Tuesday

What My Son Has Taught Me {Giveaway}

My son has a gift.


He makes friends with the friendless. He seeks out the loner, the child who is different, the one who needs a friend.

The Principal of our elementary school actually awarded him for his compassion. At the time, I didn't know the story behind the honor.

He befriended a special needs boy and become his personal guide. The teachers were touched by his selfless act and honored him for it. I asked him about it the other day, "What is it about this boy that made you want to be his friend?"

"Well. He smiles all the time. He's always happy, but he learns different and is loud sometimes. He needed extra help and I'm good at that. Plus, I needed a friend too," he shrugged.

My oldest daughter said, "Does he have Downs Syndrome?" (One of her dearest friend's has Downs Syndrome).

"No," he said and scrunched up his face, a bit confused by his sister's question. "I think he has Up Syndrome. He's always happy."

[Please note: I took the opportunity to encourage my kids to continue to love and accept children with special needs. I believe this is a conversation every parent must have].

Syndrome or not, it doesn't matter, he saw a boy who needed a friend and knew that was something he was really good at.

My son has taught me about friendship. Everyone needs a friend and everyone can be a friend. Friendship is just one of the many life lessons, facing fears is another.

What have your kids taught you about life? (or what have you learned about friendship?)
Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win this amazing prize package from Goodnights Bedtime Theater!


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  • $25 iTunes Gift Card
  • Brookstone Cuddle Blanket
  • Patagonia Bag
A prize package worth approximately $175!!!!!!

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This giveaway will close on Thursday.

259 comments:

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Mainline Mom said...

Wow. Moments like that have got to make you well up with emotion. If I can instill that kind of compassion in my kids I will have done something right...but of course your son learns it through your living example.

Amy said...

My son is the most outgoing child I have ever met. He says hi to anyone. Old, young, rich, poor it doesn't matter. He is only seven but has the personality of someone much older.

When he was in preschool, parents would tell me that they had never seen a child, let alone a boy child, so talkative and friendly. I'm happy my son can make people's day with his smile and "hi" it makes me realize that I, too can change someone's day with just a smile and word.

Cindy@FromSeedstoSunflowers said...

Wow, that is so amazing. My son has that heart as well. He likes to help out others. I have taught him that we all need friends and to treat others as you want to be treated. What a great and amazing kid (well, kids) you have. And good for you for teaching them! Came over from the Twitter UBP10 Party! Thanks,

Kate said...

I've definitely learned to go with the flow more often...mainly from my kids...and the medication (haha) Great post! Thanks for sharing...and the opportunity!

Amber, That's Me! said...

My son has taught me to slow down and look at things- big and small. We rush through the days and I always try my best to go look at something he wants to show me...even if it is something little and I am very busy. These moments will soon be gone and it only takes a second to give him the time he is asking for.

ashley said...

I don't have kids but I am the kid who didn't have many friends growing up. Even now my circle of friends is very small. I appreciate the kids who reach out to others because I wouldn't have any friends without them.

:)

The Tylers said...

My 15 month old daughter has taught me to live every day for today, not to worry about tomorrow, and just to enjoy my family.

Miss E said...

What an amazing son you have!! I have a sister with Down's and a couple friends with children who have it as well. If the world was filled with more people like your son then parents like them would never have a worry!!

Great job Mama!!!

Alison said...

Great post! I try to teach them the spirit of adventure; sometimes those adventures are meeting new people, sometimes its going on a "bug adventure" in the backyard and other times its learning something at the local science center. When you make it an adventure, and not work, life is so much more fun!

Amber said...

My kids have taught me that I need to stop giving in to the urgent (tasks that need to be done) and to stop and enjoy the moment. I sometimes have to learn it every day.

Kristy K said...

That is so awesome!!!!! What a big heart your son has!

My 8-year-old is teaching me not to care what anyone thinks. He never follows the crowd and if he knows something his friends are doing something wrong, he tells them to stop without fear that they'll get mad at him. I love that about him.

Gabriele said...

Awesome moments!! My son has taught me that life doesn't always have to go as you plan it...sometimes moments happen that are much better than you could have ever expected! All the planning in the world can't beat those moments ;)

Preemie Miracle said...

My son has special needs and it is kids like yours that make my life a little easier. Especially easier when I know that my child will be going to school with one like yours. It makes me feel a little safer that he will be ok!

Genevieve said...

My son has taught me that it is okay to laugh...LOUD. If he thinks part of a movie is funny, he will laugh out loud at it, even if we are at the movie theater! He does get a few stares but most of the time people end up laughing at his laugh. Good times!

Jaime said...

Your son is amazing! :)

My son is still young (turning 2 tomorrow!) but so far he's taught me of the wonders of unconditional love and patience for sure. Both are blessings to have.

Kristina said...

I love how your son focused on the positive aspects of his friend's personality. I work with Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and when I am discussing this with my daughter I try to always comment on the positive. When she asks, "Why does that person use sign language?" I answer "that's how they communicate" or "because that's how they prefer to talk instead of using their voice". These answers hopefully show my daughter to look at what her friends CAN do instead of focusing immediately on the "they CAN'T hear" aspect of her friends.

Congrats on your son's award!

Stonefox said...

Wonderful! My kids have taught me that seeing color is learned. My kids don't see color and don't understand when people see theirs. This has been a great opportunity for discussion in our home!

mommara said...

How awesome. What a sweet boy. My son is only 22 months but, he teaches me daily about how to love unconditionally. The giveaway looks awesome. I think I am the last person who doesn't have an ipod and that blanket looks awesome!

Kelly Jackson said...

