Eddy and I have been talking a little about showing and giving our children a chance to serve others. We have always wanted our kids to know the importance of service. We had a conversation a while back and it got me thinking more about giving them opportunities to serve and seeing Eddy and I serve as well.
Our “conversation” went a little like this…
I was getting upset that Eddy wanted to help someone out last minute. Don’t judge me just yet. 😉
We don’t get a lot of time to have family dinners as a family, our little family of 6 at our dinner table. In a two week span we get 6 out of 14 days to have family dinner. Every Sunday we are with either my family or Eddy’s family. We love that time because our kids get to be with cousins and grandparents. The rest of the time it’s just the kiddos and me because Eddy is at work.
I hope you’ll understand why I was getting upset with Eddy. I cherish that time because it is important family time. When we do get that time to sit down and eat as a family I want it to happen. So when Eddy came home from running an errand with the kids and let me know that he was going to be leaving to go help I was irritated.
I was almost finished with dinner and wanted to sit down with everyone to eat. We both had different plans. At the time I was mad that he was taking away from our family time. He was mad that I wasn’t “letting” him go and help.
It wasn’t until after we had dinner (both of us annoyed), Eddy took the big kids to help, and we got the kids to bed that we sat down to talk.
So now this is how our “conversation” went…
I was getting upset with Eddy that he took time away from our family time to go help someone. I didn’t understand why it had to be then. I was annoyed that we had to stop what we were doing so he could go help. Did I care if he helped? No way. Was I mad at how it went down? You bet.
Eddy was mad that I didn’t “let” him go help right then. Which in turn made me more mad and dinner was a bust anyways. Ha!
Long story short this is what I figured out. Eddy’s dad was always willing to help neighbors or anyone in need. (Not a new concept for me. He is still that way and I love that about him.) This has been a great example for Eddy as he was growing up. He wants our kids to see us helping those in need and be willing to sometimes drop what we are doing to help.
I get that! I want that for our kids too. But, it wasn’t until this little argument that I realized what a valuable and important example this will be for our kids as it was for Eddy growing up. And for the life of me why can’t we start at the good stuff (aka. the point of the argument) instead of ending there? It would save us a few arguments!! Haha! Anyone else in our shoes?
This past weekend and today we have had the chance to serve. There was a day of service in our neighborhood on Saturday morning. I took the kids because Eddy went to help his brother move. With Miss N strapped to me, the kids and I helped raked the leaves at 5 houses. There were 5 adults, 9 kids, and 1 baby. This was only 1 of about 6 or 7 groups serving on this day of service.
The kids had fun and wanted to do more houses. Um, YES! The people who lived at the homes we raked were so grateful for what we did. I loved that my children got to see the people we were serving and their joy.
That same morning Eddy drove down early to help his brother move. We decided to just send Eddy because he would be the most help. And we planned on going back today to help.
Mr. E had the day off of school and Eddy didn’t work. We wanted to spend the day together as a family. What better way then to do that then serve? The kids mostly played with their darling 2 year old cousin. But I hope they understand what Eddy and I were doing: helping family.
I really didn’t do much at all. I packed a few boxes, nursed Miss N, wrangled the kids, then picked up lunch with the kids. Eddy was doing loads more. We ended the day at grandma’s house while Eddy helped bring some loads up to grandma’s house.
I’m grateful that Eddy and I came to the realization that we were both right and wrong. Family dinner time is something we need to make sure happens those 6 days we get to all be together around the table. And serving others is something we do, even if it’s at the most convenient time.
I want to know ways you teach your kids about service. And how do you do it without whinnying and complaining? Haha, I know what is in my dreams…