in the trenches…

August 12, 2009

kindness from the road

 The kids and I loaded up our old Chevy Malibu and set out for a day of errands and kindness work. I honestly believe life is more fun in a junker car. (the only requirement being that the a/c still somewhat works) Cars like this remind me of my childhood days of pushing the old green VW Dasher and hilariously hopping in as we jump started that baby. My mom had a way of making it fun, go figure.

The kids love our hoopty and it seems perfect for the work we were doing. We had 10 things to do, Jack was keeping track as 10 seemed like a crazy amount to him, to me it felt like a Tuesday. Our plans were foiled quickly when I realized this was possibly the worst tantrum day in the history of my entire parenting career. Lucy was in a serious funk.

I stopped at a fast food joint to see if we could gather some strength from greasy food. Jack spilled a cup of juice down Josiah’s back. I did my Marge Simpson groan and proposed a do-over to the day. Everyone agreed and was back on board the kindness train of bliss.

Everyone except Lucy that is. She wailed and laid down in every, yes, EVERY single store we went in. My parenting was stellar for like the first 4 episodes and then I think she pretty much tapped me out. I went for the jugular. “Luce, we can not stop at Gina’s now, I’m sorry.”

“What?!! NO! NO! I’m SOooooo sorry, I’m just so sorry! The drama was just an accident! I’ll be a listening girl! Oh noooooo….” She then continued and tried to gag herself over the utter horror of missing out on the magic that is Gina’s house.

Josiah was deep into his Harry Potter book.  Lyra was sleeping. Jack was marking Gina’s house off his mental to do list of 10 things. I drove the hoopty, Lucy wailed. Yay for kindness and love….surprisingly, I was not thwarted. Jorge called and we decided to meet at Chipotle to re-group (yet again) and get some Jorge magic. The man who is the ever calming presence to all the members of our family and can pretty much talk you down from any tree.

“Babe, just another day in the life of a kindness worker, just think of the sacrifices Mother Theresa made.”  Diet coke shot through my nose at the sarcasm comparison of me and Mother T. I could not stop laughing while I arranged flower bouquets in the middle of lunch. He put everyone in their car seats and sent us on our way to do our ding-dong-ditchin’.

“I just don’t think we should do it, it isn’t very nice to run away.” Jack STILL not convinced this is kindness work in any way.

“But Jack, it’s ding-dong-ditchin’ to be NICE to someone, come on Jack, like kindness?” Josiah explains.

“I think you should try it Jackie-boy. It’s really fun!” I said.

He agreed and we pulled up to the house very slowly. He slowly got out and walked to the door, laid the flowers and card down, knocked and ran like the wind. His little cheeks were practically flapping.

“Go, go, go MOM! DRIVE!!!!” I pushed the pedal to the floor and the hoopty shook, like a bat out of hell. “That was awesome!” he said.

The next house proved to be even more exciting as the person just opened the door as we tore away burnin’ rubber.

“Woohoooo!” Lucy said. Redeemed from her ick.

Jack and Josiah  high fived. “I say cookies AND popsicles when we get home. We must celebrate!”

“Are you serious?” Josiah said.

“Yep!” I replied.

“Whoa. I love kindness work.” Jack said.

“Me too, me too…..” The car, the tantrums, the fast food, the speeding, the flowers…me too buddy.

5 Responses to “in the trenches…”

  1. Amber Says:

    I’m so glad that you were able to redeem the day. That’s the real strength of kindness, it can even turn around grumpy children.

  2. Tina Says:

    I love this idea so much. I must find some inexpensive treats like this. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  3. Amy Says:

    Oh Pache…I remember we did this at KUM…So much fun..the kids and I do it here and there for random neighbors…we are planning to do some sidewalk kindness Sunday before school starts. Love you and thanks for the kind work…

  4. Hi. I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful blog. I tried leaving a comment in your “hold me tight” post but wasn’t able to so I slipped in here to leave one. I’m thoroughly enjoying your writing and I’m happy that you have taken the time to do this. Thanks again and take care.


  5. […] breeze cool…everything the weather wasn’t just a week ago. I drove with the boys in the hoopty thinking along the way,  there was  just one little un-met desire in my heart. We needed music, […]

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