School, for a lot of people, can be a traumatizing experience. The idea of bullies, not making friends or the overall ‘fear’ can take over your whole brain. For one little girl, starting middle school was a scary thought – until she met somebody who helped her feel relaxed. An old man who fist bumps kids to brighten their day before school has become a legend in their local area.
Audrey was starting middle school and her fear was that she wouldn’t fit in. Gina, Audrey’s mom, recounts a story of why her daughter has a very specific morning routine to help make her school day run smoother.
My name is Gina and I am a mom of 4 kids under the age of 10. As a parent, I am constantly trying to encourage my kids. In our house, our motto is: ‘If it isn’t motivating, encouraging or inspiring, don’t say it.’ My hope is that the words I use to inspire them will stick with them when the world isn’t so nice. This year is my oldest daughter Audrey’s first year in middle school. She can be really shy, and like all middle schoolers was nervous to start a new school.
Gina usually drops her daughter off at the corner on a morning for her to walk the rest of the journey to school but this day she took her to the parent drop off point.
When we pulled in to the school she said, ‘Oh no, I forgot! I like you dropping me off at the corner, so I can talk to the cute, little old man. And today I would have had more time!’
Confused, Gina asked Audrey who the ‘cute little old man’ was. To which her daughter replied:
‘He stands at the steps where you drop me off and encourages all the students as they walk in. He talks about kindness, gives us advice and fist bumps! It’s the best part of the day.’
This old man fist bumps kids every day to make their day happier
Gina was a little perplexed but she decided to head over to see what Audrey was so obsessed with. As soon as Gina saw what was going on, her heart was filled with joy and happiness.
What Gina saw was an old man who tries to give positive encouragement to all the kids on their way to school.
The old man is called Wally, he’s 94-years-old and he’s been bringing smiles to the kids’ faces for years now.
As I sat there listening to what he was telling the kids, most of them were able to recite those sentiments back. You know that he is making a difference because the kids ARE listening to him. Hopefully, as they move along their day they remember those words and make better choices than they would have if they hadn’t come across him. I think if there were more Wally’s in the world, it goes without saying, the world would be a better place.
Gina was there at the right time and she managed to witness one of Wally’s legendary fist bumps. We need more kind-hearted citizens in the world like Wally. This sort of encouragement will surely shape these children into becoming better human beings.
Do you know somebody as kind and inspirational as Wally? At Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section. 🐝