Thursday, December 10, 2009

compassion kits

A few weeks ago my mama's group got together to make compassion kits as our Thanksgiving activity/playdate. Our kids helped fill large ziploc bags with granola bars, hats, mitts, toothbrushes, toothpaste and various other such items. We each got three to stow in our trunks and give away to someone in need. And today, on our way to meet Lonny for lunch at work, I decided not to speed up for the orange light and I found myself waiting at the intersection, grumbling about being stuck a few extra minutes in the car with two extremely cranky kids. That's when I noticed a man standing at the corner. His sign red "Homeless vet, please help". I remembered the kits in my trunk, and turned into the gas station in order to park and give him one. I was a bit aprehensive, wondering if he would object to the fact that I wasn't giving him cash, but his face broke into a huge grin and he said " Bless you, that is so very kind of you. Have a good Christmas."

I thought it would feel good to give, and it did to some extent, but mostly it made me feel really inadequate and embarassed that I waited until my 30th year of life to finally do something like this. And what a small thing it was. And so I'm going to make sure that I always have these kits in my car, not just during the holidays. I'm also looking forward to volunteering at a soup kitchen to celebrate Thanksgiving when the kids are a little older and won't sit under the table screaming (which is what happened at lunch today at Microsoft. I think everyone left the cafeteria ready to schedule their vasectomies).

Anyway, I learned a bit about compassion today: it's easy to do and I hope my kids grow up with a big dose of it so that it comes naturally to them!