I am not a patient person.
When I find out that there's something I need to know - I want to know everything about it. Immediately.
When there's something that I want to learn. I watch three documentaries, listen to two NPR broadcasts, read about about 10 blogger's opinions, two books and talk for hours with my students, clients, friends and colleagues about it. (I'm not making this up. This is what I've been doing for the past 6 days.)
When there's something that someone else needs to know... well that's when my impatience becomes exponential. Especially when we're talking about my daughter.
Last week's peek into my daughter's mind and her opinion of our financial status has kicked me into turbo mode wanting to teach her everything an 8 1/2 year-old doesn't really need to know about money.
I've had some fantastic conversations with fellow moms-in-training trying to answer this question:
How do we teach our kids the value of money without teaching scarcity?
And what I've found is that this topic is way trickier than we might think.
Because we not only need to teach it.
We also have to live it.
Last Sunday, Isabelle and I made enchiladas for dinner. It was raining outside and we were looking for a fun project and decided to cook dinner. (I realize that for most of you - cooking dinner is maybe an everyday occurrence - but in my world - it falls into extremely special circumstances. Rare enough to be called a project rather than everyday life.)
We pulled the enchiladas out of the oven. I asked Isabelle to set the table.
And she said, "OK - but when are we going to feed the homeless?"
I look at our project.
It looks yummy.
And my daughter now wants to feed the homeless.
I would love to tell you that I am an extremely pious person who is ready and willing at any given moment to cook for the needy and to distribute readily. I would love to tell you that it was my idea to give my daughter a valuable life-lesson. I would love to tell you that upon hearing this, I said, "Yes, daughter. It is my wish to feed the homeless people. Right now. In the rain."
But, you might know by now.
I'm not that person.
Instead (oooo, I hate admitting this), my mind thinks of reasons why we shouldn't. Can't. Don't-wanna-get-wet. It's cold. That's a lot of work. (Devil on my left shoulder: the last 3 eposides of Weeds Season 6 sitting by my TV. Angel on my shoulder: sweet little girl wanting to feed the homeless.)
The devil and angel fought for about 22 seconds, and the angel won.
So, we pack up some enchiladas with utensils and napkins. On a mission to find someone to feed.
To be clear. This process wasn't as easy as my angel had told me it would be. It was raining. There weren't many people on the streets. And apparently, even homeless people seem to take Sundays off.
I'm driving the streets hunting for homeless... and getting ever-so-slightly annoyed that we can't find anyone.
Can you say...Irony?
We finally found two men outside of Barnes and Noble.
Isabelle asked if they were hungry.
They said yes.
We gave them enchiladas.
What they gave me:
The stuff life is made of.
Human beings connecting with each other. Handing food to one another.
They look at Isabelle and said, "Bless you. Bless you little girl."
In that moment, I could not have been more proud to be her mother.
Here I am, trying to teach my daughter qualities like generosity, abundance, trust and love.
And what I have found.
She's a better teacher than I am.