You guys! I am seriously one proud momma over here – my son literally brought happy tears to my eyes! Let me back up a bit and give you a bit of background….
A few weeks ago, in the wake of all the tragedies across the world, Bethanie from The Garcia Diaries started a new movement called Project Stand For Love. She voiced what many of us moms are currently feeling – with all the terror, the tragedies, and the sadness surrounding us, how are we supposed to raise children in this world? How can we cope as mothers? How can we fight back? The answer is simple. By spreading love and kindness. By teaching our children that love will always win. That love is the most powerful thing out there.
She asked some of us bloggers to print out a little note that she created, and use it when executing an act of kindness. The goal is to spread kindness, hope and love, hopefully that person will pay it forward.
I took this as an amazing opportunity to teach Andrew (who just turned 4) about kindess to others and giving back to our community.
I began with a few small things right in my own neighbourhood. I left freshly picked raspberries on a neighbour’s doorstep. Next, I took homemade cupcakes to a new mom on my street. I explained to Andrew in very simple terms what I was doing and why.
A few days later, I asked Andrew if he would like to bake some cookies to take to the local firestation, police station, and EMS station. He was thrilled with the idea, and we spent the afternoon baking cookies, packaging them up, and making thank you cards.
We invited his cousins to come along with us on our little adventure, and we couldn’t have asked for a better reception at each visit. The paramedics spent time chatting with the kids, giving them little ambulance cars to take home and offered to take them in the trucks. The police officers thanked them and assured Andrew that he would share with all the other officers. The firefighters took all the kids in each of the trucks, gave them firefighter hats to take home (with the option of pink hats as well!), and showed them the jaws of life. The kids had a blast, which made me happy…but I wasn’t sure if Andrew really ‘got it.’ Did he really understand why we were doing this?
That brings me to the point of this post. We were driving home from a morning outing a few days ago, and Andrew and I had an interesting conversation:
Andrew: Mommy, it’s really hot out.
Me: Sure is, buddy.
Andrew: Do you remember when took cookies and cards to the firefighters and paramedics and policemen?
Andrew: Maybe we could give the garbage man some cookies and water because it’s so hot out. I bet he would like that.
Annnnnnnd cue the tears. I could not have been more proud of my little man. For real.
So, we rushed home and made cards and got bottles of water ready to go, because I had no flipping clue what time the recycling and garbage got picked up. Then, we headed outside to wait. I had no idea how long we would have to wait in the blistering heat, but gosh darn it, I would wait however long it took for him to finish his own act of kindness. He stood there eagerly waiting with the card and bottles of water with a huge smile on his face.
Thankfully, karma was on our side and the recycling truck pulled up in less than two minutes. The “recycle man” as Andrew called him, was visibly shocked when Andrew shyly handed over the water and card and told him it was hot and he thought he might like them. And you know what? Kindness really does breed kindness. After he put the water and card in his truck, he picked up our recycling bins and said gruffly, “Let me get these for you” and carried them up to our garage. Kindness makes the world a better place. I think we brightened each others day.
To learn more about Project Stand For Love, check out the hashtag (#projectstandforlove) on Instagram, and pop over to The Garcia Diaries to get the free printable and join in this amazing movement.