As parents we have lots of moments...some good, some bad! Sometimes we lose our cool, other times we feel so lost, and yet sometimes there's that moment where you know you're doing something right. I had one of those moments this weekend...
When we walked into our hotel to check in on Saturday we were greeted with Christmas decorations. Yikes! Front and center when you walked in was a lovely Christmas tree decorated with giving tree angels from the Salvation Army. The girls were curious about the ornaments, so I explained that each one represented a kiddo whose parents didn't have any extra money to buy them a present for Christmas. The girls and I have been saving money to donate to the food bank and talking lots about that, so they immediately made the connection to those conversations--people who work hard, but their jobs don't pay enough money for them to buy everything they need. The girls immediately wanted to choose a child to buy a gift for. They gravitated towards very young kids, so we ended up with tags for a 1 year old and 2 year old. My heart nearly burst when Kelsey asked me if she could do extra jobs to earn extra money to buy these gifts. I promised that I would indeed help them find jobs to earn the money.
The next day we stopped by WalMart to grab a few groceries before we headed home. The subject of the gifts for these kids came up again. Now, in my mind I had hatched this little plan that we'd go home, set a budget, earn the money and come back to town and shop for the gifts. After we got our groceries though, it became clear that this was one of those times where I needed to let go of my agenda and follow their lead. They asked to walk down the toy aisles and find toys for our angel kids. There was lots of conversation between the girls about choosing toys that were age appropriate and safe for these younger kids. As we wandered the toy aisles and they made their selections I felt so proud of the generosity they were displaying. Later it hit me though...the entire time we were in they toy and book areas of the store, not once did they ask for anything for themselves. There wasn't even a comment about how cute a baby doll was. They were completely focused on giving. And when we got home the very first thing they did (after showing off their choices to Daddy) was go count out the money they owed me from their piggy banks.
Honestly, this story has brought me to the verge of tears more than once. In my life walk I strive to be generous, kind and helpful. I try to talk to my kids about why I do the things I do. I want them to know why it is important to me to help people, friends or strangers; why it is nice to do things for people and why it is nice to do them anonymously sometimes. Moments like these let me know that they are getting those messages. And that despite the sibling bickering, they are growing up to be incredible young ladies!
Since I'm already teary, I'll leave you with these pictures from 5 (!!!) years ago this week...Stacy is 6 months old and Kelsey is 20 months old. Such sweet babies they were!