Every year, this particular day rolls around on the calendar, and for many of us, it’s impossible not to feel…something. What that “something” is varies from person to person. Melancholy, fear, grief, anger, sadness.
My children are both still so young, and we haven’t even talked about the significance of September 11th with them yet. With my oldest starting kindergarten next year, I’m sure that conversation will come, as she’s exposed to things I can’t shelter her from, even if I want to. Someday, she’s going to realize how much melancholy, fear, grief, anger, and sadness exists, not just on a day like to day, but everyday.
Don’t you wish you could keep that from happening? And yet, there’s nothing I can do. She’ll grow, and she’ll learn.
But what I can do is battle that darkness with kindness. Through example, through teachable moments, through stories, I hope that my children learn to be kind to one another and to those in the world around them. I hope that they recognize that yes, terrible things happen, things that are beyond our control and understanding. But I hope that they also learn to be a joy… to themselves and to others.
So today, I’m sharing books of kindness. Some are old, some are new, some are award winners, some are hidden gems. But all are wonderful examples of what I hope my children will be.
David Ezra Stein
Sometimes our acts of kindness are deliberate and we can immediately see the results. But sometimes those acts are so small we might not even think about them…but they cause a chain reaction that has far-reaching consequences.
Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
When we take the time to help others, that help is often reciprocated in our own time of need.
Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small
For some adults, life has become too sad for smiles. A small child, though, can create a big change (and renewed hope).
Candace Fleming, illustrated by Stacey Dressen-McQueen
Whether here, or halfway across the globe in a country where a child remains a child for a much shorter time, children intrinsically understand kindness.
Kindness and acceptance, just because.
(This title focuses specifically on accepting children with special needs)
Be kind to each other, friends. Be joy.