Being a parent is the most difficult job on earth. We struggle daily with teaching our children life’s lessons; all that we have learned from our own trials and tribulations from infancy to adulthood. We encourage them to make the right choices; use their manners; be kind to their friends; stand up for what they believe in; to work, study and play hard; to value their family and friends; respect their elders; to be honest and give to others. We do all of these things with hope that when we send them out into the world, they will be “good” people who make a positive impact on society.
Attempting everyday teach our children, it is the times when they show us that they have been listening that we recall. They hear what we have been teaching and are adopting those values into their own abridged lives.
Over the past year or so, we have talked to Jordan and Kendall about giving and/or volunteering; finding an individual or an organization (charity) to contribute to. We have always considered the possibility of feeding the homeless at Thanksgiving. We discussed donating toys, clothes, etc. These were the typical conversations that happen semi-annually when it is time to clean out the closets. However, this year we were attempting to do something different; possibly more personal, that our kids would remember.
A few weeks ago, I was on Facebook and noticed a friend of mine had posted about a family (friends of hers) that had a daughter with a rare form of brain/spinal cord cancer, called Empendymoma. This little girl and Kendall happen to be about the same age. As I was sitting at the computer fixated on her website (reesesroad.com) with tears in my eyes, Kendall walked into my office and started with a rampage of questions. “Who is that, Mom?” “What is her name?” “Is she sick?” “What’s wrong with her?” “Is she at the hospital?” “Do we know her?” “Where does she live?” Such simple questions, with relatively complicated answers.
About an hour later that same night as we sat down for dinner Kendall revealed, “Mom, I have a great idea! Let’s have a lemonade stand tomorrow and give all the money that we make to Reese. We can sell popsicles and lemonade.” The enthusiasm in her voice was overwhelming and contagious. I found myself feeling very proud of her and spilling out a list of items that we would need. She already had plenty of thoughts on how to run her “business,” put the plan in motion and had discussed the entire process with Jordan. The only problem was that it was Monday; and we needed to wait all week until Saturday to do the lemonade stand. 🙂
They counted the days until Saturday came and when it did arrive, the weather showed that it was supposed to be one of the hottest days of summer. Consequently, instead of a lemonade stand, they had a lemonade tent. They spent 4 ½ hours outside spreading the word about Reese, selling lemonade and popsicles. The expressions on their faces were priceless when cars would stop to donate money and ask about Reese. At one point the kids came running inside yelling, “Mom, mom…a guy just gave us $5 for ONE cup of lemonade and he didn’t even want any change!!!” What a great lesson for the kids and an awesome way to spend a Saturday!