Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

The Kindness We Learn Matters

When I think about the nice things that people have done for me, it’s hard to separate them from the bigBIGthings that have made an impact on my life but didn’t necessarily stem from kindness.  When I think about the nicest things that I have been blessed to receive, they include the following.

The woman who carried me in her body, loved me, sang to me, and gave me away. The family that made me theirs.

My boss, way back then, who offered me an opportunity that involved a move from Denver to DC. It was one of the best things I’ve done, and my boss was incredibly nice, but she wasn’t “just being nice.” Her treatment of me when I came here was. That she took time to know me, to befriend me, and to invite me.

The day that two special education teachers came to my home to evaluate Tucker, and talk to me about non-categorical preschool versus Preschool Autism Classroom (PAC) is something that I remember as kind. I realize that it was their job to come.  But, they could have been awful, rude, or too busy to care. They weren’t. When I said “Um, wait. The autism class? But. Really. Truly. It’s just a speech delay,” they did not judge or assume. They listened.

Later, they fell in love with my son. They guided me, almost as much as they guided him.

That they understood him, in a way that I didn’t. That they got that his cape was put on backwards, and that that’s when he got upset.

Dumbass put my cape on backwards

They got more than I did, when he was just ThisBig.

Bench this big

My friend Joanna, who came to hear me read my story for Listen to Your Mother.  While I know she enjoyed the show, she was there for me for weeks while I obsessed over what to wear, sent her photos of shoe options, and couldn’t even talk about the rehearsal without crying. She didn’t push. She was just there. That Dana, Sarah, and Denise came, in spite of long drives.  That I told my story.

With amazing women, who also told theirs.


It’s easy to feel like we – as people – don’t deserve kindness, and empathy. It’s easy to feel like a freak. But, you know, we’re not.

Or, we are.

All of us.

All of us are a damaged, broken, hurt, insecure, and feel undeserving of nice.

All of us are also more than deserving of nice. Deserving of all of it. Understanding, hugs, and the little moments, like a friend choosing a scarf that she thinks will look pretty on you, just because you’re in Listen to Your Mother.

All of us deserve those moments. Sometimes, though, they’re hard to remember. On some level, I like to think that we remember. That we remember the kindness, if not with our brains, with our souls, and our bodies, and in our actions.

The kindness that we absorb, and the kindness that we learn. It matters.

One of the nicest things anybody’s ever done for me is to read this blog, and to make me feel less alone. To make me realize that there is an entire world of people out there – people who are hoping to be parents, people who are parenting precocious and amazing little kids, people praying for the right therapy for their special needs kid, and the just people people.

There are you guys. Out there.

Right here.

The best thing.

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “One of the best things somebody ever did for me was… ”  by Sarah at Left Brain Buddha. Please go show her some extra love.

Janine: Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Kate: Can I get another bottle of whine?
Stephanie: Mommy, for Real
Me (Kristi): 
Finding Ninee



  • Janine Huldie - Weel said and put and come you know we love you and your blog, too. Seriously, I totally can’t imagine not reading your blog now or ever. So, thank you for always be willing to share with us here! 🙂May 15, 2014 – 10:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, thanks, Janine! I didn’t know what I was going to write until the last second but then it was easy to think of nice things and kindness.May 16, 2014 – 4:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Hi Kristi: As always, you’ve knocked it out of the park. I really connected with this: “The kindness that we absorb, and the kindness we learn matters.” Somehow, I read it, and said to myself: yup, she’s totally right.

    And BTW, you are not alone. Not by a long shot!!

