Max was recognized during the announcements at school this morning for demonstrating one of the “Seven Keys.” These are character development concepts they talk about school-wide throughout the year. (Max attends a public school that for the most part gets things very right.) The key Max was lauded for this morning is “Speak with Good Purpose.”
Here’s the backstory: Max was being bothered, chased around and generally harassed by another student on the playground. Max did not want to hurt the other boy’s feelings but he also wanted to be left alone. He asked me if he could talk to the school counselor about it and she facilitated a meeting with Max and the other child wherein they talked things out, kindly. No harsh words, no hurt feelings.
Over breakfast this morning, I told Max how proud I am of how he worked the situation out, steadfastly refusing to just say something mean to make the other guy go away. I explain that I am always proud of his academic achievements but that this, this award was about being kind and compassionate when it might have been easier to be otherwise. "This was about the kind of person you are in your heart."
There is no way I can take any credit for this. While I try to do the right thing and model good behavior, I am certain he has noticed my snarky asides and judgemental comments about other people. I’m trying harder. In fact, this post originally contained some snark about parent behavior but I removed it. Slowly, I’m learning.
This essential kindness is something that comes from Max as naturally as breath – and I’ll remind him again and again how proud I am of who he is and how happy and lucky I am to be his mom.