Sunday, November 16, 2008

Teachable Moments of Kindness

Friday, I dropped off Mitchell at preschool, ran a few quick errands and came home to start cooking supper for our friends Glenn and Irene and their family.

You see, Glenn has Multiple Myeloma, a bone marrow cancer. Adding insult to injury, Glenn went into kidney failure and spent six days in the hospital. He's home now and had to undergo dialysis to help his kidneys. He's also going to chemo treatments twice a week. Next week, he starts rounds that will possibly cause him to lose his hair.

So, I came home and made salad, pork loin, fresh green beans and a pumpkin crisp. I also picked up some mashed potatoes (which I don't even make for my own family!). I picked up Mitchell from preschool, and we drove out to Glenn and Irene's home to drop off the supper. The boys played with their four kiddos for hours! It was great to spend time with them, even if it did take almost two hours to get home. Gotta love that rush hour traffic!

Saturday, Mitchell and I went to a birthday party and stopped on the way home to pick up a hamburger for Paul. I ordered a cheeseburger in case one of the boys saw Paul's and decided he needed a burger too.

As I was getting Mitchell secured in the car, I saw a homeless man walking through the parking lot. For an instant, our eyes met. I watched him walk around the corner from the burger joint and sit on the steps of a tire-change place.

I drove my car around the corner and rolled down my window and asked if he was waiting for someone. He said no. Then I asked if he'd like a cheeseburger. He lit up and walked over and accepted the cheeseburger from me. The weather was going to be cold Saturday night, so all I thought of the rest of the night was this gentle-looking man in his thin jacket, out in the cold.

This afternoon, after church, we went to lunch with a friend and their two kiddos. The restaurant was crowded and we couldn't find two tables close enough to push together. There was a dad there with his two teen-age sons. I asked if he'd be willing to move to another table so we could push his table together with an empty one so we could all sit together. He kindly said yes.

I hope that all three of these instances help teach Mitchell that we can be kind to people we know and people we don't know who need our help - and that people will be kind to us too.

10 comments:

Jennifer C. said...

This post made me cry. I'm easily emotional when it comes to people in need and the simple generosity we can all offer - but too often don't.

Your boys have a great mom.

Mary Anna said...

It's awful to say, but sometimes I feel like I'm generous when it's convenient. But, sometimes I look at it as maybe God made it convenient - that I picked up an extra burger, that I got cash-back at the grocery store and was able to give it to the pregnant lady on the corner who looked like she needed it more than me ...

Jennifer C. said...

But wouldn't the world be a better place if we were all charitable when it was convenient - if we all took advantage of those times.

tierd said...

Great lessons for your boys. Very touching post.

HeatherPride said...

You know what I love? I love that you are raising your boys to act as if this is part of your ordinary day, and not like it's going out of your way to help someone. We should all be looking for opportunities to give. You're a sweet mama!

Frogs in my formula said...

Aw, you are the BEST! Of course he's going to learn from you. That was so amazingly touching. Sorry to hear about your friend. One of our good friends just found out she has lymphoma--she's freezing her eggs. I just don't have the right words :(

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I love pay it forward stories. They're the best.

tierd said...

Me again. I tagged you for a photo thing on my blog :)

The Stiletto Mom said...

I think kids these days need to learn more of this and I'm so glad you are teaching by example with your boys. I'm sure they will grow up to be wonderful...they are getting such a good start with you!

Mary Anna said...

I must confess that I've felt really guilty since posting these stories. Never in a million years did I intend for anyone (anyone) to compliment me for being generous. Really. The point of this post was to point out how actions oftentimes really do speak louder and that our children learn from us always. We are our children's first teachers, and hopefully we're teaching them the right things.

So, thank you all for pointing out how nice it was that I did this or that and that my boys have a good role model and whatever ...

But, please take to heart that this wasn't the intention of this post (to be my own cheerleader for stuff I do without a second thought).