    AMay 15, 2014 – 10:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, thanks, Anna!!! I think that the kindness that we learn really does matter…. it’s so easy to forget about all of the amazing things that happen all around us and to us, and the important feel goods that we’re so blessed to experience. I hope you have an amazing weekend!May 16, 2014 – 4:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate (Shakespeare's Mom) - So, so beautiful. I LOVE the idea that even if we don’t remember every kindness with our brains, we remember “with our souls, with our bodies, and in our actions.” That is so very true, and what a lovely way to think about it.May 15, 2014 – 10:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Hey, I’m super happy that you think it’s nice that I read your blog and came to hear you speak. But listen here, I read your blog and I came to hear you speak because you have opened yourself up and what you write has tremendous impact on how I manage. You’ve let me know that someone out there feels the same way I do. Plus, you’re fun and funny.
    So far (and I think I’m three in so hardly a representative sample) it’s interesting that’s it’s the day to day for so many of us. No isolated enormous gift but small signs on a regular basis that add up to something truly amazing.May 15, 2014 – 10:46 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sarah,
      I’m super happy that you do read my blog and came to hear Listen to Your Mother but thank you so much for thinking I’m helpful AND fun AND funny! I think you’re pretty awesome too. It’s true that it’s the day to day stuff so often – I couldn’t think of anything HUGE except my husband knocking me up, and obviously, he won there too. 😉May 16, 2014 – 5:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - I love this Kristi and I could not agree with you more! I met a mom today for coffee, who found me through my blog and she desperately (I believe) just wanted some one to be kind to her and her son, and I remember that feeling and was so honored to be able to pay it forward.

    BTW – I can’t wait to read/hear you LTYM piece. Email me at let me know how it went!May 15, 2014 – 11:01 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Allie,
      I love that you met a mom for coffee today who found you through your blog! I love when I get to meet – or speak on the phone to – IRL moms who just need somebody to remind them that life can still be beautiful with a diagnosis, it’s just going to be different.
      I’ll post the YouTube video when it comes out sometime this summer!!! (LTYM)
      Happy Friday, friend!May 16, 2014 – 5:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Don - You’re exactly right about this! I was racking my brain trying to think of that one really nice thing that a person had done for me, when all along, it’s the million little nice things that people do that make life so great sometimes. You’ve been nice to me many times and I’m glad we’re online friends, even without benefits. Hahaha, what!?? Lol.May 15, 2014 – 11:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Did you hurt yourself racking your brain? But yeah, it’s the little things, like making hookers cry and you’ve been nice to me, too, so thanks for that.
      I’m glad we’re online friends too, and haha, perv.May 16, 2014 – 5:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzy - Muddle-Headed Mamma - Such beautiful sentiment Kristi, as always 🙂 I love the way that you look at the concept of deserving kindness from both angles; that all of us are both undeserving and deserving. I think sometimes the person who it’s hardest of all to be kind to is ourselves. Your friend Joanna sounds like a friend indeed 🙂May 16, 2014 – 3:43 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Lizzy, you’re SO right that it’s the very hardest to be kind to ourselves. It’s much too easy to be down on ourselves and yes, Joanna is an awesome friend. Truly.May 16, 2014 – 5:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - Beautiful. I guess you’re right, and I’m glad you are. It’s another set of ‘don’t have to FEEL it, for it to be absolutely nonetheless TRUE’ 🙂 Thanks. I needed to hear this.May 16, 2014 – 6:16 amReplyCancel

  • The Dose of Reality - Oh, I am typing this through tears, Kristi. We do remember kindness in our bones. It stays with us forever. When people go that extra mile to treat others with kindess, it makes all the difference in the world. It changes lives. I’m so glad I read this today!! –LisaMay 16, 2014 – 8:29 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, sorry, Lisa! I agree though that kindness changes lives and has a huge ripple effect on the whole wide world. Here’s to kindness! And to it being Friday!!May 16, 2014 – 6:01 pmReplyCancel

  • christine - Spot on. I have nothing to add. You said it all beautifully and better than I could.May 16, 2014 – 8:47 amReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I think I have found a lot of kindness in this here blogging world. And I needed it. I remember just about every kindness of my life, so I really make sure to practice acts of kindness because people will remember!May 16, 2014 – 9:33 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Tamara,
      I think the blogging world is full of kind and amazing people. Real life can be, too, which is pretty awesome. And yes, people will remember!!!May 16, 2014 – 6:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerri - The kindest thing is someone showing you how to believe in yourself. Because you rock. You are there for others be it IRL, in text, in blog. Because some one in time showed you what an awesome gift you are. To the world. Awesome finish to the sentence my friendMay 16, 2014 – 9:47 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kerri, so true that somebody helping us to believe in ourselves is the Very Best Kindness. All of us are gifts to the world, and I’m so glad that you, my awesome friend, are a part of my world.May 16, 2014 – 6:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Jean - That is one of the best, most impossible things to describe about blogging to people who don’t do it. Have I mentioned how excited I am to real life meet you in a few weeks????May 16, 2014 – 9:47 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I agree Jean! And I’m SO SO excited to meet YOU in a few weeks!! YAY for IRL meeting!May 16, 2014 – 6:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - While life isn’t always fair, I do believe that we often get back what we give. Not always, but enough. People do nice things for you because you are deserving, and because you are awesome. That makes it easy.May 16, 2014 – 11:11 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Dana,
      I think that we get back most of what we give, too. Karma or whatever and AWWW thank you for thinking I’m awesome. I think you’re pretty awesome right back.May 16, 2014 – 6:09 pmReplyCancel

