How Can You Not Smile? Boys' Reaction On Meeting For The First Time Sends A Powerful Message
Their moms decided to share the photo to demonstrate what friendship and equality looks like at a time when it's badly needed.
Three year olds Landon and Vondell hadn't met in person until recently. But the pictures of their first encounter tell the story better than words, of how these two boys were friends at first sight despite their skin color and any other differences they might have.
Their mothers, Nina Armata and Rebecca Cherry, actually are old friends. They grew up together in Exeter, New Hampshire and have stayed close on Facebook. "We've stayed connected through social media and have been able to share our lives that way," Armata told CBS Boston. That included sharing pictures of their sons with each other -- and the boys themselves.
Landon and Vondell acted like old friends from the moment they met.Nina Armata/Screen grab from CBS Boston
When moms and sons got together recently for a play date, the friendship was instant. "When they saw each other in Exeter that day, it was like they were old buddies," Cherry said. "They just took off, took off running, took off playing."
The mothers decided to post a picture of the boys hugging each other on Facebook with the hashtag #StartsWithUs. "It's incredible how many people have shared it and how many amazing responses we've gotten from people all over the place," Armata said.
Armata's message on her Facebook post? Kids aren't born with hate in their hearts -- they learn it. And it's our job as parents to make sure tolerance is what our kids are learning
We are not responsible for the actions of past generations, but we are responsible for raising a more compassionate, tolerant, and equal next!
"It starts with valuing each other as humans and I think that's lost now," Armata told CBS Boston. "I don't want either of our boys to grow up in a world that we don't value each other."
What a great message from two insightful moms who are well on the way to raising wonderful sons who will make a difference -- even though they don't know it yet!
The innocent play of 3-year olds sends a powerful message to the rest of us!Nina Armata/Screen grab from CBS Boston