I just left the hospital where friends of ours are about to have a baby. A little girl, named Emmeline. Listening to NPR (Hi, my name is Chris and I'm an NPR addict) on my way home, I heard a story about a 6 year old boy who found out his friend had a rare terminal kidney disease, and went home to find a way to save his friend. He made a book using markers and begged his mom print it, and then he set out on a mission to cure his friend’s illness. For comparison, at 6 years old I was still taking my clothes off and running around naked in the sandbox). In the 4 years since, they have raised over a million dollars for treatment and research. Now, they are close to being able to treat this untreatable disease.
I sat in the car, driving down the freeway listening to this story, and started to full on, textbook “ugly cry”. Chest rattling sobs rolled out of my mouth before I knew what was happening. Tears began to cloud my eyes, and considering that I-15's rush hour traffic is not to be trifled with, I found the nearest exit and swerved off.
I'm not going to lie in an attempt to fit into gender norms of masculinity by saying, "I don't know what happened. I never cry." The fact is, I cry. I don't normally walk around blubbering ALL the time, but tears do easily beset my manly cheeks.
Kindness. Honestly, I think pure and unselfish kindness is my boo-hoo button. Yes, we feel good when we are kind, so some meathead party poopers argue that there's no such thing as unselfish kindness. I've been thinking a lot about love and kindness the last couple days. Mustering up the courage to accept someone's offer to lend a hand, or the strength to admit you need help is an opportunity to see what humankind is made of; truly composure shattering, soul illuminating, mic-dropping, doubt-crushing, human-kindness. I am profoundly touched and moved by the kindness that is so ripe in the world. If there weren’t so much of it, I wouldn't cry so much.
To my dear new friend Emmeline, whose emergence into this world is so imminent, I say: Welcome. We love you. And while this world is a bit of a mess, the messiness is an epicenter and breeding ground for kindness. Everywhere in the world where there is pain, you can find or create kindness and love. Shadows only exist because of the presence of light. You are entering a complicated place, my smelly pink friend. But this world, she has much to recommend her. I want you to feel the love I have felt. I want you to know the love and support I have known. When you are a little older, I know a few good people you should know, too. Happy birthing time little one. See you on the other side.