  • karen - (((HUGS))) LOVE THIS SO MUCH! What wonderful things you have experienced and been given. Bloggers have welcomed me with open arms and I love being a part of this world.

    Just one kind act can make the biggest differnce in someone’s life. I always think that my smile or please/thank you to a person having a bad day just may change their attitude when they go home. POerhaps they will use kind words towards their kids or spouse and it keeps moving forward.May 16, 2014 – 11:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks for the HUGS, Karen!! I love being a part of the blogging world too and of COURSE they’ve welcomed you with open arms because you’re fabulous! Here’s to kind gestures moving forward and going on and on and on…May 16, 2014 – 6:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe - Yup, whether we are conscious of it or not, all those kindnesses paid to us seep in and accumulate and bubble out every now and again, letting us “pay it forward” in some way to someone else in need at the moment. 🙂May 16, 2014 – 1:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Drun Kenman - This is beautiful. That is all. May 16, 2014 – 1:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Margarita Costa Matos - Kristi, this really touched me: “On some level, I like to think that we remember. That we remember the kindness, if not with our brains, with our souls, and our bodies, and in our actions. ”

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing and sending these words into the cosmos. Have a good weekend. 🙂May 16, 2014 – 2:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life - Sometimes the littlest things are the nicest and make a difference. I hope in some small way that I repay the kindnesses that have been done to me. Reading this was lovely…you are never alone! I hope you know that.May 16, 2014 – 2:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I agree, Michelle. I do know (mostly) that I’m never alone but thank you for the reminder and I love that it’s the little things that matter and make a difference.May 16, 2014 – 6:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Joanna - Oh, Wow! I don’t know what to say. I just clicked on your blog as usual but was not prepared. Thanks so much! And of course, you know, that you have been there for me in so many very important, needed ways. Thank YOU.May 16, 2014 – 2:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Joanna, your comment made me smile bighuge and you ARE truly awesome and wonderful and fabulous and amazing and I’m so so glad to have your friendship (and that Tucker and Michael are such cool friends, too). Here’s to YOU and your awesomeness. xoMay 16, 2014 – 6:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly McKenzie - There is an entire world out there. As I sit at my desk tippy tapping away on the keys I sometimes well mostly let’s be honest tend to forget that. And yes – the fact that we don’t have to “feel it for it to be true ” just sums it all up. Thank you Kristi. Your outfit- what I can see of it – looks smashing btw!May 16, 2014 – 2:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Hi Kristi: been thinking about your post overnight. I liked it a lot last night — and even more this morning. Wonderful!May 16, 2014 – 2:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger - LOVE the LTYM picture! But not quite as much as the “dumbass who put my cape on backwards” picture. That is the best thing ever. Cheers to kindness, my friend! May 16, 2014 – 6:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Julia Starr Arnold - Glad I had a chance to read your blog today. Lovely as always.May 16, 2014 – 6:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - That is the best bib ever! I’m reading a book with a groups at churn height now calld “Love Does.” We just started, but the basic principle is that Love is an action word – you have to DO something to show love. I think kindness is a similar concept. Being kind is an action -doesn’t have to be big, though. Sometimes, it’s small things that make the biggest difference and sometimes we don’t even know the impact those little acts of kindness have on others.May 16, 2014 – 7:33 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Lisa, I know, right? A friend saw it and thought of me and sent it. Tucker has had some of the best bibs and tshirts ever, I need to do a refresh to get him some funny ones (not bibs obvi) now so that he’s not always wearing a spiderman or iron man or batman tshirt! (LONG sleeved sigh – an obsession).
