What My Son Has Taught Me {Giveaway}

My son has a gift.

He makes friends with the friendless. He seeks out the loner, the child who is different, the one who needs a friend.
The Principal of our elementary school actually awarded him for his compassion. At the time, I didn’t know the story behind the honor.
He befriended a special needs boy and become his personal guide. The teachers were touched by his selfless act and honored him for it. I asked him about it the other day, “What is it about this boy that made you want to be his friend?”
“Well. He smiles all the time. He’s always happy, but he learns different and is loud sometimes. He needed extra help and I’m good at that. Plus, I needed a friend too,” he shrugged.
My oldest daughter said, “Does he have Downs Syndrome?” (One of her dearest friend’s has Downs Syndrome).
“No,” he said and scrunched up his face, a bit confused by his sister’s question. “I think he has Up Syndrome. He’s always happy.”
[Please note: I took the opportunity to encourage my kids to continue to love and accept children with special needs. I believe this is a conversation every parent must have].
Syndrome or not, it doesn’t matter, he saw a boy who needed a friend and knew that was something he was really good at.
My son has taught me about friendship. Everyone needs a friend and everyone can be a friend. Friendship is just one of the many life lessons, facing fears is another.
What have your kids taught you about life? (or what have you learned about friendship?)
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win this amazing prize package from Goodnights Bedtime Theater!

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A prize package worth approximately $175!!!!!!

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Comments

  1. 153

    SoCalLynn says

    My daughter has taught me to wear two different colored socks and laugh about it. She has taught me it's ok to look at buggers in your nose in the car mirror and not care what others might think. She has taught me to wear bright orange and skip through the house. My daughter has taught me to loosen up and have more fun, and that's the greatest compliment I can give her.

  2. 155

    says

    I've worked with individuals with minor disabilities to individuals who were confined in wheel chairs and had multiple disabilities. The most I've ever learned was from kids at our integrated day camp, where kids at the start of week 1 day 1 had no idea what to do or even talk to individuals w disabilities end up wanting to help their friends who used wheelchairs and even want to eat lunch with them every day after they realized they were just like everyone else in many ways. It was great to see the change in the kids, when they came to understand disabilities and we treat everyone the same. It was always the best, when they came back the next year to have fun at day camp with their friends again.

  3. 156

    says

    My kids have taught me how much face time means – with them, with my hubby, with friends. They are delighted when they have my full attention and I know I feel the same :)

    (erin at homewiththeboys dot net)

  4. 157

    says

    Because of a lonely season in my life right now, I've learned how important friendship really is to life. We were made to have friends.

  5. 158

    says

    Wow, that is a beautiful story of your son and friend :) I so want our future kids to be that compassionate!

    We're (ex) Army, so we moved a bit, and I've made/lost friends along the way. There are some though that we stick by each other sides, even miles and hours apart. They're the first I text/call when soething is going on, and are there for me day or night.

  6. 159

    says

    Since my son was born three years ago, I am constantly learning that I am not in control. From his unexpected premature birth to day-to-day reminders through his choices, health, or behavior, I am realizing that although I may plan or try to work things out the way I would like them to be, I am not ultimately in control. I am thankful for a God who is in control of everything, and I am learning to trust Him to help me be the best wife, mother, and woman I can be.

  7. 160

    says

    I don't have kids of my own, but my little brother is like my kid. He always has a smile. He helped me learn forgiveness. No matter how many mistakes I make, he always forgives me. I can always count on him greeting me with a BIG hug and one of his awesome smiles.

  8. 161

    Anonymous says

    wow, what a great story! kristen, i love your blog & keep coming back for mo'! i've shed many a tear here, so thank you. =) sara b.

  9. 163

    says

    My youngest, who will be 3 in June, as taught me how a simple smile and a pat on the hand makes things better. He's my "sensitive one," the one who knows when to hug, and when to smile at you until you smile back, even through the tears. He knows when to be silly and when to just sit there with you…even at almost 3. I can't wait to see what the future holds with him.

    My little man, the 4 year old, as taught me so much about my weaknesses….because he's just like me! He's the one that makes me want to improve myself and my habits. He's also the one who's teaching me to stop and SEE. He will pick me any flower and he notices the little things, no matter how busy he likes to keep himself.

