|Picture from Squidoo.|
I love following this little spit fire along in her quest to grow up. And my kids enjoy it, too. Any book that makes both Mom and Kid laugh out-loud together is win!
One of my favorite Junie B. adventures is "The Mushy Gushy Valentine." Followed rather quickly by, "Peep in Her Pocket", "Aloha-ha-ha!", "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells", "One-Man Band", and, uh, "Captain Field Day." And, "Beauty Shop Guy". And, "Party Animal." Yeah ... I pretty much love them all.
In this particular favorite, Junie B. is super-duper excited to celebrate Valentime's Day (as both she and my Ashley say it) and as the book progresses, the suspense builds ... speedy quick! The author, Barbara Park, accurately and authentically retells the search for the perfect valentime cards, the dilemmas over choosing just the right card for each friend and the anxious anticipation for that long-awaited party! No doubt Park has endured many a Valentime's Day with her own kids.
The story climaxes when sweet Junie B. discovers that she is short one Valentime's card in her decorated box. Who could be so cruel as to leave her out?!? Quite quickly she points the finger at her arch-nemesis That Meany Jim. As expected, Jim defends himself and shouts back equally hurtful words and things get ugly very quickly. Just as quickly their teacher steps in to halt this Valentime Altercation.
***spoiler alert*** :)
As it turns out, That Meany Jim didn't skip Junie B. In reality, stuck down in the bottom of her decorated box is a large, fancy, lacy, hearty card. (Not a meatball as Junie B. first supposes when her teacher points out that there was something still stuck in her "mail box".) Much to everyone's surprise, this card is from Jim. And he likes her. A lot.
What follows is a sweet first-grader conversation that rings true with this Mommy-heart. Jim, of course, is embarrassed and unsure of how to show his true feelings without being teased. "I guess I have a crush on you." Junie B. is dumbfounded regarding this new development. "But, why are you always so mean to me?"
How often do I hurt the ones I love with unkind words and actions? Including this morning? ... sigh ...
As they head out to the playground, they decide that they can be friends and they both make little decisions to treat one another with more kindness.
Kindness. It's what makes all our friendships work. Be it child, spouse, parent, sibling. As well as co-worker, teacher, neighbor, grocery checker-outer.
Kindness is key. On Valentime's Day ... and the other 364 days of the year.
"Lord, may my children always try to be
kind to each other and to everyone else."
1 Thessalonians 5:15