      I love the idea of kindness and love being actions and think that it’s so true. Must read this book you’re talking about because I really do think that we remember actions so much more than words….
      Thanks, you. XOMay 16, 2014 – 10:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle AKA Crumpets and Bollocks - You are right a lot of times we don’t think we deserve kindness. I do that a lot. I don’t like to accept any kind of “help,” even when I ask for it. It’s like I don’t embrace the kindness offered, or I push it away, because on a deep subconscious level, I feel like I don’t deserve it, especially when I don’t think I can return the favor. I might complain that I’ve had to pay friends to help out, like that’s somehow their fault, but then I realized, wait, I pay them even when they don’t want the money because I don’t think I deserve the charity. Insightful. Do you need my health insurance information to bill them for this session?May 16, 2014 – 9:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Michelle,
      BY THE WAY!!! Cool new blog name!! Big cool.
      Isn’t it dumb that we think we don’t deserve kindness? I mean, when I think about deserving it, I’m all “YES, yes, I do.” But then, when I think about actually receiving it, I feel weird and awkward and totally undeserving. Ach.
      And yes, please forward your health insura….. NO, I do NOT need your health insurance info because I am kind! And so are you! And, we’re in this together, having both escaped our mom’s PH. mmm hmmm.May 16, 2014 – 10:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie Chenell DeNeen - Wish I could have been at your LTYM reading! I saw a meme once with a guy holding his computer in a tight bear hug and it had a speech bubble that said, “i love my computer so much because it’s where my friends live.”May 16, 2014 – 9:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I love your list of kindnesses, including us blog readers. 🙂 Had I finished the sentence this week, I wouldn’t have been able to list just one thing either. And, I think we’re fortunate that we DO have a list, because I believe that people who receive kindnesses (yikes, is that a word?) are the ones who give them the most.May 16, 2014 – 9:43 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Emily, I think you’re right that receiving kindnesses (and totally a word – at least now if not before?) do end up giving more because they’re so very very appreciated. I was going to write about being thankful for knowing some grammar, and this started as the serious intro, but then? Well. The grammar seemed to not matter. Hope you and the boys are having a great weekend!May 17, 2014 – 8:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Rant Rave Crave - You really nailed it when you said we all deserve kindness but feel like we don’t deserve it after being damaged so. WE DO need it. We sadly go through so much crap that yes, we need to embrace that kindness we receive ever so tight!May 16, 2014 – 9:44 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Bianca, we DO need it. I wish we ALWAYS got it during the times when we need it the very most, but I like to believe that we can hold it inside ourselves for when we feel like there’s none out there because those days are just, well. Dark. And here’s to embracing it so tightly, and to remembering it when we really need it! Damaged and all. Hope you’re having a great weekend!May 17, 2014 – 8:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcia @ Menopausal Mother - Another beautiful post, Kristi. I would have given anything to hear you at LTYM. I’ll bet you were amazing. Congratulations for being a part of such an incredible group of writers. You deserve to be there! XOMay 16, 2014 – 11:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw, Marcia, I would have LOVED LOVED LOVED for you to be there. It was so amazing – just really, really incredible. It was better than I thought it was going to be. There was something super powerful about people reading such personal stories. One of these days, it’ll be near you and I’ll come see you perform!May 17, 2014 – 8:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Caroline - What a beautiful post! <3May 17, 2014 – 10:33 amReplyCancel

  • Denise Farley - See?! See?! This is the writing that “hooked” me the first time I read your words:)
    The photo of Tucker with the bib is absolutely perfect! The look on his face is…perfect. I bet that is exactly what he was thinking LOL
    I was more than happy to travel to listen to you speak and to listen to all the other women share themselves, their world, their families. Thank you for inviting me. May 17, 2014 – 11:59 amReplyCancel