My youngest son is constantly keeping us on our toes. He has more energy than any other child I have ever met. This energy and his lack of control over it has caused problems for him...and us. It's not that he tries to make bad choices, or is a bad kid. He's not. He has a HUGE heart, loves to help people, loves to make people laugh, gives the best hugs. He's quite smart (and I'm not just saying that because he's my son. I hear it from people all the time). He just doesn't know what to do with his energy. One day, I was besides myself with the frustration of how others treated him. I was talking with my Mom and she said to me "Just think what God is going to do with that energy someday for His Kingdom. How he will use Nicholas." When she said that, I realized she was right. Nicholas has taught me to look past the things that we label as negative, annoying or irritating, or even disabilities and see how God can and will use them for His Glory.

Harley Mom said...

To laugh! It is amazing how laughter makes the best medicine.

Side note, If you can, tell the mother of the "friend" who your son said had Up Syndrom. I guarantee that she will be thankful and touched by your sons heart. As a mom of a special needs daughter, those are the moments that continue to give me joy and hope!

Such a sweetheart you have!

Sandi and Jason Rodriguez said...

Touching story. I do not have children myself but I hope when we decide to have them and can teach them the same life things you have taught your children. You are truely an inspiration.

Ducky said...

:)

I think my girls have taught me the most about acceptance, that things are only a big deal, if you make them that way. They often shrug off things, that would have been a bigger deal for me.

Brenna said...

Our response to a problem is often much more important than the problem itself.

stcjc said...

As usual, your words brought tears to my eyes. You either make me laugh so hard that I cry or move me so much that I cry. Keep it up, Kristen!

A Psych Mommy said...

Your son is awesome! My 19 month old has taught me patience!

Debbie McIntyre said...

I love this post. Sometimes your children let you know that they have been paying attention after all. These are the moments that give us the energy to wake up tomorrow and teach them even more.

Cortney Lyon said...

I have 12 kids (students) and each day they surprise me with their abilities. They all have autism, and for anyone who was like me and thought that kids who have autism are incapable of showing love and affection...we were wrong. On a daily basis I am overwhelmed with the compassion they demonstarte and ask for. I love my students like they were my own children, hence the reason why I say I hve 12 kids. Thank you for your post, I hope people will be inspired to teach their children the same compassion your son shows.

Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? said...

What a sweet boy, I was that girl growing up. I was the one who told people to pick at me, instead of others.

Heidi said...

that is truly a gift - you must be one proud and thankful mama!! ;)

Future Feme Covert AKA ME! said...

My students teach me everyday about taking the time to greet and check in on one another. Those interpersonal skills are sometimes so important!

lovelyritaann said...

Wow, what a compassionate son you have! That is awesome! My daughter is six and she is the same way. She will come home and tell me about kids picking on someone because of whatever reason but she always makes a point to be their friend because they are no different.

Some kids are so mature in this area! I love it. Those bullies could learn a thing or two!

Amanda said...

It's moments like those that make you feel like you must be doing something right!! Way to go, mom!

The Nagging Wife said...

I love the way children think and how open they are to new friendships. You do indeed have a son with a very special gift.

Have you seen the documentary Up Syndrome?
I think parts of it are on YouTube. The title came from the film makers own childhood description of a happy neighborhood boy with Downs.

Chawksgirl4ever said...

my daughter has "special" needs or differnet from her sister anyway.and she is teaching me so much about life. i thought i was doing things the right way but she has taught me sometimes you really need to slow down and really look at life have patience.

Sara said...

What a compassionate son you have! My three year old loves to go to the park and make new friends. Last week one of the boys he encountered is autistic. When my son was told that he doesn't really talk, his response was "he like play? what he like? we do that!" And then he proceeded to play with both the boy and his sister for the rest of the afternoon. Even standing up to a boy about 6 years old who pushed his new friend.

Let'sMakeADifference said...

My third daughter who is now 14, has NEVER said an unkind thing about anyone!!

Melissa R said...

That is a wonderful story. Up Syndrome, wow. My son comes in contact with a lot of kids with Aspergers but I don't think he's had contact with a kid who has Downs. Basically I have explained that some people are born with problems with how their brain works. I wonder how other parents explain this to their kids.

Greta said...

I am continually amazed at how children can overlook "difficulties" in others. Just the other day my four year old son noticed that a man at our church (who he sees ALL the time) only had one arm. He was concerned about him. Children are definitely a gift from God!

Kristin said...

My son has been battling leukemia for two years... always with a smile. He throws up a lot with chemo... and still smiles at the nurses, and apologizes for any mess. He's so tired he can't open his eyes when being spoken to... but he smiles at his nurses and whispers thank you.

I obviously still have a lot to learn from my son.

Nate and Brenda said...

What an amazing heart. My 13 year old is like that! It is truly a gift. We are spending 3 months in Haiti this summer with all 5 of our kids and I cannot wait to see how each one of them does his/her part to be a servant!

The Halbert Home said...

I was very shy in high school and when I went to college I read a quote that changed my entire personality: You can make more friends in 10 days by caring about others than you can make in 10 years if you wait for others to care about you. I realized that if I wanted to make friends I had to show interest in others. I just start by asking questions of them. If I just waited for people to come up to me it would likely never happen. People have a hard time believing I was a shy child that didn't know me then.

ckbasi said...

I'm not worried about a giveaway, but I had to comment b/c as the mother of a child with Down syndrome, I worry all the time about how she will be treated by classmates once she gets into "regular" school.It's a wonderful story, and you should be very, very proud. As I know you are.

Scott and Emily: said...

My baby has taught me--a little tiny bit of--what it means when God says that He rejoices over his children.

mooneyequalsmc2 said...

My son might very well be one of those special needs students and to think that there would be a compassionate child, like your son, that would guide him and befriend him? Well, it is almost too sweet to think about without crying.

When we first met with doctors, after Cor was flown to Johns HOpkins at 3 days old, they told us he might not ever be smarter than a 3rd grader.

My husband didnt even hesitate and exclaimed, "That's okay, I LOVE 3rd graders!"

I love that.

Angela said...

