Dec 25, 2011

the day after

*this is not one of those sappy - guess what I got for Christmas posts.... well sorta and there is a point to this post - promise!*

I have a confession to make tonight. I hate writing and I hate the part of blogging where I have to write. Ironic since a blog is an online journal but it's true. Maybe you can tell, maybe not but I like the idea of not having to write too much. I almost view my blog as an extension of my home, my craft room and sometimes my closet, kitchen or backyard. I like to post photos and I like things to be simple and easy on my blog and in real life. I think simple doesn't require alot of explaining.

There's actually very few things that I feel strongly enough to want to talk in detail about. I'm not a big fan of drama so I tend to steer clear of those topics that I have a strong opinion about. So what does that leave me to talk about on my blog? The mundane details of my crafting adventures, what I did today and how I made something. If you get bored with those topics you're not alone because I do to! Don't get me wrong, I love to make things and I love to take photos! Because being creative is very much a part of my everyday. But photos don't get you into trouble where as writing can.

Back to avoiding drama - I'm not of fan of message boards, never have been.... because of said drama. (I'm raising a 7 yr. old girl, I deal with enough of it at home.) Two weeks ago, for whatever reason, I pulled up twopeasinabucket and clicked on the top 10 popular posts. (I know, I was going fishing for drama at that point! :)) I found a thread title that simply read:

"I feel like the worst parent ever."

It caught my attention, I opened it, read it, and immediately felt the need to respond, not to the thread, but to the poster. It was a young mom who didn't get the job she thought she would have before Christmas and didn't have a way now to provide presents for her 2 young kids. It went on to explain that she was too late to add her kids to any of the charity gift lists and to please give her ideas of where else to try in the area she lived. Some of the replies were less than helpful or positive. Yes the post was made under an anonymous name but for good reason.... it is Two peas after all, a site known for less than caring message boards. As a mom I can only think of a few things worse than the feeling of not being able to provide for your own children - especially during Christmas.

and it is Christmas the season of giving and hope and a time for children to be excited. I'm willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt and reach out to help because it's the right thing to do.

I emailed, or pea-mailed rather, the poster and asked for an address and the age of her son. Nothing else... no back story, no I hope things change for you in time... just an address. As it turned out, her kids are really close in age to Alaina and Chase. I'm a girl, I love to shop, I love sales and I usually have extra toys hiding around the house especially this time of year - so I was able to get everything ready quickly. I wrapped up a couple gifts for her 6 year old daughter and a gift for her little 1 year old son, gathered everything into a couple boxes and got them ready for the post office. Chase and I waited for Alaina to come home from school so we could mail everything off together before the post office closed for the day.

While up at the post office waiting in line, Alaina wanted to know who I was sending the boxes to. She's a nosy one - that child of mine. How much do you explain to a 7yr. old? Alaina understands alot, she likes to think that she's a teenager but I don't always want to tell her the truth. I'd rather her think the world is perfect right now. I ended up telling her the truth and adding a little sugar to it. I explained to her that "a mommy in Texas wasn't able to buy presents for her kids, so we're sending the presents to her. In a way it's almost like being Santa Claus."

I wish I could have taken a photo of Alaina's face right then. Her eyes were huge and her little mouth dropped open, I think it shocked her a little that I had compared her to Santa ("the one person I love the most" - she wrote that to him this year.)

She asked me who the mom was and if I knew her. I told her no, that it was just a mommy on the computer that needed some extra help this year. Still, Alaina wasn't satisfied with my simple explanations so she poked around for more answers, asking me about the daughter, her name, age, where they lived. Maybe she thought I was lying to her? I have no idea but I tried to answer her questions as best I could on the limited info I had received from 1 peamail.

From the post office the kids and I drove down the hill to meet with our realtor to look at one more home for the week - it was already late on a Friday evening. (Oh yeah, we're moving in a couple of weeks - but that's a whole other post!) I think Alaina and I put the post office conversation in the back of our minds as we walked through yet another weird old house.

Fast forward to Christmas afternoon, I went back yesterday to look at that thread that was posted 2 weeks ago on Twopeas. Again some of the replies to this mom were doubting the sincerity of her initial post and was it a post and run thread?

I was thinking about this yesterday as I went about cleaning up the mess of my house after opening presents, that whether or not the post was real, I got so much more out of this than the money I spent on a stranger. Let's face it, our kids don't want to and aren't going to listen to what we say as their parents but they are paying attention to what we do. I believe in showing kids what a good example is - not just telling them. Lead by example, that's my parenting philosophy.

I had the opportunity, that day at the post office, to show my kids that you don't have to know someone in order to help them. I believe you will get back in life what you give out to others and I still have faith that there will continue to be people out there who would be willing to help others without letting the feelings of doubt or disbelief stop them.

I know this because I'm raising 2 of them right now.

- Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith. ~Author Unknown


Connie (aka LOU) said...

Wonderful post! Regardless if it was real or not, your intention was real. The lesson is teaching your children to be thoughtful and generous with the gifts they are able to give. What a wonderful act, and if the request was truly real, what a bonus. You have touched another family in a way that you will never know. This simple act of kindness could possibly change their lives. AND thanks for the lesson on my end as well. In this world where people do take advantage of other people, you will always have doubters, me included, so thank you!

Mabel Handmade said...

This is a great lesson. Thank you for sharing. BTW, what is Two Peas?

Bonita Rose said...

Giving just feels good. You did the right thing. Never doubt yourself.. I gave today too.. see my fb note here,

The joy is in the giving.. and loving our fellow man. xo

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you! And personally I love every single thing you write ... I enjoy ALL your posts. Happy New Year Tara!

Jeanne said...

What a lovely gesture and wonderful lesson for your young children. We all should do more of this.

Vintage Love & Photographs said...

:) Thats all.

Kasia KrzymiƄska said...

This is so beautiful story. I feel touched by your story.

j. wilson said...

hear! hear! sistah!

Keshet said...

What a beautiful photo and story! And the realness of your giving is so much more important than the question of if she "really" meant it.

scrapfancy said...

How would someone feel if a post is true and the one day comes where you are in the same sitution??
I gave several people asking for money on the road money this season. Always remembering that story what if it is an angel in descise and I was asked why did I not give to that person?
We can only go by our feelings in this world of ours ladies.
Keep up the good work,Tara

Cindy Lee said...

Such a wonderful and inspiring post, Tara! It doesn't matter if it's real or a hoax but what matters most is that you'd showed Alaina a truly good example. Lead by example....that's my parenting philosophy too :) Thanks for sharing this with us!

marianne-g said...

What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

What an uplifting story! Thanks for sharing.

Rebecca and Lori said...

This comment may be a year late, but what you did is what the season is all about! It's always so nice to hear when people are willing to go out on a limb for strangers in their time of need. It's a great lesson for your kids, too, and one I try to impart on my own daughter, to be thankful for what you have and to help when and where you can. Love your site, by the way- just found it via pinterest!
Happy Holidays 2012!