Every day, I have the pleasure of greeting the kindergarten students at the gate and letting them into the classrooms. I've had an opportunity to better get to know each of the children and their families in all four kindergarten classes. I'm not sure if it's my duty this year that has me noticing this more or if these families just say these words more frequently than in some previous years, but almost every adult who drops off a child at the gate, ends the goodbye with, "I love you!" Three little words. Some siblings even utter these words as they drop off kindergarten students. You wouldn't necessarily think that words can change trajectories, but I've seen how they can.
I've watched a child that is holding back tears breathe a little deeper when hearing, "I love you."
I've noticed a frown turn into a smile just thanks to these words.
I've also heard kids excitedly shout and wave, "I love you," in response to these adult farewells.
Even adults who might be on conference calls as they drop off their children or frantically typing a response to an email or text, stop and say, "I love you!" Sometimes these words come with a hug. Sometimes they come with a wave. Sometimes they come with a kiss. And sometimes they're just the genuine sentiment. No matter how they come, they seem to hold power and reduce stress. If you could hear joy, you would hear it in these many shouts of, "I love you!"
As we enter the final weeks of school, and there seems to be a little additional stress for adults and kids alike, I have to wonder if everyone could benefit from a few extra greetings of love and moments to connect. What do you think? How might we make this happen? Imagine reducing stress with the power of a simple three words.