I love how kids have the natural ability to overlook differences and love unconditionally. It soeaks a lot of their parents too. Thank you for instilling wonderful values like this in the next generation. We need more mommies like you.

Rebecca said...

OMG...Up Syndrome is the perfect way to describe kid with Downs...never thought of it that way.

Good for you for raising such a great piece of humanity. It's so hard with everything else that is going on to focus on what is most important. Sounds like your son is a natural giver.

amanda said...

I'm learning that priorities are often out of whack and should be regularly reviewed.

trooppetrie said...

I have a son like that. I love children who show compassion. This is a great prize

Beverly said...

How proud you must be! My daughter has autism and the one blessing that has come from this is my son. He sees a child as a child, not there disability and I would not trade that for anything!

blueskymel said...

The biggest thing my son is teaching me right now is to slow down and savor everything. He is so enamored by things and finds so much joy in every little thing!

CourtneyKeb said...

I'll be he'll never understand what he means to that special needs friend of his!
How amazing, and from a child!

Jessica said...

That's wonderful!!

A friend of mine tells this story (which I LOVE!):

She had seen a special needs child and asked her mother what was wrong - the mother told her that the child was "special" that she needed lots of care and could only be given to a special mommy and daddy. For years, my friend prayed to have a "special" baby - her last daughter was special - born with Downs Syndrome - and lived almost 30 years!

LStewart said...

I have learned that people will come and people will go, throughout your life. At some point you refer to them as your friend, in a nonchalant way. Not with meaning from the depths of your heart. In all of these people you call your friends there is one who is your true, lifelong, soul mate in friendship. It took me many years to realize that my best friend, my buddy, my pal, my all, who I always considered my friend is actually more than my friend. She is my lifetime soul mate in friendship. We finish each others sentences. We can feel when the other needs something. It's like we were supposed to be twins but were born to different parents and the Lord put us together as teenagers and made us 'sisters'.

Betsy said...

My daughter's teacher wrote about her loyalty to a friend the other day. She obrserved her with a friend who was really not feeling well. The teacher wrote, "It just shows you that kids who are loved unconditionally know how to love unconditionally." It made me so proud!
June
Kennlaff@comcast.net

Bethy said...

child like faith is the one trait I would love to recapture. Yesterday when I picked my daughter up from her after school child care at church she said "mom in chapel today I could NOT sing without a smile on my face. I even tried to frown and I couldn't do it. How many times do we go through the motions and not feel him in our hearts. To NOT be able to smile while I sing about my savior, wow.......

lexy883 said...

My oldest son Parker, has taught me that that kids pick up on more than an adult does. Emotions get in our way. Where childrens see the whole picture. Maybe its their innocence.

Amy said...

What a beautiful story about your son. If only we could all see the world through the eyes of a child.

jeana said...

I just love the hearts of your children and your family! I REALLY appreciate that gift in children and adults.We have a special needs son and we went on a walk around the neiborhood and we saw a little boy running towards us and his mom following. He ran up to my son and said, HI!" I go to school with him and I am his helper in PE!" I was so excited to see that little boy excited to see us. It was a great feeling!

Laanykidsmom said...

My kids have taught me something very simple they learned at school: Love God, love others.
And they do.

Harmony said...

My kids have taught me about forgiveness. They never hold grudges and freely forgive without bringing up the past. They love with their whole hearts. I learn daily from them and their "child-like" faith.

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

Down Syndrome to UP SYNDROME.
Most awesome re-branding ever!

Love that kid.

Jennifer said...

I love it! What a sweet heart he has.

Great giveaway!

Melanie said...

That is the sweetest story ever! You must be so proud of your son, and you should be! What a great boy. I got chills reading about 'Up Syndrome'. That is precious...

My son, Isaac, who is 5 years old has taught me so much about forgiveness. He is pretty small for his age and wears glasses so he gets picked on quite a bit by a very large (and strong!) boy in his class. One time, in fact, the boy took off Isaac's glasses and stomped on them! After that, I always told Isaac to just stay away from the boy. I was afraid he would be hurt. One day, Isaac looked at me very seriously and said "Mommy, God wants us to love our enemies. I'm going to be nice to him."... Wow... He's exactly right. Loving our enemies doesn't exactly mean avoiding them. It means showing them compassion and God's love...

Thanks for this post.
Melanie
~ melscoffeebreak.blogspot.com ~

The Semi-single Mom said...

So wonderful. My nephew is autistic & my oldest sees nothing wrong with him Even some of his other cousins don't really interact w/ him. She's taken him under her wing & even stood up to a bully who was messing w/ him. My daughter is small. Really tiny. At 11 years ols she only weighs 55lbs & wears a size 7...extra slim. It was the summer after 3rd grade & this boy kept on after my nephew calling him names while on a field trip w/ camp. My daughter said "Hey thats my cousin....leave him alone" Then she threatened to punch him if he messed w/ her cousin. Now...normally I don't condone violence but part of me was secretly high fiving myself. She stood up for what is right. And nobody gave my nephew any more problems after that.

Elizabeth said...

My daughter is only 2 months old. There is little that she's taught me so far, but one of the greatest things is joy. My Pastor (Steven Furtick) has told us to not let the circumstances around us determine our joy. Having my daughter, a beautiful miracle, has brought me so much joy and she has truly taught me that I can have joy in the midst of trials and hardships.

mandiegirl said...

Wow. What a great little boy you have! I've found that the best friends are often not the popular, have-it-all-together people, but the ones that stand by you and love- not judge.

Annalieka said...

Special needs children are some of the happiest souls on earth. It is so kind of your son to befriend one.

My daughter is a sweet, sensitive girl who has great compassion for those less fortunate. I have to remind her we can't help all, but we can try to do our best to help some. Being a sensitive girl, she has also taught me to express my emotions more.

Kim said...

Compassion is one of the best things to teach our children. When you see they got it.... It makes my heart melt.

Dana said...

