Yesterday I wrote a post for our Facebook and Instagram pages about sending Lu off to her first day of school. It was definitely a heartfelt purge after I had sobbed all the way home and to be honest I’m still a LITTLE teary...I’m pulling it together now though (haha!1). Basically, I just wrote about how hard it is for us parents to send our kids off for the first day, how extra hard it is when our kids have “extra” whatever’s, how this year she really is going to be challenged - but these challenges are well within her grasp to conquer and how I am praying for just one buddy for her. What kind of surprised me was how many moms wrote me and texted me that they were crying just as hard over that post as I had been. Parents with kids with extras and typical kids too. So it made me think. It doesn‘t matter what your kids circumstance is. ALL of us are praying for just ONE GOOD BUDDY to show up for our babies. To (as I said in the post) wait for them on the stairs and on the playground etc, to listen to them and have patience when they talk. To really care. But heres the thing. I was saying to The Husband last night, its not just at school that our kids can feel left out or anxious. Its the in between times. Waiting for practice or rehearsal to start, waiting to get picked up after an activity. Those are also the times that can be a gut punch to kids who feel alone. And honestly for us parents too. I went to my first PTO meeting yesterday. We are brand new at this school. I really want to get involved, but I was totally nervous walking in not knowing what to expect. Being “the new kid” and hoping for a buddy. Thankfully it turned out that I knew plenty of people that were there and it was great...but things like that just remind me that grown ups are not immune from feeling left out and nervous. I want to be the person who looks for the person who needs a friend. To offer the seat beside me to the person who’s looking for one. To smile warmly when someone looks nervous walking through the door. To BE AN EXAMPLE for my girls on HOW to be the buddy. With all of the messages I kept getting yesterday (and today) it just kept making me think how much our kids follow our example as grown ups. I’m writing songs about inclusion and being yourself and being the good friend....but am I practicing what I am preaching? Our kids are going to learn WAY more from the way that we are living our lives than from the things we tell them to do. Its hard for me to be this person all of the time. I’m not really an introvert, but I do kind of get lost in my own head and my own thoughts. Its a conscious choice to do what our song ”Be The One” says and to ”look for the kid (or grown up!) that could use a friend.” BUT its so so so important to me that my kids are that kid. And I sincerely want to treat people the way I want to be treated. So I am trying. And I hope that we can all try to make that effort to be the one, be the good buddy and to set the example for our kids this year.