But even if the only permanent cure is maturation, Sam and I are going to try our damnedest to raise tiny humans who grow into happy adults who show gratitude and appreciation for what they have and achieve, while giving back to their communities what and when they can.
One of the ways we practice this now, while they're still our captive audience, is by regularly donating to our local food bank. We talk often about how there are families in our own community who don't always have enough to eat. Instead of writing a check (which can oftentimes be more useful to a food bank, we realize), we open our wallets and go grocery shopping with the specific purpose of Buying Food So Others May Eat.
Today was the day.
Evan came home from school and after a snack and a few rounds of Angry Birds: Star Wars, I announced our plan for the afternoon. Evan's school is currently hosting a food drive, so he was eager to participate. I opened up my wallet and pulled out some cash. "Okay!" I said, "Here is some extra money I can donate to the Food Bank!" He immediately headed upstairs. He came back down with $7. "I'm trying to save up for the Ewok Village Lego set," he said, "but this is extra."
Max wasn't having it. "I'm saving all of my money for me," he announced, with furrowed brow.
"Max!" Evan said, "You have to think about other people!"
Says the kid who can't stop adding things to his "wish list" and asks daily if we can just order just one little Lego set from Amazon....
I didn't want to force it, but I did remind Max that he can look in his wallet and see what he has. He might choose to save some money for himself and just pick out a few dollars to donate.
Sure enough, as we were getting our shoes on, he slipped away.
He came back with a huge smile on his face and five one-dollar bills. (They were his crumpliest dollars, but they were his dollars.)
Families with children who struggle with food insecurity feel the burden especially strongly in the summer months. Without schools to provide a free or reduced-price lunch (and often breakfast), families suffer.
Babies go hungry.
Our neighbors' babies go hungry.
If you can, please consider donating to your local food bank now, to stock the shelves for the summer months...so children may eat.
It's a start.