My kids have taught me to not be afraid to try things outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes you may fail, but often you succeed :)


Thanks for the great giveaway!


Dana

Dana said...

That is awesome!! My big brother has "up" syndrome and it makes my heart swell when I see something like this! My brother has the biggest heart and his love is so unconditional - he never meets a stranger - everyone knows who he is. He is a blessing to so many!

Travis and Sarah Shay said...

My son has taught me to enjoy life and not be so stressed. Not because he is non stressful, but he tends to take after me and get stressed just as I do. He worries and needs things to go right. I am the same way. So seeing him struggle with the same things I do makes me want to change my habits to show him it is ok if something does not go right or if someone does not want to be your friend.

Thanks,
Sarah Shay

AmyNaab said...

Your son sounds amazing! My kids have taught me to relax and let life happen at its own pace.

SurvivorDiane said...

What a beautiful story. Unconditional love expressed.

kim said...

You always have great stories about your children! What a big heart your son has. And he has a gift that really will change people's lives. Amazing!

Dee said...

My son has a huge heart as well. He was chosen to walk a mentally challenged girl home to her parents everyday after school. He took this job very seriously, and after a few days he said, "It went great, she only tried to choke me twice!" The girls parents came to tell my husband and me how happy it made them to see their daughter able walk home and feel just like all of the other children. I told this story at his Bar Mitzvah last year.

Diluted Applejuice said...

Love. Unconditional love. Cliche? Maybe. True? Absolutely. They'll talk to anyone and chat about anything. All this discrimination based on disability or skin color is learned. Frustrating...

taradon said...

My children have taught me to take time to enjoy life. Savor every moment!
taradon@hotmail.com

Stephanie said...

We have a similar situation at our house...and through it my kids have taught me to love what the world... and sadly sometimes the Christian community deems as unlovabel.

Allison said...

What an amazing little boy you have!

My son has taught me to let go, make a mess, and enjoy the little things. What a great lesson that has been. I'm learning to enjoy life more and to live in the moment.

Alicen said...

My daughter has taught me that no matter how rainy it is, sometimes we still need to jump in every puddle in the entire driveway before we can go inside. And the wet shoes and pants are worth it!

I have learned that friendship is a give and take thing and if you're always the one giving it doesn't seem fair after a while.

Anonymous said...

My 2 yo always goes up and hugs other children who are crying or "sad" I am really proud of her for doing this, I think we could all learn from this example of being more caring. Thanks for the chance to win.
Brandi H
lawyer180 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Ann said...

My son Camden is 11. He has high functioning autism. Camden has shown Christ's love to many! A year ago at our church it was fellowship dinner. We were all getting ready to sit down and I couldn't find Camden. I looked and saw he had sat down with a new family in our church. They had come for the first time that day. They were a rough family and Camden was excited to talk and share time with them. He is the most unjudgemental child I know and never looks at anyone as different. God has made him a blessing to many, including me!

Amy@TheCircusMcGurkus.blogspot.com said...

My son teaches me a lot about my relationship with God. When he was a newborn and cried, the simple act of picking him up would calm him. Although he calmed pretty well for a lot of different people, no one could calm him as quickly or completely as I could. It never failed to amaze me how loving on him a little bit could make such a difference so quickly. I realized that is this is what is being described in Zephaniah 3:17 when it says that the Lord your God "will quiet you with his love."

LeAnne said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes. I have a nine year old with autism and it warms my heart so much to hear about a child who embraces the differences in his peers instead of shunning them. As a mother, I would love to build a protective fence around my son to keep out all of the mean spirits of the world. Your little boy makes me remember, though, that there are people with such good hearts--people who want to help. Please tell your son thank you from this mother of a child with special needs. You can't imagine how much his story of compassion means to me.

The Surviving Mom said...

The first thing my daughter has taught me is love has no bounds. She loves with no condition. She has taught me to laugh at things that would normally anger me. She has taught me that me that how I react makes such a difference in the whole day. She is such an amazing child and I look forward to learning more and more throughout our journey as 'Momma Bear' and 'Baby cub' as she likes to call herself (we love the book 'God Gave us you'). Thanks for putting this contest in here I love reading everyones comments! ~Jessica jessicajporter@verizon.net

janenes said...

I've learned that kids love other kids regardless of their differences. It's up to me to encourage their relationships no matter what the differences might be.

Norse, Jesica, and Boden said...

My son has taught me that smiling is a good way to make even a stranger's day better. That sometimes it is okay to be shy and stick close to your family, but never be too shy to say hello. That it is okay to "pway" whenever I feel like it, even in public and that a good squeeze is the best gift!

Jess said...

What a sweet boy you have. I swear my eyes started welling up with tears as I read this. I think so many kids these days tend to keep away from special needs kids, or even worse tease them. My own brother suffer from muscular dystrophy and has been wheelchair bound for several years. It has shaped how I interact with people with disabilities. I hope my children show the same love and compassion your son does. You must be very proud.

Sheila said...

My daughter has taught me that even though I'm not a good singer (she says I am but I know better!) its ok to sing loud and "belt it out" and sing together!

CW said...

I love the story about your son. It sounds like he will never be without a friend.

Thanks for doing this giveaway. The prize looks great.

Kilgore Kids said...

Wow, your son has an amazing heart. So touching to see. Keep sharing your stories. We love them!

Kara said...

So sweet!

Valerie said...

What a sweet little guy! My daughter is teaching me a lot now that she is a mother. She is so much better at it than I was at her age. My grandsons are just rays of sunshine. My oldest is 2.5 and he'll walk up to you and ask you if you are his friend. lol So sweet. I am learning that because of work I missed a lot of the little things with my daughter that I am seeing with my grandchildren. Special moments!

Tara said...

what a sweetie!
great job, momma!

New momma said...

