Kindness won last week following a less than stellar start.
A three-mile run and a family talk helped us to forget the mean comments of the young woman who decided it was appropriate to be unkind. It was a teachable moment we used to talk through the power of our words and the importance of each one we say aloud.
Clarity also came with an outpouring of love from Kelsey’s friends and the positive outlook Kelsey chooses to display each and every day.
Kelsey was both excited and happy to return to school and see her friends following. All-day, we waited and hoped that she would come home without incident. Her brother gave Kelsey a pep talk and continues to wear his BRAVE headband every day to support his sister in his own silent and sweet way.
That night, instead of sadness, Kelsey came home to tell us that kindness won the day.
The same child who sent parental instincts into less than desirable places last week realized that Kelsey was her friend after all. Maybe it was her cute brother’s headband, or maybe it was the friends who surrounded her and wore their headbands daily, too. (Thank you, by the way).
Whatever the reason, the same child asked Kelsey for a headband.
That night at practice, that same child wore her headband. The next day after school, Kelsey revealed that the child who upset her so much on Monday was now a friend of hers.
“That’s how kindness wins,” Kelsey said.
It will not always be so easy, but it is great day when kindness wins.
Mondays can be busy. Even if we only have a few minutes between activities, we like to reflect on our day together. The talk over our wardrobe change did catch us off guard this week…
“Today my feelings were hurt at school,” Kelsey said.
She elaborated, “this girl told me that her mom said I look silly out on the field.” Then the same girl told me, “I wish you were not on my team. You don’t deserve to be on it.”
HALT. Deep breathes… Decisions, decisions…
The pause allowed for another moment we were not expecting. Kelsey said, “Please do not get mad or tell her parents. I told her that was really mean and it hurt my feelings. Then I moved on. I was with a few other friends and they all told her it was a mean thing to say. It was really mean and really hurt my feelings, though.”
It hurt ours, too…
Later in the night, she further reflected to say, “it’s like we said when I had spots all over my body. I remember when the kids in my class asked if I had chickenpox and they asked if it hurt. I learned how to ignore it in my brain and say it is ok. I never liked when people asked me about it, but I stayed brave. I got this.”
Watch what you say, children are listening…
We discussed that we cannot change the way other people act or the words they choose, but we can choose our own. Choose wisely.
Please spread kindness, respect, and love wherever you go today…
We have struggled to publicly talk about all that Kelsey endures and all that we have seen. Though we write and fundraise, it is still hard to actually speak to her teachers or friends about the disease because saying it makes it all real. Sometimes, it is easier to hope than to state your fears or reality.
However, Kelsey wants to talk about it and Kelsey created her BRAVE headbands to make a difference.
The support has been incredible. Friends and family have called, asked, and worn the bands. She continues to wear her band to school daily with pride.
Though we still seek a cure and worry a great deal, support keeps us hopeful for someday.
We are grateful for all who have asked about Kelsey, worn a band, and to those who lift Kelsey in their prayers.
Be BRAVE today!
Brave. Defined in so many ways and displayed by so many of us, young and old each day.
Kelsey recently read the book, Born Just Right . She could not put it down. Jordan’s story and her family’s journey is vastly different from ours, yet similar in so many ways. Kelsey felt inspired to do something for herself and her disease after reading Jordan’s story because Jordan is making her dreams come true.
Kelsey wanted to find an outlet and let her creativity shine, too. For weeks, Kelsey wrote and drew ideas in her journal. Kelsey was ultimately motivated by her new love of hand bands. Her brother is also wearing headbands these days, especially those he sees on @bryceharper3
BRAVE headbands were designed and created by Kelsey. Kelsey will proudly wear hers to her first day of third grade today.
Kelsey’s brother will also wear his BRAVE band today to signify his unity and provide support and strength for his sister. He does not realize how brave he is each and every day, too.
Here is to a wonderful school year to learners of all ages.
Be BRAVE, follow your dreams, and let Kelsey know if you would like a headband. She would love to see you wearing one.