My Wish For This School Year: An Abundance of Kindess

Both my kids happily walked into the first day of school this morning.  I know I’m supposed to be just bursting with excitement that I finally (!) have both my kids in full day school.  But if I’m being really honest, the idea of having both kids at school all day is kind of sad; I’m no longer a mom to little kids.  They’re bigger kids now, who know how to read and write and amuse themselves (for the most part).  So when I thought about this year, and what I’d like to try and teach my bigger kids, it wasn’t specific skills, but instead I wanted to explore a theme with them, a theme that pervades all aspects of our lives: Kindness.

Obviously, I expect my kids to be kind to each other, and to their friends.  But what I want this year to be about is so much more than that.  As I was piecing this all together in my mind, I came across this article in the New York Times last weekend, about memorizing poems, so I set about finding a poem about kindness that might be appropriate for the kids to memorize, and I found the most amazingly fitting poem:

A Memory System by Priscilla Leonard

Forget each kindness that you do
As soon as you have done it;
Forget the praise that falls to you
The moment you have won it;
Forget the slander that you hear
Before you can repeat it;
Forget each slight, each spite, each sneer,
Whenever you may meet it.

Remember every kindness done
To you, whatever its measure;
Remember praise by others won
And pass it on with pleasure;
Remember every promise made
And keep it to the letter
Remember those who lend you aid
And be a grateful debtor.

Remember all the happiness
That comes your way in living;
Forget each worry and distress,
Be hopeful and forgiving;
Remember good, remember truth,
Remember heaven’s above you.
And you will find, through age and youth
True joys and hearts to love you.

I couldn’t have come up with a better manifesto for living a good life, than is articulated in this poem.  Not only does it outline just how to be kind, to yourself and to others, it reinforces the idea that being kind leads to a lovely life.  The kids read it last night, and I’m looking forward to working with them on this poem over the coming weeks.

But, as much as I LOVE this poem, I wanted to figure out at least one other way to incorporate this idea of kindness into our lives.  And it came to me yesterday.  On a recent trip to Target, I made an impulse buy of a little chalkboard for the kitchen.  My intention for it was for the kids to use it to write up menus for big family dinners and the like.  But last night, I found a new use for it . . . a weekly kindness quote.  I hope that we can use these quotes as a jumping off point to explore lots of different topics, and to help us remember to be kind.  For this week, I had to choose one of my favourite quotes of all time – from Cinderella – one that I thought was particularly appropriate for the first week back to school – and the first week at a brand new school for my littlest one.


(I know, awesome penmanship on my part – but in the spirit of being kind, I’m going to be kind to myself, and give myself a pass on this one, and accept that my chalkboard writing will improve over the course of the year.)  

On that note, I’m off to show myself a little kindness and pick up some new workout clothes to celebrate this milestone in my kids’ lives (and mine!) – and also because I’ve got a few personal goals to work on this year in the gym . . . and it’s always more fun to work on new goals in new clothes, right?

Kindness Part II

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness since our little study of Cinderella last week.  It’s a theme that came up again Peter Pan over the weekend, and it’s a theme that seems to pop up in a number of the stories we’ll be looking at over the next few weeks.

Earlier today, a friend commented on my post saying that if he “had to choose one character trait to instil in (his) children, it would be kindness”.

I agree completely.

But how do we do that in this day and age where it seems that the more competitive you are at something, the better you are as a human; if you’re out to win at all costs, what room is there for kindness?

For now, the Husband and I can model kindness to our kids in how we treat each other, how we treat them, and how we treat others.  And I can only hope that the lessons the kids learn from watching us now, and from our talks about the power that can flow from being a kind person, will last them into their teen years . . . . and beyond.

Now, while I’m on the subject of kindness, I practiced some kindness towards myself yesterday.  As much as I wanted a less hectic after-school schedule this year, it seems like we’re getting home even later from programs and lessons than ever before.  Family dinners are important to the Husband and I – we both grew up eating as a family each night – and prepared meals from the grocery store don’t exactly fit into our health-ier eating plan.  Which means I’m finding myself having to get more delft at menu planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation.

This week, I accepted that we don’t get home from the little one’s dance classes until about 5:45.  We generally eat at 6.  Which leaves me 15 minutes to get a meal on the table . . . So, thanks to a little inspiration from a friend, yesterday morning saw me bringing out the crockpot and “making” dinner at 7 in the morning.  When we ran in the door at 5:45, all I had to do was get the broccoli steaming (I had it prepped and ready on the stove) and we were ready to eat at 6.  Perfection!!!

Everyone enjoyed this dish.  It is basically pork tenderloin with homemade applesauce all cooked in one pot!  I served it with a side of broccoli – next time I might serve it over pureed cauliflower.  It would be good with mashed sweet potato too!

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin with Apples

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


2 pork tenderloins of approximately the same size

2 cups bone broth (aka chicken stock – I use my own, but you could use a low-sodium store bought stock)

4 apples peeled and cored (you could leave the peels on if you are short on time)

1 onion sliced

Salt and Pepper


  1. Use a bit of butter/olive oil/coconut oil to grease the bottom of the crockpot
  2. Put the sliced onions in the bottom of the crockpot
  3. Lay the 2 pork tenderloins on top of the onions.
  4. Throw the apples in over top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the broth over the pork.
  6. Put the lid on and simmer the pork for about 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

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