My little boy has taught me to always enjoy chocolate (he is only 19 months old). But my nieces have taught me to appreciate when people give me gifts, even if it isn't something I want. They are so grateful for everything they receive! I have always thought I could give them a bag of poop and they would be so thankful for it. ;)

Chick Hatchers said...

My kids have taught me that parenting is simply the hardest thing a person can do. There are rewards along the way, but it simply does NOT involve instant gratification. I have learned that true friends don't abandon or judge when there is a difference in parenting styles or when someone has a special needs kid and it's too different to understand. Unfortunately, I learned that one because I thought people were my friend, but they couldn't relate to why my second child was so different from my first and from theirs. They figured it must be something I was doing differently and they didn't want any part of it. It's very hard to be that parent and feel alone. My daughter (the 2nd one) is more creative and uninhibited than most children I know. It's very difficult at times to be a parent, but there is no laughter that compares to the laughter a child brings.

I love that your son came up with "Up Syndrome"!

mychildsview.blogspot.com

Ms. Michalek said...

Like an innocent child, my son has taught me that it's okay to just accept everyone until they've done you wrong. And even to forgive then. And in a world where it's discouraged because of certain crimes, it's okay to give and accept a hug.

Julie From Inmates said...

What a sweet, sweet spirit! We could all learn a lesson from him! Sweet post. :)

Ginger said...

Hats off to your son. We could all learn from him.

(You don't have to include me in the giveaway. My kids are older.)

Have a great week!
Ginger

Courtney said...

i dont have a son but i long for one, one day, they just have such a different heart!

julie mullen said...

That is so encouraging and convicting at the same time. It not always easy to be friends with people the society sees as "different." Thank you so much for sharing.

My daughter has a gift for encouraging others and tells everyone she meets something she likes about them - whether it's their earrings (prob her fave complement) or their shoes or their eyes, and always asks them their name. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in getting things done or out of the store fast that we may not notice others that God has placed in our path, I know I do. People are usually very surprised, but you can tell by their smile that they appreciate her genuine interest in them.

in a world surrounded by men said...

What a great story. This is what our prayer is for our sons as well. I want them to befriend the friendless.

I have learned from my children that life comes in seasons. Just when I'm exhausted from one season of behavior or problems or emotions, the season changes and it will bring new joys and struggles that are completely different.

It is the idea I hold onto in the tough times.

Sara said...

That is a great story. I love times like that! My boys have taught me so much (like how grown men are so very different than women!). I'm still learning from them every day to just stop and enjoy life (they're 5 and 3 right now).

Heather said...

Your son sounds precious.

My kids have taught me that most of the time it is the little spontaneous things that are the most fun and most memorable. Just having nothing to do is fun in itself.

Skubaliscious said...

My daughters remind me, almost daily, that there are potential friends everywhere. They find friends no matter where we go! They also force me to be more social - they talk to EVERYONE and, since they are twins, I get to have lots of discussions with curious strangers :)

Buffie said...

My daughter has taught me to slow down and enjoy the little things.

Christa Z said...

Being on the parent end of things now, I think I have a better idea of how God must feel about me. When my kids question me or disobey, I realize that I do *exactly* the same thing to God, and as I see how *I* feel as an imperfect parent, I wonder how it must hurt him as the perfect Heavenly Dad. When I see them excited or selfless or thankful, my heart swells, and I have a better idea how our thankfulness brings joy to God who doesn't *need* it, but certainly treasures it.

Much of the time, it feels like parenting is more about teaching me as a parent than it is about me teaching my children! :-)

Mary said...

Children can be so amazingly open and accepting. We could all learn something from your son's behavior. So sweet.

Ivy said...

My little one is teaching me to live with less fear. I was a worrier before she was even born, and she is brave and practically fearless. She does things like climb up tall structures without hesitation (though may ask for help when she's at the top) and she'll run and jump off the top step of the stairs (3 steps) into her Daddy's open arms.

Melissa said...

My kids have so much fun all the time, no matter what little thing we are doing - they never hesitate to stop and look at the littlest stick or leaf or bug.

Britta said...

I love how you are raising your children to be so compassionate. They are all wonderful!

I'm Fluffy! said...

Way to go momma! You have a sweet little boy, and those compassionate qualities will serve him and others well for years to come!

My step daughter has taught me the beauty in selflessness. She toils at picking beautiful flowers, catepillars and acorns to present to gifts to me, her daddy and her mom.

O Mom said...

My oldest daughter is in high school and she always makes a point to make friends outside of her circle of friends, she wants to know everybody and especially the people noone seeems to really want to get to know!

Wander said...

My kids have taught me quite a bit about loving others and being friends.
They know how to love without strings attached. Something that life steals away from us by the time we are grown adults.

I'm reminded to be a friend....without conditions. Like God is with me. He unconditionally loves me.
I can do that too!

Cathy said...

What a precious son you have!

Last year I was attending field day with my son and we went inside the class room to get a break from the sun and there was a special needs girl in there with her one on one teacher and my son so sweetly asked her if she wanted to play this ball game and was so encouraging to her. It melted my heart.

But, for me the biggest thing my kids have taught me is forgiveness. I flub up everyday with them. Raise my voice (or yell) and I feel like I'm always needing to ask for their forgiveness with how I handled something and EVERY.TIME. they are SO quick to forgive and forget.

So much about parenting (just like marriage) is for the purpose of making us holy...

But Momma said...

What a sweet boy! That makes the momma heart swell when we hear our kids talk like that!

1inCollege1inDiapers said...

My kids have taught me to love with my heart instead of with my head. Once you start listening to your head about love, you start putting rules and restrictions on it. Love shouldn't have restrictions....if you love someone or something that should be enough. You shouldn't have to justify your love, you should just love.

Elizabeth said...

I would like to win this!!!

Kathy said...

I wish I could say I was so good at making friends. My kids have struglled too. My hubby is military which means we've moved every 2 yearr. I do need to encourage my kids in this and what better way than to do it myself. Thanks for the reminder. Bless your son!

