“How did it go? Are you okay?” I asked as he walked into the waiting room.

“It was okay, it was definitely weird, but I’m okay.” he replied.

The lovely woman lead me back her office to hear the results. She was extremely gentle and kind as she explained exactly where he fell on the bell curve.  Careful to express his strengths and gingerly tell me the places where growth might be needed. It was an intelligence test.

I finally relieved her.

“Dr. _________, I have to tell you, I totally appreciate what you do but I really do not care about this test AT ALL. I just want him to feel loved and be kind and grateful.” I said.

“Ohhhhh, well that is music to my ears.” she replied. She looked a little shocked and delighted at the same time.

…and a few days later, it was time for an awards dinner for this same boy who called the intelligence test weird, a lovely award…the only in his school. Awards are sort of a mixed bag because the truth is, you love your kid and are hella proud even if no one ever gets a plaque with their name carved in it, or a paper saying how great you are or how hard you worked. …and then there are moments when awards hold the space to celebrate the part of your kid that makes him or her special or dear.

…but that day I looked around, he seemed unaffected by the accolade…and yet more touched when Jorge helped him tie his tie, then held his face and kissed him…right in the middle of all the grouchy chaos of getting the family dressed up and out the door on time.

…when his brother turned and looked at him with wide eyes of pride every time they congratulated the honorees as if to say, “they are talkin’ about YOU” during the ceremony.

…when his Marmie bought a plane ticket to come see his moment, because she just does that…even if it means she has to work double the hours at her job.

…when it is more exciting to get ice cream/yogurt after than it was to get the actual award. The place is rad and seems the more appropriate place to celebrate any way….more like us.

…when your mom insists on taking a picture with you because she has none…and you know it will mean something to her (and you) when you are old. …and you even let her hold you tight, and too long.

…when your dad wears his bad ass sunglasses and lets you try them on and you imagine what it feels like to maybe be like him some day.

…and you forget what was ever said at that ceremony, or that award but you remember the family pride and deep love that was held for you…and how weird that intelligence test was.

Big Bro Tony, Monica, Dolores and baby Mason (thanks to Tony V.-Dolores’ significant other for taking this picture)

Two weeks ago, I invited you all to join me for a kindness mission honoring Jimmy and Dolores, a reader and new friend. You can read about it here. It was wonderful of Dolores and her family to share their story and memories of Jimmy with us- we are so grateful!

I was blown away by the response, so many of you gathered loved ones and friends for this mission. It felt like every time I opened my e-mail there was another picture and note. It was so sweet to me because it was so simple, so full of love. Thank you…just thank you.

Dolores wanted to thank you too…here is her note to you:

First let me thank you, Patience, for getting the whole wonderful Dinner With Jimmy mission started. Without you none of this would have happened. Also, thank you to all the wonderful, kind people who took time out from their busy lives to celebrate my son, Jimmy’s, short sweet life without even knowing him and even sending pictures of it all. If anyone had a dinner without sending pictures or an acknowledgement, I want to thank them, too. I can’t believe how many dinners were celebrated in Jimmy’s honor (or may still be). It even stretched into Canada.

All of this has renewed my faith in the kindness of other people, but you and your website are a testimony to that. I’m not the only one who faces each day without Jimmy. His Big Bro, Tony, does, too. Tony now has no siblings. They did everything together. Tony sends his own special thanks for remembering his Li’l Bro. Yesterday we had our own special Dinner With Jimmy. I made spaghetti & meatballs. It was his favorite. I taught Jimmy how to cook, but when it came to this he outdid me. Please look for two pictures of our celebration which I’ll send separately from my ipod. It takes too long to type this much on the ipod. The first pic is of me, Jimmy’s Big Bro, Tony, his wife, Monica and their beautiful three month old baby, Mason. The second pic is of me, Monica, Mason and my significant other, Tony V. Big Bro was taking the picture.

Jimmy didn’t live long enough to see his little nephew, Mason, but he was such a perceptive and loving person I’m hoping he was able to see and taste all these wonderful dinners in his honor and to see his nephew, Mason. Jimmy loved to laugh and he loved family get-togethers as you can see from the first photo you put up of me and him. Thanks again to all.


Dolores here and Jimmy There

Thank you for making this one of the sweetest missions we’ve ever done- your kindness changes everything. Special thanks to all who helped to spread the word and to Lara and Debbie for writing about it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lucy: (in total kindness and candy triumph) yelling “Cotton Candy Kindness!! We did it!!”

I think we may have reached kindness nirvana my friends! Today our street gathered together to do a little neighborhood guerrilla goodness on our block and at our local park, it was so, so sweet. Someone lent their yard and power, somebody else got supplies to make signs, one family made the raddest side walk chalk…and then all together, we handed out the mother of all Valentine’s treats-COTTON CANDY!

110 servings to be exact. To kids, the skate park crowd, the passerbys, the basketball players, people driving by in their cars. It was ridiculous fun!

Small children making signs and distributing kindness candy love may be the greatest thing ever.

The drive-thru cotton candy was fantastic!

I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or adults, but we decided we MUST do it again!

Happy Valentine’s Day! May kindness find you in all the ways you need to know love!!