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What I say to my kids every. single. day!

kristi hayesComment
eyes wide light's shine.jpg

There is a saying I yell out the door each day ...it's “ EYES WIDE, LIGHTS SHINE…”.


I used to say let your light shine...I said it every day they left my car for school. We said it so much that the carpool lady then started telling her kids, and the principal started asking my kids if their light shined that day. It caught on. And I loved that my kids were held accountable at school.

As much as we tell our kids anything we hope it sinks in. We just never know. Sometimes we say things until we are blue in the face and they never get it, and then sometimes they do.

I added the EYES wide part, because I think as a culture these days we just don’t pay attention like we used too. Our heads our buried in our phones, we don’t talk to strangers in the check out line, or look into the eyes of the person who takes our order at our favorite restaurant. Our eyes just don’t seem as open anymore, and when that happens we miss things, we miss people, we miss out on lots. Lots of mundane, special, beautiful moments and experiences to know and be known by others.


My intention with this saying, EYES WIDE, LIGHTS SHINE was because I wanted them to make sure before they did their normal thing, like sitting down for lunch with their friends, or playing on the monkey bars at recess with their besties, that they scanned the lunchroom, the playground, the places that are so vulnerable for a new kid or a lonely one.

That’s where stuff goes down.

I want to remind them to LOOK, to SEE, to not MISS other’s feelings. And when they see someone who might need a little extra shiny light on them, they go invite, come alongside, shine bright.  Do they always do it...probably not, I mean no, they don’t, let’s be real.

But I read that repetition is key. So I am gonna keep repeating every morning and asking how they shined that light every week. 


Another beautiful thing someone mentioned to me when I told them this phrase this week was, when people keep their EYES OPEN, when they see people, they become open hearted, and when our hearts open, our eyes shine.

Have you ever met someone who is just shiny? Like their eyes glisten because their heart is wide open to others. They experience a deep love, a deep kinship with others, and their light gets brighter because of their need for others, their need for mutual reciprocation of lights shining on them too. Not all of us will have lights to shine. Many of us will have days when it is dark, real dark, like when you stick your hand in front of your face in the pitch black and can’t see it kindof dark, and that's when we will need to receive someone else’s shine, someone else’s light on us. It’s a beautiful thing. All of us being light givers, and light receivers. 

And one day my kids might say, my mom used to say this phrase every single day, “Eyes Wide, Lights Shine,” and so we did.