Alex said...

You have a lot to be proud of there Kirsten. Having moved 6,000 miles away from my friends and family and going somewhere where I knew no one it tested my friend making skills to the maximum. I met one girl who is exactly opposite of my ideologically, but her loyalty and dependability make her shine. Her name literally means star and I can't think of a more appropriate way to describe her.

Ang said...

Why do disabilities have to define a person. Someone who has down syndrome is not down syndrome but was born with one less chromosome. He or she is not down syndrome but has down syndrome. It does not have to define the person. We define people by fat, skinny, short, tall, smart, dumb, or by a disability. We need to look at the heart not what is on the outside. Please give your son and daughter a big hug from me and say thank you for looking not on the outward appearance but rather what is on the inside that really matters.

A said...

My daughter helped a downs child that was in her class. It touched me so deeply that she would have that kind of compassion. I still get teased because I used to follow a boy around on the playground and pull his pants up so no one would make fun of his crack showing. Anyway, thanks for the sweet story and the chance to win a prize :)

Jessica Young said...

My son has taught me to laugh more and enjoy the simple things. He reminds me to focus on the people and the projects of life! : )

Tara aka "Mama Koala" said...

My kids taught me to love my smile--I've seriously never liked how my top lip goes straight and flat, how my eyes crinkle, and my teeth look big when I smile really big--but seeing JOY on my kids faces, and the way their top lip goes straight across--how their eyes crinkle...well, they've taught me that JOY is beautiful, and now I love my smile:-)

Mariah Washington said...

My kids have taught me to look on the positive side of things...I was unloading bags from the trunk and a bag dropped and spilled out braking a jar of cherries. My 4 year old said "Good now the ants wont come in the kitchen to find food they can just eat the cherries. Good idea mum". I had to laugh...
mariahzam @ hotmail.com

Jenn said...

It is SO great to hear stories about kids with compassion!! I love that he noticed the always smiling happy face! =)

My little guy has low vision among other physical & medical challenges... but he has a heart of gold... always giving, sharing, laughing, adapting in amazing ways, he is enjoying life to its fullest despite his challenges ~ he always thinks to bring things to God in prayer before we do!!! He is constantly reminding me to SLOW down and take time to 'see' the beautiful things in front of us!

Heidi said...

One of my daycare boys is like that. No matter who it is he will walk up to them and put his arm around them and ask if they want to be his friend and play with him. I love it!

amybee said...

That is a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it.

Sam said...

My kids have taught me so much! I'm learning to enjoy the simple things in life and that smiles and kindness go a long way. My boys have such tender, sensitive spirits and from my daughter I've learned that being assertive goes a long ways.

Anonymous said...

Up Syndrome! That is fantastic that your son sees his friend this way. I am impressed at how accepting and non judgmental he is. He could teach adults quite a bit.

Rydell Happenings said...

That's great about your children and their compassion towards others that are different from them. When my daughter was 2 I took her to the local park to play where a group of special needs children had gathered for the day and one of the kids reached out to touch my daughter, as the teen boy who was helping out reached to stop him and apologize my daughter walked up to the boy who had reached and gave him a great big hug. I love how children don't see anything different and only see someone who maybe needs a hug.

Missy said...

Yeah for UP syndrome! Your son rocks. My daughter befriends anyone and everyone. We've tried the stranger talk, but no one is a stranger to her. I've been blessed with a child who reminds me daily God made us all, great and small.

heather said...

What an amazing young boy! We could all learn so much!. I love special needs children and think they can teach us more than we could ever imagine.

Jessica said...

My son, though only 3 years old has taught me to take time to appreciate the moments. From splashing in the puddles with joy, saying "Hi" to a stranger or stopping to literally smell the flowers - he makes me take in the moments and savor our wonderful world!

angelchi said...

Such a great story about your son!

Courtney said...

Forgiveness! My boys are still very small (2 and 1), but my husband and I make it a point to apologize and ask for forgiveness if we respond to them in anger or too harshly... and my two year old always hugs me and says "its OK mommy. I forgive you. I wuv you."

Marianne Thomas said...

Kristen, I haven't commented for a while but I've still been reading.

This post is so beautiful -- I clicked through because of the title. My older son (almost 7) is just like your boy, too, and the opening line of the post on my reader just caught me.

Anyhoo...don't worry about entering me in the giveaway - just wanted to say hi (it's been a while).

And this: the UP syndrome quote? AMAZING. So true, too. I think the syndrome should be renamed.

;-)

content2be said...

Wow. That is really beautiful. I love how sometimes children can teach us without words how we ought to react to all of God's people, regardless of differences.

The Nunnallys said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now, but never have commented. After I finally stopped crying I thought I should leave a comment today. Your son is so sweet what a great way to look at people and totally miss the different in them. My son is 2 & I can only pray he will have a spirit and be as friendly as your son.

Kendra aka The Meanest Momma said...

what a wonderful testimony about your son's tender character.

My kids teach me how little in control i am and how much I have to learn about patience and perspective! :)

Jenny said...

My daughter will be 13 next month. She has taught me to live fully in the moment, to follow my heart if I feel someone needs a hug or smile, to be the cheerleader that everyone deserves. My daughter has Down syndrome and a leukemia survivor. She has a lot to teach the world!

Anonymous said...

The story about your son made me tear up. What a proud mama you must be!

My 3-yr-old daughter has taught me about child-like faith. She never hesitates to sing as loud as she can "Jesus Loves Me". It doesn't matter if we're at the park or in the grocery store.

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all the nation." Mark 16:15

Jen
jroehl@hickorytech.net

April said...

Praise God! I love to see children show others love and compassion. Unfortunately it seems to be lacking in most schools.
My boys have taught me to find joy in every moment...

Lauren said...

