees connected to it. Form the entire unit into a rectangle.
2. To each corner of the rectangle (where the 90 degree slip x slip elbows are connected) attach a male adapter. Attach a 1" pipe to each adapter.
3. Attach a 2 1/2" long pipe to each of the tee connectors. Then, attach a 45 degree elbow to each of the 1" and 2 1/2" pipes you just connected, for a total of 8.
4. Connect each 3 ft long pipe to one 3 ft 4 in. long pipe using the 90 degree elbows. These will be your spiders legs. You will have 8 legs total. Connect the shorter end to the 45 degree elbow in the rectangular base.
5. Turn the flower pot upside down, and place it on top of the base.
6. Wrap your large ball (I used two old wire hanging flower pots wired together to make a sphere) in a trash bag, tie tightly, and fasten it onto the base under the flower pot. Paint your spider. Let dry. Shine a spot light on him. Wrap him up with some lights or just Display :)