So, my apologies for not writing... but, we did have an action packed Day 11 and 12. For starters, I watched Annalee's friend from school because the kids had the day off from school, but her mother is a teacher, so she spent the day with us. This may seem like no big deal, but when you have five kids home as it is, an extra child means that we have to take TWO vehicles because our family maxes out the van all by itself.
I had an appointment with Jaylen's physical therapist at the Strong Museum of Play, so Tom brought all the rest of the kids shortly after and we had a great time.
We raced cars...
And climbed walls...
The second kindness of the day was that my sweet children each brought a dollar of their own money to give to other kids so they could ride the carousel.
The kids with their dollars.
It was adorable that A) none of them thought twice about using their own money. (Well, maybe London had a little trouble when it was actually time to fork over the dough, but more on that later.) B) They were willing to walk up to parents and ask permission to treat their children to a carousel ride. and C) That they didn't burst into tears once, which is what I wanted to do when their sweet, blessed kindness was rejected time and again.
Day 11 epiphany: parents of small children hate kindness.
I am not kidding you, it was so sad. These poor kids, already looking ridiculous because they were wearing those dumb baker's hats they made for themselves, were dismissed and rejected time and again! I don't know why, but we discovered that when a group full of children in napkin hats approach a parent who has a toddler in tow, the parent inexplicably and uncontrollably makes the same face. It's the kind of face you would make if someone threatened to throw acid on your neck, acid that smelled like a fart. It's a scrunched, skeptical, kinda angry, kinda "that smells farty" kind of a look. It's very upsetting to see that face more than once in your lifetime, let alone in such a short span of time. I don't think the children will ever be the same.
Some people said they didn't have time for a carousel ride, some people just said they weren't interested, one guy said "these kids won't go on the carousel, they're so ungrateful they should pay for your kids's ride." Harper just looked up at him hoping they would just take the stinkin' dollar because he knew that our kids were not allowed to step foot on that carousel until they done their kindness! It took much longer than expected, and a lot more begging and convincing than we had anticipated, but we got a few weak ones to cave and enjoy a free carousel ride with their child. London had a little giver's remorse when she had to actually make the hand off, but with the promise of a carousel ride in her future... she begrudgingly went along with it, but I saw just the smallest flash of that tooty-acid look on her face, and something inside me blamed all those parents who hate kindness.
For Day 12, I brought my neighbor a hot, homemade apple crisp fresh out of the oven. In a previous post, when I blogged about how my husband got laid off, I mentioned these neighbors and my strong desire to smash their car windows in with a shovel. That's it. They park in front of my lawn, and Tom lost his job. I know those two things seem unrelated and that the layoffs weren't directly their fault, but whatever... I can't explain crazy, I just wanted to smash 'em.
But, for Day 12, I worked through my anger problems and I delivered the crisp. I felt a little like London handing over that dollar... but, let's face it, as hard as it is to believe, their new company car from an entirely unrelated employer, probably didn't have anything to do with our current unemployment. I brought the dessert, she actually really appreciated it and she smiled and was nice and she wasn't like the people at the museum at all. She likes kindness. It made me feel very guilty for not being kinder, sooner.
So, here's to days 13-31 and beyond... that we can love our neighbors as ourselves knowing that someone down the street is probably blogging about smashing in our car windows for no reason whatsoever.