It’s no secret that I try really hard to pass along some of my values to my kids. I can’t imagine many parents who don’t. It’s not about indoctrinating them; it’s about being transparent about who I am, and why, and how that identity is tied to my beliefs about our responsibilities as part of this huge world.
And, while I often wonder, like most parents, where my children get certain traits (except that I know where my daughter gets her impatience, obviously!), I think that I see a lot of my curiosity about others and fundamental interest in others’ well-being in my children, too, especially my oldest son.
The children in our church were invited about a year ago to help to raise money for a water filtration system in Mexico. The kids got these plastic bottles to use for banks, and they collected some coins.
And Sam has been pretty serious about it.
He has shaken down more than a few visitors to our house, darted across parking lots to retrieve lost pennies, and asked mournfully for “paper money” from some of his donors. When my mother-in-law paid him $2 for helping to sell plants last spring, he said, “I’m so proud of myself. I can help with the water!” And when he found a quarter and his father offered that he could keep 12 cents and donate the other 13, he looked at him and said, “Daddy, I don’t need 12 cents.” It all went in the jar.
And, so, for this birthday, I want to not only use my own money to help others (and, I hope, convince some of my friends to do so, too), but also show Sam that Mommy shares his conviction that (as he often puts it in his ‘pitch’), “everyone should have clean water when they’re thirsty.”
You can visit my Facebook cause here. And make a donation if you’re so inclined. And leave a note for me to share with Sam, too. We’ll celebrate my birthday together by writing out our own donation, dumping his bottle of coins in the collection jar, drinking some clean water, and rejoicing in the love of a family that believes together…and helps together.