I learn so much every day from these kids of mine. Easton had to give a talk in primary on Sunday and I asked him to think about a time when he was honest. He immediately remembered a time when he came in from recess and had rocks in his shoes. I had him sit down and write it all out, and then on Sunday Joe and I went in to listen to him. He did such a good job!
The other day we had some extra watermelon and I wanted to take it over to our neighbor lady and share with her. As we were visiting, she mentioned that she had been needing to rake her backyard, but it’s been too hot and her hip was bothering her. It was already around 8pm and starting to cool off, so Easton and I insisted that we could have it raked for her in just a few minutes. She really didn’t want us to do it, but I told her that I’m trying to teach my kids the importance of helping others. Easton was so excited to help out…and he’s been asking me almost every day since then we could do it again.
Tonight we saw that she was on her lawnmower again so we went over to help her. You might be thinking how selfless we are to rush over and help a neighbor in need, but let me tell you what really happened to get to that point.
Easton noticed that she was on her lawnmower and immediately asked if we could go over and help rake again. I told him that we’d see in a few minutes, and then I tried to distract him with badminton. I have to admit that I was tempted to keep doing what I was doing and ignore my 80 year old neighbor on her lawnmower. It’s easy to think that her family should be the ones to come over and help her, and if she really wasn’t able to do it then she could always wait for one of them to do it for her. I fall into that line of thinking so easily! The neighbor made a few passes across the lawn and my guilt started to kick in. I pushed the guilt away and tried to ignore those feelings.
Easton didn’t back down when I told him that we could wait for the cut grass to dry for a day or so, and then I asked if they’d like me to read them a book. Another way to distract him. He asked, yet again, if we could PLEASE go over and help her, and it suddenly occurred to me that my kids aren’t going to automatically grow up to be concerned with other people unless I am able to TEACH them these things. If they live their lives ignoring the people around them that are in need of a little extra help, why would I expect them to suddenly change all of that when they’re out in the world on their own? I know better than that, because my own parents have taught me these things.
I changed my shoes, put on my bug spray, and we walked over to rake the neighbor’s lawn so I could try to set a good example for my kids.
What I’m trying to say is that service isn’t easy (at least not for me!) …even when it’s something simple like helping to rake a yard without being asked. At this very minute it’s 10:29pm and Joe is helping a neighbor put a new roof on after he worked 9 hours at his day job. My parents have been running their own neighbor to his dialysis appointments, picking up groceries for that same neighbor’s wife, and trying to coordinate how it will all happen again tomorrow. Why is it so hard for me to do a little something here and there to help those around me?
I’m teaching the lesson in Relief Society in a few weeks and I’ve been looking up talks and reading through them, so I guess that’s why all of this is so heavy on my mind today. It’s so important to teach our children by example. I’m not saying that we’re going to do all of the-lady-next-door’s yard work, but does it hurt us to help out once in a while? I’m trying so hard to remember this, and today I’m thankful for my kids for reminding me of what’s important.