“My husband Matt and I were high school sweethearts. We used to daydream about getting married one day…I knew it would become our reality and I just knew Sophia would be our first born. I am sure my mom would tell you ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted a daughter named Sophia. God blessed us with the sweetest little Sophia Grace to start our family.
From the moment she was born, there was something special about her. Maybe every mom feels this way, but I could tell she would be the type of person to make others feel special. Over the years, she would prove my mama gut instinct correct. She is kind to others, innately knows how to make people feel welcome, smiles at strangers (I promise I did teach her about stranger danger), holds the door for others and has an energy that is contagious.
Middle School is uncharted territory for both parents and children alike. But from day one, she loved middle school. Phew, I was thrilled the first day she came home excited to share about her day! And here we are now, the middle of October and she still gleefully wakes up to her alarm at 5:30 a.m. each and every morning.
One morning not long ago, I was getting ready to go to the gym. It was before 9 a.m. and my phone rang. No one really calls me anymore, so my first thought was, ‘Who is this?’ When I saw it was a call from the middle school, my next thought was, ‘Uh-oh, what happened?’ I answered the phone with a hesitant ‘Hello,’ a bit nervous about who was on the other end and what they were going to say. Side note: I know better than this – I should never assume the worst. Okay, I digress.
‘Is this Sophia’s mom?’ ‘Yes,’ I say, now worried. ‘This is Mr. G. I am Sophia’s math teacher. I wanted to let you know about something that happened in class this morning.’ ‘Oh no,’ I thought to myself again… ‘What is he going to tell me?’ Well, this sweet teacher went on to tell me about a situation that happened in class with Sophia and another boy.
Apparently the teacher was teaching on a subject and one of the students was having a hard time with the topic. They must’ve been going back and forth for some time. As the teacher was about to stop teaching the class to step aside and help the student, Sophia chimed in and told the teacher she would get up and go over and help the other student out.
You might hear this and think, what’s the big deal? To be honest, I did at first as well. But her teacher went on to tell me about how thoughtful she is in class to others. He talked about her leadership skills and willingness to go above and beyond for other people. He said, ‘I just want you to know I am so impressed with your daughter and thought you should know about what she did today.’
Cue the tears. I went running into my husband’s office; he must’ve thought something was wrong because I was crying and couldn’t really put into words what the teacher said. Here’s the thing: I know she is a kind and loving person, but to know she is out there authentically living that out loud when I am not around makes me so proud.
I tell my kids every morning to go out there and be kind, make someone smile today, and to be honest I never really know if they are listening. Just like any family, we have our challenges and we have our struggles. Academics do not come easy for any of us. But one thing is for sure, we have a crazy strong belief that kindness always wins.
We don’t need to be the smartest.
We don’t need to be the fastest.
We don’t need to be the best.
But we do need to be the kindest.
So, when Sophia came home that day from school, after hugging her for 10 minutes straight, I asked her about the situation. You know what she said to me, ‘Mom, it really wasn’t a big deal.’ It was a big enough deal for a teacher to take time out of his day to call me to tell me about it. But it was just second nature for her to see someone who might need some help and to jump right in and be that person.
I am a firm believer in learning from the everyday little moments of life. And on this day, I learned even if I myself might be having trouble with something, if I see there is someone else who is also having trouble I should help them. We rise by lifting up others.
We are put here on this earth to make it a better place. We have the most influence over those who live under the same roof as us. If you show your children what it looks like to help others without expecting anything in return, they will go out there and bless others in ways you never imagined possible. Sophia has greatness within her, and so do your children. Let them know you see and appreciate the little things they do to help others. They are watching and listening more than you realize.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jaime Lynn Curley of Philadelphia, PA. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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