  10. 165

    says

    Both of my kids have taught me the love of God over the years….how he loves to bless us no matter how far we run…..how He loves a good game of chase as much as any other parent….how He will even play hide n seek if necessary to bring me back home….as I play with them I see their mistakes and feel the sadness when they hurt…..how much more must our Father feel our pain? Yes, they have taught me many things about the love of the Father for me as I explore the love of a mother for them……

    I love your blog, thanks for the chance to play.

  11. 167

    says

    I absolutely love your son's response – Up Syndrome! I love it. Two of my college kids are involved with ministries to dev. disabled kids and I couldn't be more proud of them. Thanks for a wonderful post!

  12. 170

    says

    I don't have children but I've been a nanny for 10 years. The resilience of children is what always astounds me. They get knocked down and just get back up. We as adults tend to dwell on our problems… wallow in them for days, months, or years. Kids get the picture and get on with life. We are born with the ability "skill" of looking for the silver lining in a situation. Somewhere along the way we lose that. It's a sad reality of our daily lives. With great practice I hope we can regain the skills we were so gifted with at birth.

  13. 171

    says

    My daughter has taught me that no matter how much someone's behavior may embarrass me, I can love him/her anyway. My son has taught me that not everyone has a competitive drive like mine, and that is ok (and really something for which I should thank God).

  14. 172

    says

    My son taught me about flexibility. When he was first born, I had the idea that I could put him on a schedule and he would follow it to the minute. I used to get so uptight about when he would wake up with 15 minutes still left in a nap. I've since learned that the schedule is a good thing, but I have to build flexibility into it. Even now, he continues to teach me about it. A scheduled cleaning day has often turned into a go to the park day. ;-) Great contest!

  15. 173

    says

    How awesome of your son and you for guiding him to be such a person. Of all the things I have learned from my children, it is to just be in the moment and enjoy it. My toddler son doesn't care that I can't carry a tune in a bucket, he just wants me to sing. My girls don't care that I no longer have rhythm and dance like a geek (well the teenager might a teensy bit), but they want me to dance. So I try to ignore pressures and doubt and just be in the moments with them.

  16. 174

    says

    We have 3 boys and they have definitely taught me to loosen up. I tend to take myself and life too seriously and they teach me (daily) to relax, enjoy life, and laugh more!

  17. 176

    says

    Your son made me cry!

    My son has taught me how to love unconditionally. It was hard for me, because I always felt growing up that my parents' love was ALWAYS conditional. Oliver has taught me that it doesn't have to be!

  18. 179

    says

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story! I love hearing stories like this. What amazing adults your children will become! I loved the fact your son did not know what "syndrom" he had! I met one of my dearest friends when I was in third grade and I was in college before I knew "what she had". It just never mattered to me.

  19. 180

    says

    While growing up we had a child neighbor who everyone always wanted to play with because he was the happiest, nicest kid on the block. All I knew was how he was on the inside, it wasn't until I was older that I realized he had Downs Syndrome. I agree with your son, Up Syndrome fits perfectly!

  20. 181

    says

    What a blessing for you son to be like Jesus and loving those other people may not. My boys have taught me to let the small things go and enjoy life to it's fullest like they do!

  21. 182

    says

    My daughter has taught me to look past the outward appearances. How many times we judge a person by how they are dressed, appear, etc. My 6 year old just sees a person as a potential friend.

  22. 183

    says

    What an awesome story! I taught public school for 9 years and always LOVED seeing the kids that reached out to those who struggled with friendship. I hope and pray my children will develop this same character trait as they grow up!

  23. 184

    says

    My son Charlie, who is 9 and has autism, has taught me that there is ONE thing that he will NEVER, EVER be able to do.

    What is that one thing? It is the thing that we don't try because we are afraid that it's beyond him.

    Surprisingly, I have also found that this applies to myself and others, as well. It really expanded my brain. And my heart.

  24. 185

    says

    Wow- what a great boy you've raised! My best friend has 2 mentally handicapped children and it has helped in ways I could never in teaching my children patience and acceptance of those that are different than themselves.

  25. 188

    says

    What a sweet son you have :-)
    My son, who is almost ten, is very observant. He notices things about people that others may overlook. He can tell when someone is sad.
    He has taught me to take my time talking with someone, smile, and make it a point to shine God's love upon them.

  26. 189

    says

    My girls have taught me the importance of perseverance and hard work. Both girls came to the US less than 3 years ago and spoke only Russian. They are both doing well in school, have made lots of friends, and have a relationship with Jesus. Things haven't been easy, but they have worked hard and persevered and they are doing so amazingly well. My husband and I are so blessed to be able to parent such amazing girls!