I'm not a mom, but I'd like to imagine that when I am someday, my children will see the value of treating people they way they deserve to be treated instead of the way they see others treating them. Thanks for sharing :)

Joy said...

I love my children's honesty. Children "keep it real", and that's refreshing!

As far as friendship goes, I'm always learning that "what can I do for them?" is a much better perspective than "what can they do for me?"

Living outside of myself. Something I never want to lose.

Berji's domain said...

My kids teach me so much. But one of the things that my daughter taught me (as a first time mom) was to just let your hair down and be silly with her sometimes. I'm always the mom, but I don't have to always be "The Mother".

Brenda said...

My kids have taught me how much fun it is to just play with out to many rules. Also how to be more creative.

Brenda said...

My kids have taught me how much fun it is to just play with out to many rules. Also how to be more creative.

SoCalLynn said...

My daughter has taught me to wear two different colored socks and laugh about it. She has taught me it's ok to look at buggers in your nose in the car mirror and not care what others might think. She has taught me to wear bright orange and skip through the house. My daughter has taught me to loosen up and have more fun, and that's the greatest compliment I can give her.

Jingle said...

I have learned that a true friend lasts no matter how many years you go without each other.

clsbeach said...

I've worked with individuals with minor disabilities to individuals who were confined in wheel chairs and had multiple disabilities. The most I've ever learned was from kids at our integrated day camp, where kids at the start of week 1 day 1 had no idea what to do or even talk to individuals w disabilities end up wanting to help their friends who used wheelchairs and even want to eat lunch with them every day after they realized they were just like everyone else in many ways. It was great to see the change in the kids, when they came to understand disabilities and we treat everyone the same. It was always the best, when they came back the next year to have fun at day camp with their friends again.

Erin said...

My kids have taught me how much face time means - with them, with my hubby, with friends. They are delighted when they have my full attention and I know I feel the same :)

(erin at homewiththeboys dot net)

Mindy said...

Because of a lonely season in my life right now, I've learned how important friendship really is to life. We were made to have friends.

Bombtastic Belle said...

Wow, that is a beautiful story of your son and friend :) I so want our future kids to be that compassionate!

We're (ex) Army, so we moved a bit, and I've made/lost friends along the way. There are some though that we stick by each other sides, even miles and hours apart. They're the first I text/call when soething is going on, and are there for me day or night.

Megan said...

Since my son was born three years ago, I am constantly learning that I am not in control. From his unexpected premature birth to day-to-day reminders through his choices, health, or behavior, I am realizing that although I may plan or try to work things out the way I would like them to be, I am not ultimately in control. I am thankful for a God who is in control of everything, and I am learning to trust Him to help me be the best wife, mother, and woman I can be.

Coutney said...

I don't have kids of my own, but my little brother is like my kid. He always has a smile. He helped me learn forgiveness. No matter how many mistakes I make, he always forgives me. I can always count on him greeting me with a BIG hug and one of his awesome smiles.

Anonymous said...

wow, what a great story! kristen, i love your blog & keep coming back for mo'! i've shed many a tear here, so thank you. =) sara b.

Web Designz by Kristi said...

What an amazing son (and daughter) you have! It has always been my belief that we need to teach compassion - my kids 8 and 11 seem to have that special gift as well!

Carrie said...

My youngest, who will be 3 in June, as taught me how a simple smile and a pat on the hand makes things better. He's my "sensitive one," the one who knows when to hug, and when to smile at you until you smile back, even through the tears. He knows when to be silly and when to just sit there with you...even at almost 3. I can't wait to see what the future holds with him.

My little man, the 4 year old, as taught me so much about my weaknesses....because he's just like me! He's the one that makes me want to improve myself and my habits. He's also the one who's teaching me to stop and SEE. He will pick me any flower and he notices the little things, no matter how busy he likes to keep himself.

Whitney said...

Up Syndrome- We all need that!

Mel said...

Both of my kids have taught me the love of God over the years....how he loves to bless us no matter how far we run.....how He loves a good game of chase as much as any other parent....how He will even play hide n seek if necessary to bring me back home....as I play with them I see their mistakes and feel the sadness when they hurt.....how much more must our Father feel our pain? Yes, they have taught me many things about the love of the Father for me as I explore the love of a mother for them......

I love your blog, thanks for the chance to play.

Dee said...

Teaching true compassion for others is a difficult task. Your children must have an excellent example at home! :)

BeckyB said...

I absolutely love your son's response - Up Syndrome! I love it. Two of my college kids are involved with ministries to dev. disabled kids and I couldn't be more proud of them. Thanks for a wonderful post!

Cariann said...

'out of the mouths of babes' it really is that simple. You should be very proud of him... And what a great giveaway...

Jar Full of Rocks said...

I'm learning about love from my daughter. Just a couple weeks ago she told nearly every cashier that we had during a day of running errands "goodbye! I love you!"

CHRISTA said...

I don't have children but I've been a nanny for 10 years. The resilience of children is what always astounds me. They get knocked down and just get back up. We as adults tend to dwell on our problems... wallow in them for days, months, or years. Kids get the picture and get on with life. We are born with the ability "skill" of looking for the silver lining in a situation. Somewhere along the way we lose that. It's a sad reality of our daily lives. With great practice I hope we can regain the skills we were so gifted with at birth.

Suzy said...

My daughter has taught me that no matter how much someone's behavior may embarrass me, I can love him/her anyway. My son has taught me that not everyone has a competitive drive like mine, and that is ok (and really something for which I should thank God).

Cmerie said...

My son taught me about flexibility. When he was first born, I had the idea that I could put him on a schedule and he would follow it to the minute. I used to get so uptight about when he would wake up with 15 minutes still left in a nap. I've since learned that the schedule is a good thing, but I have to build flexibility into it. Even now, he continues to teach me about it. A scheduled cleaning day has often turned into a go to the park day. ;-) Great contest!

LCShelton said...

