I was all prepared to write another sarcastic, witty pregnant lady post for today.  But what a week it’s been.  It’s hard to push out of my mind the thought that I am about to bring a child into a world where people kill and terrorize others for reasons that I can’t begin to articulate or understand.  Where whole cultures of people are marginalized, discriminated against, and forgotten about.  Where the first news story I see is about a massive tragedy and the second is about a photo some Hollywood “starlet” posted on social media.

At times like this, I feel very small and helpless.  Then I feel the gentle squirms in my belly, and I remember that I’m not even close to the smallest or most helpless person around.

I can’t pretend to know any of the answers, and I know I can’t singlehandedly change the world.  I can’t impact billions of people on my own.  But I can tell you this:

When I was probably 9 or 10, a stranger approached my mom in McDonald’s and told her that she just wanted her to know that she had a beautiful family.  It made me feel special.

When I was in sixth grade my teacher pulled me aside and said she had noticed that I was having trouble with my friends.  She wanted to know if I was ok.  It made me feel noticed.

When I was in tenth grade, my History teacher kept me after class to make me rewrite a B+ paper because he said it wasn’t my best work.  It made me feel like I had something to offer.

When I was in twelfth grade, a woman approached me at the ice rink where I practiced to tell me that she and her daughter loved to watch me skate.  It made me feel beautiful.

When I was a brand new mom and was shellshocked from my birth experience, my mom wrote me a card to say how proud she was of me.  It made me feel like it was going to be ok.

When I had a tiny baby, a friend reached out to ask if I was interested in writing for CT Working Moms.  It changed the course of my motherhood.

This weekend a group of amazing friends moved me to tears by showing up for a surprise baby shower.  It filled my heart with love.

We as individuals may not be able to change the world, but one small act of kindness can make a big difference in one person’s life.  I know this because many very special people have made a huge difference in mine in their own small ways.  At times like this, when the world seems so hateful and the future seems bleak, I hope that we can all focus on doing what we can to spread love.