Okay so this is going to be a relatively short post and the title is a little misleading, but today I really started thinking about how we as parents are our children's first real models on how to be good people. We all inherently know that we are the main models of morality and ethics for our children, but I think it's very easy for us to forget that little eyes are always watching and little ears are always listening. Thinking about this really started after I made our new advent calendar to help teach our kids the true meaning of the holiday season. I try every day of the year to be an example to my kids as to what kind of person I want them to be, I try to be an example in both my actions and words whenever possible; and today one of those occasions showed itself!
We've been cooped up for two days because of a yucky stomach bug that has been making its way through our house (the hubby has it now), so I decided that we needed a quick, simple outing to help with our cabin fever. Of course where else would we go but the Starbucks driver through!? I figured it would be a quick and easy way to get out of the house for a few minutes but not have to really do any meaningful work. On the way to the starbucks by our house I noticed there was a homeless person and his dog sleeping under the freeway as I drove by, this is quite uncommon in our town so it caught my attention. When as the drive through I decided to get the man a large water and a sandwich to help him out. As a general rule I don't usually give money since I don't know their circumstances or why they are homeless, I don't want to inadvertently support a habit, or put them at risk of being a target to robbers, so I give food or water when I can. Once I bought the food and got our drinks I looped around the street to get back to the sleeping man and his dog. As I pulled up the dog noticed me right away and I noticed that the sleeping man was actually a heavily bundled sleeping woman! I was able to wake her by calling out to her. I asked her if she was hungry or thirsty and she said "yes" I then showed her the food and large water and she jumped up astonished saying "oh wow". I have to admit this broke my heart that she was so surprised to receive random generosity. She thanked me so much and happily sat down to share her meal with her dog. As we left Isabella asked me if we were starting our advent activities. I told her "no" and we had a nice conversation about the differences in what people have and why we need to be grateful for our blessings and help others whenever possible. It was a wonderful conversation and she was so excited and happy that we helped this woman and started talking about different things we could do to help (she suggested we build her a bed). It was so nice to see her excited about helping others and also to start to understand what she has to be grateful for. I hope that moments like these really serve to be examples to my kids about how they should be towards their fellow man. I want my kids to be kind, loving, caring, honest, compassionate people and that starts with me!
*Note: I understand that it isn't always safe to give to people in need and we always need to be safe first and foremost. I was in a very public area, in broad daylight, and I gave the woman her food and water from the passenger window that was half way down with the doors locked. I would not have stopped if it was isolated or night time etc. I want my children to understand compassion and kindness but to also understand that this is a big world we live in and not everyone is nice (we've had conversations about this too) and that they need to act accordingly.