How awesome of your son and you for guiding him to be such a person. Of all the things I have learned from my children, it is to just be in the moment and enjoy it. My toddler son doesn't care that I can't carry a tune in a bucket, he just wants me to sing. My girls don't care that I no longer have rhythm and dance like a geek (well the teenager might a teensy bit), but they want me to dance. So I try to ignore pressures and doubt and just be in the moments with them.

Kendra said...

We have 3 boys and they have definitely taught me to loosen up. I tend to take myself and life too seriously and they teach me (daily) to relax, enjoy life, and laugh more!

~Christina said...

Soooooo Special!!!! Love your blog and your heart!!

TeamOSM said...

Your son made me cry!

My son has taught me how to love unconditionally. It was hard for me, because I always felt growing up that my parents' love was ALWAYS conditional. Oliver has taught me that it doesn't have to be!

TanuvasaCasa said...

That the world is good and beautiful and it's worth stopping everything just to sit and look.

RDKLEIN said...

Oddly enough it is my kids that have taught me that it is OK to break the rules sometimes!

POPE FAMILY BLOG said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story! I love hearing stories like this. What amazing adults your children will become! I loved the fact your son did not know what "syndrom" he had! I met one of my dearest friends when I was in third grade and I was in college before I knew "what she had". It just never mattered to me.

Michelle@lifeinawhirlwind said...

While growing up we had a child neighbor who everyone always wanted to play with because he was the happiest, nicest kid on the block. All I knew was how he was on the inside, it wasn't until I was older that I realized he had Downs Syndrome. I agree with your son, Up Syndrome fits perfectly!

Rhonda said...

What a blessing for you son to be like Jesus and loving those other people may not. My boys have taught me to let the small things go and enjoy life to it's fullest like they do!

Tricia said...

My daughter has taught me to look past the outward appearances. How many times we judge a person by how they are dressed, appear, etc. My 6 year old just sees a person as a potential friend.

Audra said...

What an awesome story! I taught public school for 9 years and always LOVED seeing the kids that reached out to those who struggled with friendship. I hope and pray my children will develop this same character trait as they grow up!

Jan said...

My son Charlie, who is 9 and has autism, has taught me that there is ONE thing that he will NEVER, EVER be able to do.

What is that one thing? It is the thing that we don't try because we are afraid that it's beyond him.

Surprisingly, I have also found that this applies to myself and others, as well. It really expanded my brain. And my heart.

Kelly said...

Wow- what a great boy you've raised! My best friend has 2 mentally handicapped children and it has helped in ways I could never in teaching my children patience and acceptance of those that are different than themselves.

Brenda said...

My two grown children are still teaching me. I tend to be judgemental, and they call me on it.

Sonya said...

What a great story about your boy! This is a really cool prize package!

Kristen Love said...

What a sweet son you have :-)
My son, who is almost ten, is very observant. He notices things about people that others may overlook. He can tell when someone is sad.
He has taught me to take my time talking with someone, smile, and make it a point to shine God's love upon them.

Lisa @ Simplified Saving said...

My girls have taught me the importance of perseverance and hard work. Both girls came to the US less than 3 years ago and spoke only Russian. They are both doing well in school, have made lots of friends, and have a relationship with Jesus. Things haven't been easy, but they have worked hard and persevered and they are doing so amazingly well. My husband and I are so blessed to be able to parent such amazing girls!

Brandi said...

My 2 boys are just now getting REALLY into music -- We would love to win!!!

Rebecca said...

That is awesome! I hope that I am teaching my children this same lesson! We always try to encourage them to be friends w/ everyone regardless if they are different or not.

Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

My children have taught me the meaning of unconditional love. Thank you for the reminder about teaching our kids to love everyone equally- it's essential in today's world.

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Oh, Kristen! I love that kid! (Well, I love all your kids!) "Up Syndrome"...that just brought tears to my eyes.

Keli said...

Aww that is adorable! Your kids are the cutest! Thanks for the giveaway

Jenny said...

What a sweet boy. Children are so amazing, they look to us for guidance and here they are teaching and guiding us.
My 5 yr old daughter is constantly teaching me to be more thankful for the little things. Recently we told her daddy was leaving for a year deployment, her response was "Well that's a long time but at least it's not two years." She's got the right attitude!

Gypsy Momma said...

When I grow up I want to be him! And I would be thrilled to have children as compassionate. Thank you for sharing your and his wisdom.
Many blessings,
Amy

Carol said...

You always have such great giveaway! This one is fantastic!

julia said...

My 3 kids constantly remind me how to appreciate simple things in life- nature, silly games, getting dirty, being with friends, simple dishes. It is easy to get carried away in this hectic life and forget to stop and smell the roses.

MarytheKay said...

Wow, what a SPECIAL boy you have! That story just warmed my heart. I hope my girls can marry a boy like that someday...

What have my kids taught me about life? Well, how about...If you yell "MOM!!!" enough times, she will eventually come. She might be very very frustrated, but she WILL come.

Oh, is that not the kind of answer you wanted? :-)

My kids teach me that life can be an adventure, and even the little things can be fun...as opposed to the orderly and sometimes un-fun way their task-oriented mom can approach a day.

Morgan said...

We need more kids like your son in the world! mluprek at gmail dot com

A. Smith said...

Oh this is such a sweet post.

My daughter has taught me to take no moment for granted. She sees and enjoys the little things like a pretty stone or a wind chime that I would have passed right by before.

asmithonline@yahoo.ca

Kristin said...

My children have taught me to slow down and celebrate life. I seem to always be in a hurry and it nothing for them to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to study an ant or point out a flower. I tend to say, "Come on...we need to go," but I'm learning to stop and enjoy God's creation alongside them.

Robyn said...

I know you are so proud of him, Kristen. He's living all of the wonderful lessons you've taught him.

Tina said...

How incredibly amazing is your son!?!? Sounds like he has some pretty good parents, too :)

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