What My Three Year Old Taught Me about Serving Others – Mother’s Day Contest Entry
I’ve almost always been involved in some sort of community service through my life. It’s something that I really love. I kind of find it addicting. I love to do service projects with my kids. I think it’s important to involve them while they are young. Unintentionally, I thought it would be me doing the teaching, but recently, I was surprised when my toddler taught me to be more giving.
I told Paige about how sometimes kids get scared when policemen and firemen are called to help them; they can give the kids a toy to make them feel better if they have one. We decided to donate some of her gently used stuffed animals. She really seemed to understand and she was excited to help.
I dumped out our overflowing tub of stuffed animals. I quickly put my favorites, her favorites and the “not-so-gently-used” animals back in the bin, leaving the rest for Paige to pick from. This left a small pile, but the tub was still overflowing. Paige decided to give away all but one of the toys I offered to her, but then she went back to the bin and started reaching for the ones I didn’t offer to add to the “giveaway box.”
I quickly said, no, that those weren’t ones we could give away, but as soon as the words left my mouth, I realized how selfish I was being. They weren’t even my toys; why did it matter to me?
I realized it was lunch time and that we would revisit the toy situation later. A few days later we went back to the toy room to gather the stuffed animals. I decided I was being selfish and if Paige wanted to help more kids, then I needed to let her. I once again dumped out the toy bin and offered her all of the toys that were in acceptable condition. She then added almost all of those toys into our donation bags. She even added some of her favorite stuffed animals that she loved to play with.
Once we got to the fire station, she was holding a dog that she originally said she wanted to donate. We handed the bags to the fireman and I asked her if she still wanted to give the dog to the fireman for the kids. She said yes, but the fireman told her she could keep it since it was so cute. Paige insisted that she wanted to give it away. I don’t know if I can ever forget that moment and hearing her sweet Apraxic voice saying, “I want to give it away.” (Apraxia is a neurological disorder that mostly affects her speech.)
It touched me.
I was and am still so impressed with her giving attitude. She could have easily kept just one of the stuffed animals and still helped so many kids. But that wasn’t good enough for her; she wanted to give all that she could to help others. It may have been a simple act on her part, but it made a lasting impression on me.
From now on, I will do better to give my all to others. I’m not perfect, and probably never will be, but I will be better. Less selfish. We live in such a self-focused world (which isn’t necessarily all bad) that I found it refreshing to see a toddler, someone at a stage often labeled as “the selfish stage,” give so much of what she loved. If someone at this age can do it, I can too.
My sweet, three-year-old daughter helped 15 kids without thinking twice. I’m so proud of her. Who says one person can’t make a difference?
(Originally posted at www.trustmeimamom.com)
About Michelle: I am a mom of two young daughters (one with special needs). Although it’s challenging, I am so grateful I get to be a mom to these two girls! I love to blog about our experiences together at trustmeimamom.com
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Posted on May 2, 2014, in Life Lessons, Mother's Day, Special Days, Writing Contest and tagged childhood, children, loving your children, memories, Mother's Day, Mother's Day Writing Contest, parenting, positive parenting, writing contest. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.