Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Story...2011...

Merry Christmas, my friends!
I am getting SO excited about this magical time of year...the real reason for the season, and spending time with my family!

I wasn't sure if I should share this story because it's kind of long, but in talking to my cousin/bff Kim yesterday, she told me that she would share it if I didn't, haha ;)

This is a story about a 3rd grade boy...a story touched me so deeply I am glad to have made the decision to share it with you. 

This  sweet 9 year old boy was seated in his class next to a girl who was a bit newer to the school.  He was put there because his teacher considered the boy to be so kind and helpful that she wanted the student to sit by him.   Last Friday, before Winter Break began, the boy's mother visited his classroom as they were doing an ornament craft.  The boy's mother noticed that the little girl sitting next to him looked just as any other child, but that her clothes were a bit more soiled than the average kid- even a messy third grader playing with paint.   The boy's mother asked him: "is that your new classmate?" and he replied yes.  The boy's mother then said,  "well, that must make you feel good that she is still placed next to you because you are so helpful",  but the boy had a puzzled look on his face.

"Why? Doesn't that make you feel good?"  his mother asked.  He looked a bit troubled and responded very quietly, "Mom, she actually makes me really sad".   The boy's mother asked why, and he proceeded to tell her a story... "Mom?  You see those shoes she is wearing?"  The boy's mother looked down and noticed that the girl was wearing a very sparkly pair of brand new purple and silver Nike basketball shoes.  "Wow, " said the boy's mother, "those are some sparkly shoes!"  She smiled.

The boy replied, his face dropping a bit... "She told me that the school bought her those shoes because her family doesn't have any money."  The boy's mother's heart sank a bit.  "And, mom..." continued the boy, "remember yesterday when we all came to school in our pajamas for Pajama Day?  She didn't come in them and when I asked her if she forgot, she said no, that she didn't really have any pajamas to wear to school.  I know it's Christmas, Mom..and that you and Dad say that this time of year is hard because of all the money you have to spend, but I wish we could bring her some pajamas. "

The boy's mother was fighting back tears.  She hugged her young son and told him how nice it was to feel compassion for someone and that they would say prayers for her family.   Eventually the conversation was all but forgotten as they crafted, had snacks, and did story time together.  His mother left to go to her other child's class party and it ate at her the entire time. 

Later that day, while her kids were still in school, the boy's mother was at Target and couldn't believe her eyes when the HUGE sign as soon as you walked in read:

ALL SLEEPWEAR Friday and Saturday only 40% off.

Surely this was one of those "God things".  You know the term...or maybe, no?  In their house, they didn't say coincidence because NOTHING is a coincidence.  This was a "God thing".  God couldn't have set this up more perfectly and/or written it on this Mother's heart.   The mother chose a purple and white pajama set with peace signs and then spotted a pink, fuzzy robe. 

Complete w/ a gift bag, the boy's mother returned to school.  She quietly knocked on the classroom door and thankfully got the teacher's attention before her son's.  Through tears, she knew the teacher probably couldn't give out any info about the girl, but she didn't have to.  The gentle "nod" that she understood was enough and her own eyes welled up with tears.   The boy's mother didn't want to cause a scene- as this was a delicate matter.  She wasn't sure if the class knew or just her son.    She asked the boy's teacher if she should just leave it for her or if her son should give it to her and his teacher said "oh, no- he HAS to give it to her- that was the sweetest idea!"  She hugged the boy's mother and then went to call the boy out of class.

The boy's mother and teacher showed him the bag and although she may not remember her son's exact face, she'd never forget it either.  His face expressed more happiness than even when he had opened his own gifts in the past.   They then explained to the boy that in a few minutes the lights would go off and the "Polar Express" movie would start.   His teacher said that would be a good time to quietly hand the girl the bag.  His mother then just made sure that when he handed it to her, he wouldn't say "here, because you don't have any..." or anything that a 9 year old might mistakenly say...  "When you give this to her, you don't have to say anything except "Merry Christmas".  Such a sensitive child understood this without any further explanation.

As the boy's mother was about to leave, the teacher looked at the boy and said to him "I want to tell you this in front of your mother.  My boys are in their 30's and when I get home today, I am going to tell them that even though they are grown, when they grow up, I wish they were just like YOU."

The boy's mother couldn't fight back the tears anymore, but contained them until she got to the parking lot, thankfully.  As she was leaving, she turned to her son and put her hand on his cheek and said to him "YOU are Christmas for that girl.  I will never forget this moment for the rest of my life and I know you won't, either... I love you.  I am so proud of you."

Moral of the story?  Well, I'm sure we can all figure that out, LOL.  It's a beautiful story, a beautiful thing to witness so many random acts of kindness this time of year...and I have seen and heard many this year.  It makes me so happy to know that there are people who know that doing even the SMALLEST thing can make a ripple effect... and it's so beautiful to see it especially through the eyes and heart of a child.

..and why am I sharing this with you all today?

Because that boy....that beautiful, sweet, compassionate, sensitive boy...  well....he just so happens to be 
my son Jack.

Thanks for reading this today.  While I have those "proud mama" stories about all of my kids, today's Jack's turn.   I am so proud of him and the person he is becoming.   So many proud mama moments and I really do appreciate you letting me share this with you... I guess now I don't know why I was hesitant to begin with except for the fact that there isn't any paper crafting involved...but hey, there was ornament making, LOL!

Christmas 2011 truly began for me on that day and my heart has been pretty full ever since... 

I stumbled upon this passage and I absolutely adore reminds me of the above story:

"Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to be put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself..."
~Norman Wesley Brooks, "Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976

Merry Christmas to all- sending you LOTS and lots of love... and remembering those less fortunate this Christmas season.  One small gesture truly does make a difference and I hope you'll share your Random Acts of Kindness stories with me...leave a comment if you wish- I love hearing them!


