There is something really grand about reaching the point when your kids independently fulfill a need. I touched on this a bit with my post about chore charts last week. Since that time, I have seen many instances where the kids are just… doing it!
A few hours after I shared that post, the boys asked to visit the playground around the corner. This is relatively new territory for them and a good way for them to stretch their responsibility wings a bit as it literally takes a minute to walk there and I can see part of it from my house. We synchronize our digital watches for 20 to 30 minutes and they come back on time. It’s been great. And they have been on top of the world!
Since the snow is now all gone and we’ve had some spectacular weather, the boys were particularly excited to take their bikes and practice their jumps at the playground. We set our watches and off they went.
I was surprised to hear them at the door just a few minutes later when they had returned to ask permission for something. “Mom, may we please have a garbage bag, some gloves and the outside broom? Someone put garbage all over the playground and we want to clean it up.”
Talk about music to a mom’s ears!
A few minutes later, I saw them ride up the street. Our eldest, G, had a broom stretched across the handle bars, his brother had a garbage bag tied around his and carried gloves in his pocket and both sported big beautiful grins. Joy in service. In all the excitement I didn’t think to grab the camera. Bummer.
School had been closed for March Break, but one of the custodians was there, saw what was happening and came out to help. They returned feeling good about what they had done. They didn’t think twice about giving up their own time of fun to help out with something. They weren’t asked to do it, they offered! The whole thing made this mama’s heart sing!
Though that was only a week ago, since that point I’ve been more intentional about looking for these glimmers of servitude. They are all around me! Sure, there are fights and arguments in there too, but there are all kinds of little tidbits of unsolicited help mixed into a day.
They come in the form of a boy taking his puppy out for a pee or wiping up one of his puddles on the floor. They come in the form of bringing me the fleece throw when someone sees I am chilled. They come in the form of a big brother asking his little sister “Would you like me to help you with your breakfast?” They come when one child sits down on the floor to help her understand her math worksheet. All unsolicited. (Haaaaaaaallelujah! Haaaaaaallelujah!)
Yes, bit by bit, my kids are learning the value of recognizing a need, seeing it and filling it. In a world rife with attitudes of “what’s in it for me,” witnessing servitude in my kids is something that TOTALLY works for me.
This post has been linked to Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are That Family.