  27. 191

    says

    That is awesome! I hope that I am teaching my children this same lesson! We always try to encourage them to be friends w/ everyone regardless if they are different or not.

  28. 195

    says

    What a sweet boy. Children are so amazing, they look to us for guidance and here they are teaching and guiding us.
    My 5 yr old daughter is constantly teaching me to be more thankful for the little things. Recently we told her daddy was leaving for a year deployment, her response was "Well that's a long time but at least it's not two years." She's got the right attitude!

  29. 196

    says

    When I grow up I want to be him! And I would be thrilled to have children as compassionate. Thank you for sharing your and his wisdom.
    Many blessings,
    Amy

  30. 198

    says

    My 3 kids constantly remind me how to appreciate simple things in life- nature, silly games, getting dirty, being with friends, simple dishes. It is easy to get carried away in this hectic life and forget to stop and smell the roses.

  31. 199

    says

    Wow, what a SPECIAL boy you have! That story just warmed my heart. I hope my girls can marry a boy like that someday…

    What have my kids taught me about life? Well, how about…If you yell "MOM!!!" enough times, she will eventually come. She might be very very frustrated, but she WILL come.

    Oh, is that not the kind of answer you wanted? :-)

    My kids teach me that life can be an adventure, and even the little things can be fun…as opposed to the orderly and sometimes un-fun way their task-oriented mom can approach a day.

  32. 202

    says

    My children have taught me to slow down and celebrate life. I seem to always be in a hurry and it nothing for them to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to study an ant or point out a flower. I tend to say, "Come on…we need to go," but I'm learning to stop and enjoy God's creation alongside them.

  33. 205

    says

    I am constantly amazed by my eldest daughter's empathy and generosity. When she sees someone is upset or hurt, she will do what she can to help them, rather than sit tight in her comfort zone. She is a great problem solver and her mind is so open to new people, experiences, and joys.
    When I see these traits reveal themselves in her, all the more frustrating times fall to the background, and I can just be in awe of the blessing it is to be a parent.

  34. 206

    midwestmom3 says

    My kids have taught me compassion. They also seem to find the kids who march to a different beat and become friends with them.I love that they do not even seem to notice what others would consider different. They just love them for who they are. Thank you so much.

  35. 207

    says

    My kids have taught me to do what I tell them to do……OUCH! Good lesson though, sometimes we need the honesty of kids to point out our faults.

  36. 208

    says

    Your boy rocks!

    I learned from our 4 year old that a good game of tag-ur-it (Tag) after dinner is great for burning off energy before bed!

  37. 209

    says

    My sons have taught me that no matter how stressful a day of work, there is nothing that a smile, squeal, and a drooly kiss can not cure. Instant stress reliever!

  38. 210

    says

    i once took a class for exceptional needs children. in that class each student had to write a paper sharing about a handicap they had. it is true, in one way or another, we all have handicaps.
    at the time i wrote that my handicap was "keeping up with the joneses." 3 years later i married a jones. :-)

    i try to teach that to my children; that we all have "special needs." try to grow in them love, value of others, and grace.

  39. 211

    says

    The most important thing I learned from being a parent is that I am not the most important person in the world. (Might have coincided with my age but who knows)

  40. 212

    says

    I love that! Our church sponsers respite care once a month. It was such a special moment to hear my older child describe (age 7) what we do and then just verbally shrug it off " … you know, we just love people … like Jesus did. It's our mission field."

    What have we learned about friendship? Everyone has a bad day sometime. If our friend is having a bad day, we tell them we love them, give them space, and take up tomorrow like the bad day never happened.

  41. 216

    says

    You have touched my heart with this on a day it was so needed. Thank you for that!! I went on to read your link on fears. We are dealing with it with my 6 yr old son now and it has been a tough school year for all of us. Your post brightened my evening right up and was a good reminder that it will get better!! Thank you! Thank you!!

  42. 217

    says

    What have my children taught me about life? Together we have learned that we are all smarter, stronger, more resilient, and more compassionate than we may realize at first.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  43. 219

    says

    What an amazing, big-hearted little boy you have. He knows his gifting and is so confident in it! If only we could all be as such. He must be a huge blessing to you and others.

    My little boy is only five months old… but he has already taught me so much about God's character. Being a mother to him is molding me more and more like Christ every day, and I'm so grateful for Rowan's little life and big smile.