Kim O'Connell said...

Awwww! Now I am all choked up! What a beautiful story! You have every right to be proud of your son, bit be proud of yoiself, too. You clearly have done a wonderful job raising such a sweet boy! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Hugs, Kim

Carisa said...

oh my gosh, I'm literally fighting back the tears. That is so sweet and so special. I want to teach my children those exact things and I can't imagine being able to witness it first hand. that is truly the spirit of Christmas right there. God bless you and your family. *hugs*

Heather Schlatter said...

Very special story!!! I knew from the first sentence what the outcome would be just because I know you and your sweet kido's, but I am still touched and still have tears in the corner of my eyes!!!!

It says a lot about that little boys momma and daddy too about how he is, because you don't get that way by accident you are taught that love and compassion!!!

Your Friend!!! :)

faithnme said...

WOW,, Jess what a "beautiful" story.. And what an Awesome, Loving, God-filled, "young man" you are raising.. We as parents think we are the ones "teaching" our kids life lessonS. But how amazing when they "teach US"

Hugs and Blessings to you ALL :0)

~amy~ said...

love love love your story...thank you sooooo much for sharing it. What a sweet sweet boy you have...that is the meaning of Christmas....

Grace said...

I'm holding back tears as I'm reading this... you're so lucky to have a son like Jack.
You've raised him so well Jess; I wish when I grow up, I'll be a great mum like you and have an awesome son too =)

P.J.R said...

I loved your boy did a special thing when he was young(he is now 30)there was a little girl in his third grade class that no one liked--he would come home every day and tell me how she cried when they pushed her and spit in her food at lunch and called her whale girl-- she came from a very poor uneducated home and her parents wanted the best for her...the best they could give her.They did not know that every day the kids were being cruel and treated her like she was not important.My son said she was nice to talk to and she had dogs at her house and they talked about her dogs.When I went to open house the teacher pulled me aside and said that my son was so kind to this girl that every day he would sit next to her at lunch and tell her that the name calling was stupid and to just ignore them.The teacher said I believe he is her only friend.For the whole year he was her friend.Now he is a grown man and the people he works with say he is a kind and compassionate man.He also has two little girls and a wife and he treats them so lovingly that they think they are the most special Queen and princess in the whole world.
When my son was 17 months old he almost died--we were told he would be brain damaged if he ever came out of the coma.We had so many people praying for him that I was not surprised when he did come out of it whole and no damage.A missionary friend told us that she thought he would grow up to do great things..God spared him for great things...I believe he has.I am so glad you posted this story so I could remember mine and how blessed I am.Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your special boy.

Michele L. said...

Thanks for sharing Jess, it was such a beautiful story!

Creepy Glowbugg said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautifully touching story Jess.
You should be so proud of your son, and I'm sure he's not done yet! That boy is going to touch a lot of lives.
Merry Christmas!!

mousekemom said...

God blesses us in so many ways and your son is doing what as His hand directs. I know you are so proud of the compassion and kindness he displays...good job, Mom, he obviously got it from someone! Hugs to you, Jess!

grandmabonnie said...

Aww, Jessica. I am glad you chose to share and include a picture of your son. He has the most sweetest heart...and so do you. I would have all i could do not to take the little girl to the nearest store and let her pick out something special for Christmas...the PJ's will be something she will cherish forever!

Jas said...

Awww, I'm teary eyed right now as in...So nice of you to share it with us, thanks Jess. God Bless you and your family. Merry Christmas! Hugs, Jas

Aideen said...

Beautiful story-I cried.... :'( how proud you must be.... Merry Christmas Jess xx

Chelsey said...

I know you are so proud of the compassion and kindness he displays good job
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Lorie said...

Jessica, I just read this story to my entire family at the breakfast table, through tears, nontheless. My Christmas 2011 officially began today from your story. Kim was right! Thank you so much for sharing, and may God bless you, your family, and especially that sweet, sensitive, and WONDERFUL little boy of yours. That blessed little boy who knows in his heart what the true meaning of Christmas is all about!

Darla said...

Thanks for sharing that true and touching story Jess! Your family is awesome. Jack has a kind heart indeed. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family! Hugs and thoughts coming at you from IL!

Houses Built of Cards said...

Awww....isn't it amazing how nothing melts our hearts more than our kids thinking of blessing others?!?!? Thanks for such a sweet reminder of what this season is about! It's Jesus' birthday - and we get the presents - unless we take the opportunity to give...then we get the greatest gift of all!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

pixie_boutique said...

Beautiful story Jess! You have a great Son and have reminded us all what christmas is all about!

StampOwl said...

beautiful story Jessica, I think the little boys Mum must be pretty special too! Merry Christmas to you and your family

Maria said...

Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it. You must be very proud of your son. And, you are a true blessing yourself, also! Merry Christmas to you and family...take care!!:-))

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

OH, Jess! I've got tears in my eyes! I love your son's heart--that's Jesus living inside of him!!! And it was totally God that there was a deal at Target!!! I love how God works--even in small things like PJs!!!

Merry CHRISTmas:) Happy Birthday, Jesus!!! Love ya!!!!!!!

Newbie said...

God has truly blessed you with a very special little boy! His heart is filled with God's love and compassion! It makes my heart rejoice in knowing that he is practicing what he has been taught!! That says volumns about YOU Jess! Thank you for sharing the story and the picture! Blessings!!

Kim Y. said...

Oh man! I go teary eyes from reading uch a beautiful story! That is just the sweetest, Jess! Jack has such beautiful kind heart!