During my early days of motherhood, my husband and I pulled out all the stops to make our newborn son happy. For months, we juggled swings, bouncy seats, books, toys, bottles, anything and everything to make life easier. Many days for us were spent just trying to survive. My husband would look up lullabies on YouTube. I would sing my favorite songs from the 90’s. Finally, we discovered the magic of Sesame Street.
Our son was amazed by Elmo, and he loved to hear the Sesame Street songs. We had found our “sunny day”! After you listen to these same songs over and over, you begin to have favorites. I am convinced that no one can sing the alphabet like Usher. One of the songs that caught my attention was entitled “Everyday Hero”. This song was performed by Aloe Blacc in season 46. Sesame Street is dedicated to making children smarter, stronger, and kinder, and this song focuses on teaching our children to be kind. The concept is that all of us can be an everyday hero simply by being kind.
The chorus says, “You can be an everyday hero, just show kindness and caring each day.” As an adult, that seemed to be a message I was forgetting. Sure, I remember to spread good cheer during the holidays, and I have paid-it-forward once in a Starbucks drive-thru. I realized as I listened to the song that this is exactly what I wanted for my son. I absolutely want him to be smart, happy, and courageous, maybe eat some green vegetables every now and then. However, more than anything, I want to raise my son to be kind. I want him to consider others better than himself. I want to set an example for him in the way I live my life.
Our world does not always value kindness, and some of you reading this may think it is naïve of me to desire this for my son and for myself. Nevertheless, I am choosing kindness. I am holding to generosity and consideration. That might be a challenge when I fight the 5 o’clock Skibo Road traffic, but if kindness is my ambition for my son, it has to begin with me.
April V. Coleman
Minister of Families and Children
Lafayette Baptist Church