  44. 220

    says

    Oh, I'm such a goober. I forgot to answer the question. :)

    What DON'T my kids teach me? So thankful they teach me true friendship (until one says, "I'm not playing with you ever again.").

    Many Wednesday blessings! -Karen

  45. 223

    says

    What a precious story- you must be doing a LOT of things right!

    My kids have taught me that the simple things in life and a simple life, are truly the most blessed!

  46. 225

    says

    My middle daughter is very outgoing and never meets a stranger. She goes to the nursing home with my mom to visit and has befriended many there. Recently, a person died and she was just heartbroken and cried over her 70 something year old friend. My youngest child is pretty friendly as well.

  47. 226

    says

    My children have taught me the depth of my depravity. They are my most loved possessions yet I can treat them with less love and respect than a stranger.

    My two-yr-old has Down Syndrome. Although we knew it was a possibility from 20 weeks I thought b/c I was only 28 there was no way. I know I am forgiven, but I am haunted and humbled by many of the selfish, ungodly thoughts that went through my head when he was born. I cry when I read Job–who am I am to question what God has chosen for me?

    I am due in 2 weeks with number 3. We have done no prenatal testing. Sometimes I am frightened what God might choose to teach me through this baby (extra chromosome or not).

    How blessed am I to have heavenly father that is willing to love and teach me (even against my will)?!

  48. 227

    says

    My children have taught me the depth of my depravity. They are my most loved possessions yet I can treat them with less love and respect than a stranger.

    My two-yr-old has Down Syndrome. Although we knew it was a possibility from 20 weeks I thought b/c I was only 28 there was no way. I know I am forgiven, but I am haunted and humbled by many of the selfish, ungodly thoughts that went through my head when he was born. I cry when I read Job–who am I am to question what God has chosen for me?

    I am due in 2 weeks with number 3. We have done no prenatal testing. Sometimes I am frightened what God might choose to teach me through this baby (extra chromosome or not).

    How blessed am I to have heavenly father that is willing to love and teach me (even against my will)?!

  49. 228

    says

    My children have taught me the depth of my depravity. They are my most loved possessions yet I can treat them with less love and respect than a stranger.

    My two-yr-old has Down Syndrome. Although we knew it was a possibility from 20 weeks I thought b/c I was only 28 there was no way. I know I am forgiven, but I am haunted and humbled by many of the selfish, ungodly thoughts that went through my head when he was born. I cry when I read Job–who am I am to question what God has chosen for me?

    I am due in 2 weeks with number 3. We have done no prenatal testing. Sometimes I am frightened what God might choose to teach me through this baby (extra chromosome or not).

    How blessed am I to have heavenly father that is willing to love and teach me (even against my will)?!

  50. 229

    says

    What an example you have set. My sons are doing the same things. Such aa blessings these days with all the selfishness. Did anyone watch Oprah yesterday? I never do, but yesterday was a blessing with Chris Rock's wife.
    I am so enjoying reading your blog. Blessings to you and your family.

  51. 234

    says

    My son, like yours, is incredibly tenderhearted. He is one of the few 17 year old "boys" I know that isn't afraid to show affection towards his mama. lol He still tells that he loves me, still hugs me with no reserve, and still cuddles up with me on the couch … even in front of his friends. :)

    My son has taught me that even though he has far outgrown me, and no matter how old he gets, he will always want me to be a part of his life. Most importantly, he has taught me that I don't have to fear "losing" my "baby". For that, I am eternally grateful! ♥

  52. 235

    says

    My kids have definitely taught me to go with the flow more and not stress about a schedule. They always have different plans than I do. They have also taught me about what it truly means to love unconditionally.

  53. 236

    Chunky & Funky says

    My daughter, who is only 2, has taught me to find joy in the little things. Seeing a toddler be so enamored with a piece of ribbon or a bubble floating in the air really makes you realize that lots of times, we go through life without appreciating all the small things around us.

  54. 237

    Chunky & Funky says

    My daughter, who is only 2, has taught me to find joy in the little things. Seeing a toddler be so enamored with a piece of ribbon or a bubble floating in the air really makes you realize that lots of times, we go through life without appreciating all the small things around us.

  55. 238

    Chunky & Funky says

    My daughter, who is only 2, has taught me to find joy in the little things. Seeing a toddler be so enamored with a piece of ribbon or a bubble floating in the air really makes you realize that lots of times, we go through life without appreciating all the small things around us.

