For the last couple days, I've seen Facebook friends repost a video. Time and time again they preface it with things like, 'wow...this really makes you think.' And...'grab a tissue, and learn.' I never found myself with enough time to spend the three minutes watching it...until this morning. I clicked the link and hit 'play.' Boy am I glad I did. It was a story about paying it forward. A video about being kind. A lesson that 'Giving is the best communication.' At a time when lots of conversations, both online and in the hallways are about pointing the finger and rumors, it was so refreshing to let this video sink in and seep into my soul. It reminded me that human kindness IS attainable and still exists. It's a theme I seem to constantly come back to...and it's as simple as this. Be nice!!! You never know what the lady at the grocery store check-out line went through yesterday and you have no idea that the man who was less than considerate to you on the beltline was just told some horrible news. It's best to remember that MOST actions that conclude in you not being treated the best are results of something having nothing to do with you. And you don't have control over their actions...only yours. So smile. Be happy...with hopes that people catch on. One of my favorite people to ever live is Abraham Lincoln. For many reasons...but the main one is this quote. 'People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.' It's a choice. You choose every day when you get up if you're going to hit the ground running or let the ground run all over you. And tomorrow morning, before you make that choice...make sure you watch this first.
Growing up on the east side of Madison, we had an amazing circle of extended friends and family. Lots of kids, lots of fun. Every weekend, depending on the season, was filled with swimming, grilling out, sledding, ice skating and lots of laughs ... ALWAYS lots of laughs. I can't say enough how blessed I feel for such an amazing childhood. With the bar being set so high I've often wondered if I could ever provide those kind of memories for Everett ... but now I know I can. This weekend we grilled out. An official headcount came to 27 adults, 19 kids and a partridge in a pear tree. Kids in the hot tub, the play structure, the trampoline, the swings, the basement full of toys ... Parents pushing random kids on the swings and keeping an eye on all of the champers splashing in the hot tub. Each kid having fun and feeling safe. Each parent catching up with friends and hoping their kids crash hard after a jam-packed day. It was a great example of the way kids used to be raised ... by a village. Now a days we seem to keep to ourselves a little more and put more pressure on ourselves to be everything and everyone to our kids. But not Sunday ... Sunday was old friends and new friends eating some good food, drinking some Wisconsin beverages and letting kids be kids. When the brats, burgers and hotdogs were put away, the Capri Suns were all gone and the last S'more had been perfectly roasted and enjoyed, I put Everett to bed, gave him a huge kiss and whispered in his ear ... 'You were amazing today, baby boy.' Every time I found him he was grinning from ear to ear, but most importantly laughing ... he was ALWAYS laughing. Mission accomplished. Village begun.