A girl today told me that she always looks forward to coming to calculus–“It’s a bright spot in my day,” she said with a genuine smile.

That’s all I want–with all my heart–for all my kids. That this space we share would be a safe, loving, and “bright” place.

Every night after I put my son to bed, I kneel by his crib, thank God for another day to be his mom, and pray for his future. I’ve long been under the belief that prayer is more for us than for God–it’s a way to draw us closer to each other and hold people in our hearts. Stillness, patience, and remembering are all good things.

Every night I pray that my son would be a friend to the outcast and the marginalized. I pray that no one would ever feel lonely as long as he’s around. I pray he would stand up to bullies and fight the cause of the underdog. More than him getting straight As in school, I want him to be a kid who finds others who need a friend to sit with in class or at lunch.

But you can’t pray these things over your child and not think about how you need to work to be more like the person you hope your kid grows up to be.

So while this statement the girl made was small–and maybe she didn’t think anything of it–to me it was big. Because that’s what we’re working towards as a family: to include everyone, to welcome everyone, and to be a bright spot in others’ days.


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