Sometimes the pivotal moments in life, the epiphanies come out of nowhere.
Last Thursday we woke the kids up to watch an amazing lightning storm out on the horizon and then everyone went back to bed/reading/baking/TV.
and then … 80 mph winds, hail, tornados and craziness.
We ran out of our house to check on the neighbors, to run down our street in the rain – through calf deep water on our street, dodging branches and debris… we checked on the elderly couple across the street and saw their driveway completely blocked by trees.
the next morning
We checked on everyone, met neighbors we hadn’t met before and when we determined everyone was safe – listened to breakers popping around us – watched some more lightning, took a few deep, albeit shaky breaths and then Nathan and I took a very shaken Princess back inside our dark house and put her in our bed. I checked on Monkey and actually laughed, I have always said that boy could sleep through anything – and I was right.
The next morning dawned bright and beautiful with blue skies and only a few cotton candy clouds in the sky.
We surveyed the damage and again, said a prayer of thanks.
We were lucky, we only lost part of our patio roof and our big old mesquite tree – the one in all those pictures of my kids
It was pulled up by the roots and thankfully fell into the yard (punching several holes in the grass with its branches) and not across our driveway and vehicles
Both kids walked out the front door with wide eyes and their mouths open in shock. After a moment of taking it all in they looked between Nathan and me and then ran inside, put on shoes and went straight across the street to our elderly neighbors house and started dragging branches from their sidewalk, yard and driveway.
Nathan grabbed his chainsaw from the garage and we followed them across the street and started dragging, chopping and clearing until the curbs were stacked high with debris and the driveway was cleared.
I was so proud of my kids, watching them work hard to clear our neighbor’s yard and driveway. I felt joy in my heart at the sight of the people that I see them becoming. The moment of epiphanie came for me when Monkey looked up at me his little face dripping with sweat, his eyes shining and he said; “Mom, we’re good people, we’re helping others before we help ourselves. That’s because we are being brought up by good people”
My heart skipped a beat and I felt a powerful tug deep inside
A moment later he looked at me again and said; “Mom, I’m talking about you and Dad”
I realized then, again, just how much they watch us. How much they see, how they’re looking even when we don’t realize it.
We have a precious few years to make that impact, to guide them, to show them the way by our own actions.
Our summer will be fun and filled with family memories, laughter, sunshine, fishing, boating and joy; but it will also be filled with trips to the food bank, choosing a child to sponsor, and filling a few back to school backpacks with supplies for others.
I want to teach them, by showing them that making a difference can be done in big ways with donations, volunteering and time, but also in the smallest of gestures – a smile, a kind word, a prayer…
How do you teach your children to make a difference?
Thank you, Hallmark, for choosing me as one of their “Life Is A Special Occasion” bloggers and allowing my life and stories to be a part of their Life is A Special Occasion program. While I am compensated for my work with Hallmark as a Life is A Special Occasion ambassador, everything posted is original and real and from our life