  • Dawn White Daum - So beautiful and well written. It actually changed my morning. Thank you 🙂May 17, 2014 – 12:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Shay from Trashy Blog - I love it, you sentimental skank, you. And I miss you. I’ve been writing my skanky little heart on my blog while working 3 jobs that let me be with my kids most of the day, so that has left little time for catching up on my favorite blogs. But I’m thinking this summer I’ll have a little extra time…I hope to start visiting more often!!May 17, 2014 – 4:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - SHAY! I’ve been getting your trashy shorts and reading them on my phone (because I am a loyal subscriber, if not a loyal commenter) and I’m SO GLAD you’re back. Also you always pick the not-funny ones. What’s up with that? Aliens came to visit me recently, and you come to the sentimental skank ones. I miss you too. Ho.
      3 jobs? I hope at least one has free beer, because, well. Yikes.May 17, 2014 – 8:38 pmReplyCancel

  • April - Oh my! Those are some wonderful and kind things. I definitely feel more of a community with my online friends, since my “real” friends live so far away now. You have been a warm part of my day reading your comments. To appreciate the life and the love you have been given is truly a blessing.May 17, 2014 – 8:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Most of my friends live far away as well but I’ve met some really amazing people through Tucker’s school the past couple of years – one of whom is Joanna, mentioned here. I agree that the online community is amazing and being able to appreciate the love we’re given is the BEST blessing. Hope you’re having a great weekend, April!!May 18, 2014 – 12:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Nj Rongner - Older I get, the more I realize that kindness matters so much! The little things turn into big things.May 18, 2014 – 9:05 pmReplyCancel

  • JenKehl - You are so right. About all of it. About how kindness make’s a difference, no matter what kind it is. No matter if someone notices or not.
    I try to teach that to Isaiah, I think it is a huge important lesson for kids.
    I am glad I found your blog 🙂
    TTTx10May 18, 2014 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - It’s a huge lesson for kids and I’m so glad that I found YOU.
      TTTx10, Jen. Big and huge.June 2, 2014 – 11:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandy Ramsey - This right here is one crazy beautiful post, Kristi. But I’m never really surprised by that. One of the best things I ever did for myself was read your blog. You are so down to earth, so real, so kind and you rock as a mom and an advocate. I wish I could have seen you at LTYM. I know it would have been spectacular!
    I will say this, I find in life that you get what you give. So there you have it 🙂May 19, 2014 – 8:23 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OMG I can’t believe I didn’t see this at the time. What an amazing compliment from such an incredible woman and writer, Sandy. Thank you. thank you HUGE BIG HUGEST of all.June 2, 2014 – 11:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Love this post Kristi, so glad to have met you along the blog way, looking forward to the IRL way one day too.May 19, 2014 – 1:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine with My Morning Quiet Time? - Aw, this is beautiful, Kristi. Can’t wait to see your video on LTYM. How cool that all those ladies drove in to watch you. I love that.May 20, 2014 – 4:41 pmReplyCancel

  • A Morning Grouch - Kindness is all there is. Horrifying, really, how hard it is to sometime be as nice to others as we really feel about them, or how hard it is to be nice to ourselves, sometimes, or how surprised we are when people go out of their way to show kindness. May 21, 2014 – 8:39 amReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - At first, I did not want to be a part of this show but was talked in to auditioning. When I was accepted and my piece got torn into shreds, I thought that it wasn’t worth my time. I’m so glad that I stuck to my guns because this experience was…I can’t even put it into words.
    Everyone has a story of hardships. We may think that they are not important but people are listening and connecting. So proud of you and can’t wait to watch you live-ish xoxoMay 23, 2014 – 5:22 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I know Kim, they were initially ick with you, but YOU hung in there and then read and read and made people feel and made them thankful. For you. Your voice. YOU. xoxoxoxoxoxooJune 2, 2014 – 11:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - I’ve been far too absent in my reading here – catching up today, obviously! This is so true, Kristi. And I can tell you that a little kindness can go a very long way…just as well as a lack of kindness shown can have such a huge impact. I know this all too well right now and it just burns me. Long story. But I love this – and you! Hope to be reading more regularly very soon! 🙂May 31, 2014 – 2:18 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Lisa, I get when life gets in the way. You’re so right too that kindness, and the lack of it, has such gigantic unseen affects. Sorry that you’re dealing with the icky part of it..June 2, 2014 – 11:56 pmReplyCancel

  • paid interests - Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my questions are answered!September 24, 2014 – 11:38 amReplyCancel

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