  56. 239

    says

    Well I have 4 kids and each of them have taught me something different. Of those I have 2 special needs daughters ( one has down syndrome and the other has cerebral palsy). The one with cerebral palsy has taught me to face challenges head on. She can't walk very well without her canes or walker but she doesn't let that stop her from playing with the other neighborhood kids. My daughter with down syndrome has taught me to love unconditionally and everyone needs a hug.
    My boys although they don't have special needs are special to me as well. My oldest son has taught me to be tough, even when life throws you curve balls like my daughter with down syndrome getting leukemia. He is always been very helpful and understanding.
    My youngest son has taught me to be adventureus. To look at things it different ways.
    Thanks for sharing about your son. It is so good to hear about kids that are excepting and see other children that may be different through the eyes or God where everyone is fearfully and wonderfully made.

    katie_mmartin at yahoo dot com.

  57. 241

    says

    My three year old made me laugh one day. She pointed to an Oriental man and said, "He looks just like daddy!" Her daddy is Caucasian, but the color and different facial features didn't even register with her. I love that kids don't see in color. That is one thing she has taught me lately.

  58. 242

    says

    Oh that is such a precious story. Your son definitely deserved to be honored. It's amazing what we can learn from our children!

  59. 246

    says

    I've learned from my kids that keeping the schedule isn't always that important. There are life lessons being learned and sometimes that is more important that getting everything checked off my list.

  60. 248

    says

    I pray that our little ones learn compassion and equality too.

    I think the things my littles ones continue to teach me is the beauty and sweetness of simplicity and thankfulness. Also what it means to come before the Lord wholely and honestly.

  61. 250

    says

    my kids taught me about giving and compassion as well. I am known to make meals and give anything I can find in my home to help others. When a friends child was sick, my kids raced around to find toys and movies to give to that child so his hospital stay would be more tolerable.

    Just when you think they don't hear a word you say,they prove to have such big giving hearts.

    My friend lost her son last year, but that little guy gave my kids a chance to show their hearts and learn such a valuable lesson in helping others in life. For that, I'm thankful we knew them.

    kendralacrosse@verizon.net

  62. 251

    says

    What a gift your son has…compassion. Compassion is such an amazing gift that parents need to nurture in all there children. Thank you for aharing your sons gift with us.
    avaseofchangeforlilygrace.blogspot.com

  63. 253

    says

    That has to be the greatest story I have heard all week. What a treasure of a boy, and obviously a great Mommy to teach him.
    My kids have taught me to see the good in all people. Kids who I label as weird or disrespectful, my son calls friends. That has been wonderful for me to look past their shortcomings to see the good in all. (I am embarrassed to admit that, but its true! Kids rock!)

  64. 256

    says

    I don't want the prize…just so you can take me out.

    How wonderful is your son! I love the open mind that your children posses, that they see beyond what is in front of them. I can only hope that as my children grown they have that gift, that love for everyone.

  65. 257

    says

    I just found your blog. I loved reading that story about your son, what a great kid! I hope to teach my children to have that kind of compassion too!

  66. 258

    says

    what a great post!! Our kids seem to be great teachers!! I love what a learn from my kids – and I thought I knew it all!! My kids show me how to treasure life – family is so important!

  67. 259

    says

    My daughter was born with a heart that is sensitive to others. She is still a toddler, but this gift has shown through in her life daily as at a few months old she cried solely because another baby was crying and a couple of months ago started coming to my bed and snuggling with me each morning as I went through a miscarriage. I am excited to see how God uses this gift in her and how he shapes me in raising her as well.

  68. 262

    says

    What has my little one taught me about life? Gosh, in only 7 short months she's taught me so much.

    Through her I have seen what real fear is–the kind that aches one's bones it grips so deeply. I have seen what it means to have this little fragile one hold so much of me and through this learned to trust God to take care of her. Perhaps this is the ultimate thing that I have and am learning from her. To trust God. Because I can't control her little life or body. I can't protect her from all the germs swarming around in this world and, even more so, from all the hurt and tears there is to be had here.

    Perhaps this is the hardest thing for all mothers–to trust, that is. To give over the control that we so long to have over our little ones' lives.

    This is what she is teaching me.

  69. 263

    says

    What a sweet post. I love how sensitive both of your kids were being. How do you teach that kind of sensitivity? Thanks for an uplifting post – and for a great giveaway!

  70. 265

    says

    Wow, another example of children teaching adults a thing or two. What a blessing your son must be. Congratulations on being a good parent!

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