Loving Kindness

It was time to line up and one kindergartner was pushing another.

“Hey, be loving,” I said.

So he made a kissing mouth to the other boy, “I’m loving. Love. Love Love.” Getting in his face, annoying, now with excessive kindness.

I was going to post about extreme kindness, but then this happened. And I realized sometimes you can go too far in the loving business. An excess of loving can be intrusive.

I forget this. I try to make my children be friends with other children — my friends’ kids or coworkers’ kids. They hate this. I do remember my mother doing this to me too. Any child that was roughly my age — at a church function or the playground — “Why don’t you go play with them?” Did she not realize my own right to choose? My own autonomy? To make my own friends?

Fortunately, I have become someone who can make friends with anyone. I can find common ground with just about any person I meet. I don’t really want to thank my mother for this, but she is the same way.

Maybe I learned it at St. Joan of Arc Kindergarten class. Maybe my teacher told me when I was wiggly, “Hey, be more loving.” I’m trying, God knows, I’m trying.

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Such a gorgeous fall day in Riverside Park today.

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