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Act of Kindness: A Valentine

Today, after finishing a day at school and buckling himself for the ride home, my six year old announced that we do “sooooooo much service” . . .

Me:  Yes, we do.
Six Year Old:  It is so much work.
Me:  Yes, it can be.
Six Year Old:  I think we need to take a break from work and take a year long break from serving.

Me:  Hmmmm, can we wait to decide that until you hear about what we are doing today?

Six Year Old:  (suspiciously)  I guess.

So, I told them about Carmen, an 8 year old girl.  Carmen has been diagnosed with cancer and will miss the rest of 3rd grade and at least a portion of 4th grade to recover from surgery and treatment.  With all this, she was asked what she wanted, she requested Valentine’s Day Cards.

I showed them Carmen’s picture.

Six Year Old:  (silence)

Me:  Remember when you were in the hospital and others helped you?
Six Year Old:  (thinking)

Me:  Remember how happy our anonymous service made our friends last week.
Six Year Old:  (thinking)  Yes.
Me:  Well, if we decided to stop serving last week, those people wouldn’t have had those happy experiences.
Six Year Old:   (silence)

Me:  Should we help out Carmen?  Send her some cards?
Six Year Old:  (quietly) Yes.

And then we made her some cards with drawings and stickers and we put a homemade heart kite in the envelope.  Both boys cheerfully got right to work to do their best in making Valentine’s Day Cards.

Looking at what we did–
Me:  So, how did doing all that work make you feel?
Six Year Old:  I’m glad we did it.
Me:  So, what do you want to do?
Six Year Old:  Keep helping others.

We are off to the post office to mail Carmen’s Valentine’s Day Cards.  I am grateful to have the chance to talk to my boys about the importance of serving, of helping.  I am sure that my six year old was tired from a full day at school and am impressed that he decided to try a bit harder at the work of serving another.