He bounded off the bus with his backpack bouncing behind him. He smiled and waved to me with one hand and while the other was tucked away in his pocket. He seemed more excited to see me than his normal after school demeanor. I watched my boy hop around the puddles left behind from yesterday’s rain and I found myself matching his excitement with my own…though I had no idea why. As I knelt down to hug him, he barreled towards me almost knocking me over. His one-handed hug was tight as the other was still nestled in his pocket clenching whatever treasure he had found. Then he stepped back and said, “I have something for you!” Our eyes were level with each other, but his eyes seemed to sparkle with some sort of mysterious pride. He stepped back and quickly pulled his hand from his pocket and then put it behind his back. I didn’t get to finish asking what it was before he took his hidden treasure and proudly held it before my eyes. “I got this for you momma, it’s a You Matter card…we’re supposed to Look for the Good in people… and you’re the goodest thing I know.” I could feel my heart melting as quickly as the water filled my eyes. I will never forget those words or the way he beamed when I looked at the card and read the back. The biggest hug I could give and a million kisses couldn’t even compare to the way I felt in that moment. I mattered to him.
How is it possible that a little card given by such a little person could have the biggest impact on not only my day…but my life. He held my hand as we did each day and walked back to the house as he explained the rules of the card. He told me how I have to try and think what I’m grateful for, what I’m thankful for and find the good in other people. For me, wrapped in that moment, I could see no other goodness than the 3 foot 6-inch proud little boy who was holding my hand. What a lesson. What a moment. The moment when the apple of my eye showed a sweetness that shook me to my core.
So many times, I get lost in the millions of little things on my list that I have mistaken for things that matter. This seven-year old little boy quickly showed me what really mattered. I mattered. He mattered. That moment mattered. I’m grateful that his school recognized the importance of reminding children they matter. I’m grateful he spends his time not only looking for answers to the questions the teachers pose, but he spends his day looking for the good…and encouraging others to do the same.
I don’t know if he will remember the math facts he learned that morning or the new words that leaped from the pages of the books he read that day. I do hope he will remember the moment he gave me that card. I hope he remembers my reaction or how it made me feel from the inside out. I hope he knows that I too will “Look for the Good,” but with this little boy, I won’t have to look far.