So, yesterday I gave Pierce some money to give to the Salvation Army bell ringer outside of Wal-Mart. He ran over to drop it in all excited and then ran back to me, with his glasses sliding down his face and wiping his nose with his sleeve, he said with impish innocence, "What did we do that for again?"
It kind of broke my heart to explain it to him. It is sad to think that at the age of 5 he already is pondering the plight of those less fortunate. Already wondering what it would be like to be a kid who doesn't have all that he is blessed to have.
Don't get me wrong, we have had our fair share of financial struggles and we've had a few Christmases that were a bit slim, but that's not what I'm talking about so much. I mean, he (and all of my kids) have been able to grow up knowing the warmth and security of family and his carefree spirit shows someone who has been free, so far, of the trials of life. It felt a little devastating to me to pull the curtain back a bit and let him peer into a life that is not so kind.
But, at the same time, there is nothing I want more than children who have a developed sense of empathy and caring...whose only thought when they see those in need is to help, not to judge. I have been blessed to be on both ends of giving and receiving, and no you didn't read that wrong. I'm not saying I have ever liked to struggle, but what an amazing thing it has been to be blessed by others who at some point in their lives were taught this lesson. And, on the flip side, how great it feels to be able to give to others when you have the ability to understand what a burden it lifts from them.
So, yes, little man, there are some kids who need some extra help so that they will be able to have a great Christmas this year too. Aren't we blessed that we can help a little? "Yes, we are, but Mom, I'm sure Santa wouldn't forget them." That's right. Because right now, you and a bunch of other kids like you are learning to be Santa without even realizing it.
Thank you God. What a wonder you are...