My Charlie is back home, snuggled in his bed. At least for the next hour until I wake him up with a loud, rousing rendition of “Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory!”

It’s my favorite get-your-sleepy-butt-out-of-bed song.

I mentioned in my post on Monday that Charlie, my 11 year old son, was on a field trip to Gettysburg. I desperately wanted to check, double check, triple check that he was okay and that he hadn’t misplaced his lunch money and that he wasn’t scared, lost, lonely or hurt.

It’s a momma thing.

I used great restraint and held back the crazy in me that wanted to get in a car and drive myself to his hotel room seven hours away.

And then something beautiful happened.

One of the moms on the trip texted me this picture…

And then this one… And this one…

This doesn’t look like a kid who is hungry or worried or missing his mom. This looks like a kid who is having an awesome time spreading his wings and hanging with friends.

It was a little thing, really. A few text messages, one or two a day. A nice comment about how my son is sweet and respectful.

But that’s what kindness is. We talk about Random Acts of Kindness and assume it’s going to take some money or lots of time. What it takes is heart.

Kindness takes a heart that says, “This would brighten my day, so maybe it will brighten your day, too.”

That’s really the essence of kindness.

I lay in Charlie’s bed last night way past both of our bedtimes. He recounted story after story about the weather, It was hot!, the observation towers, They were cool!, and the friendships he made along the way from the kids from other schools, You can’t spend three days in a motel with 100 other fifth graders and not get to know all their names, Mom.

I think the trip was good for both of us. But I sure am grateful for the quiet kindnesses along the way. I bet Charlie is too.