My kids are truly wonderful. A. Peevie had a playdate, and the mom told Mr. Peevie that her son told her that the reason he liked A. Peevie so much is that he is so kind. "He's kind to everyone at school," the kid said. First of all, how great is it that a nine-year-old is even noticing that, and saying those words to his mom? And second, it's a mom's dream to hear those words about her own child.
And then C. Peevie had his own story to tell, about a big brawl among the sixth-graders. Apparently there was teasing and punching galore. One of the kids threated to punch C. Peevie's friend, who was innocent and uninvolved in the melee, and my boy stood up to him to defend his friend, but in a peacemaking way. "Why don't you back off," he said. "You're in enough trouble already."
Then after the kid went off to cry and nurse his wounds, C. Peevie and another friend went to find him, talk to him, and help him feel better.
I tell my kids over and over to solve their problems with words, to refrain from retaliating, and to care about other people's feelings. I see them bicker and fight at home, and sometimes I can't tell if my words are sinking in. And then God drops pearls in my lap like this, to let me know that they're doing OK.