29 Sep
2015
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Small Acts of Kindness, Big Effects

I rarely ask for help with the logistics of running a family. We have no grandparents to give us a hand, so all chauffeuring and encouragement at activities falls fully on Craig’s and my shoulders.

It’s exhausting and rewarding and really exhausting to be the only ones who are there to watch the kids succeed and, sometimes, struggle in their various activities. Sharing the load makes for less stress and frees room for more enjoyment. I’m looking forward to having a teenage driver here in the next few years simply for one more person available to chauffeur.

boy running during a flag football game

Most of the time I enjoy the challenge of ensuring everyone’s schedules work together. Today was the straw on the proverbial camel’s back. I knew weeks in advance that today’s schedule was logistically impossible with just two drivers. One driver had to take one child for the evening to a football game 30 minutes away leaving the other driver with three kids and three activities at roughly the same times held nowhere near each other.

Allowing one activity for each child adds up to a lot of activities. There are only a few weeks left in football, and the end of that season frees much of our afternoons and evenings. My choices for today were to call in reinforcements or curl up in the fetal position and give up. It took three friends to help feed children, drive children and supervise children for tonight to work. I know my friends would say it was no big deal, but for someone who doesn’t ask for help, today was a wonderful reminder of the goodness of people.

Knowing the children were all being cared for allowed me to actually relax and enjoy my assignment, our oldest son’s football game. Normally, I’m constantly checking my watch to make sure I’m not late running one of the children to another activity.

teenager finishing homework with a laptop

I believe at times we over-think our acts of kindness. We attempt to go big by purchasing coffee for strangers or adopting families during the holidays. Big acts of kindness are wonderful and necessary in their own right, but the small everyday acts we can do without much effort or expense shouldn’t be down-played. The kindness shown us today eased the pressure on our family and that is no small act.

I’ve chosen to block out the fact that two members of the family ate take-out pizza in the vehicle, one child was doing homework until almost 10 p.m., and no one did anywhere near 20 minutes of required reading. Kindness received blurred the edges of tonight’s less than stellar moments.

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