Today, my wife had a message posted to her Facebook from one of the moms at my son’s school. Her daughter is in my son’s kindergarten class and she wanted to tell us a little story (child’s name changed):

I’ve got to take a second to brag about your son!!! So yesterday when I dropped off Moana I saw a boy pretending to eat Moana’s bracelet (kids are weird but that’s besides the point lol) and I could tell Moana was annoyed but started laughing and she told him to stop, and He did it again. Normal me would of said something but figured it wasn’t anything bad, just a little frustrating for her so I “ignored” it. ANYWAYS, before I even have a second to really get frustrated, [your son] stands up and he said “she told you to stop it!!!” and that was it, he stopped. I don’t even think the little boy knew he was frustrating Moana, but the fact the [your son] saw Moana in distress and wanted to help, says leaps and bounds about your son. Was a small little gesture but I loved that [your son] stood up for Moana with nobody telling him to. You’re raising one stinking awesome kid.

It’s a pretty small gesture, right? A boy was bugging a girl who voiced her annoyance, and another boy told the annoyer to piss off. This shouldn’t be a big deal, because kids should be good little people who know what’s right and stand up for that.

But doing the right thing isn’t easy, and it’s even harder to do it when it requires you to step in and confront someone about their behavior. Hell, as adults we don’t do it nearly enough. Many of us have become accustomed to turning a blind eye to things and not wanting to get involved.

“Oh, it’s none of my business. I shouldn’t stick my nose into this. It’s not my place.” — Too many of us

And this isn’t a “damsel in distress” situation, or about a boy stepping in and saving a helpless girl. I’m talking about the fact that a classmate was being pestered by someone and my son took it upon himself to back that kid up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl. I would be just as proud if it had been another boy that my son stood up for.

Abraham Lincoln Would Be Proud

The super funny thing is that last night (this happened yesterday morning) we read books from the Ordinary People Change the World series of books, by Scholastic. In particular, the one about Abraham Lincoln taught the very lesson that my son had already demonstrated that very day — standing up for what you believe in, and if you see someone (or in this case, a turtle) who needs help, then you HELP.

The thing that surprised me the most is that although my son tends to know what’s right and fair, he often tells teachers instead of standing up for himself. That’s a whole other matter — when is it being a tattletale and when is it right to tell an adult?

I’d like to take some credit for what my son did (and I suppose my wife and I are decent enough people) but he came to this world with this kindness, compassion and empathy. Who knows if my son will always have this strength of character, but for now I’m proud of the little guy that he is.