I almost hate to do this as my second post, but I have some parental bragging to do.
I’m not here to talk about grades, or trophies, or accomplishments, but rather something that has surprised even myself. My two youngest children have put themselves into a volunteer group at their school on their own accord.
Personally, I have a tough time letting go of my hard earned money. I also find it difficult to want to give up my time for various causes. So, at the start of the school year when our children came to us and said they wanted to join a volunteer group at their new school, it surprised me. But being supportive parents, we told them to go ahead and we would make it work into our already busy schedule.
The volunteering the kids do at the school is for “Pa-Moja”- basically helping the neediest children in Kenya get the chance for an education. Here’s a quick link from our school’s website from a few years ago: LFAS Pa-Moja The school has been working on this project for many years now, and it seems to be quite successful. I am all about education. I think it is extremely important in today’s society. Remember when I said that I find it difficult to give up my time to volunteer? The school PAC and volunteering at the school is my one exception and has been for over nine years now since my first child entered school.
The reason I bring this up today is because of my daughter. Over the past few weeks, the teacher running the volunteering has asked the students to create something of their own that they can then sell to others. The proceeds would all go to the Pa-Moja Club and benefit other children. Yesterday afternoon, my daughter still didn’t have any viable ideas and needed it for today. After some discussion with my wife and I, she came up with making origami.
I love to make origami. I used to do it all the time. For my wedding fifteen years ago, I made origami napkin rings for our guests in our wedding colors. I have books and papers throughout the house on how to make origami art. I was happy to give her paper and show her how to make something. I asked her when she would be selling their art- February- what do you think of in February? Hearts. It was an easy project to get her into her first taste of how to make origami art.
Before dinner yesterday, the two of us sat down, and I taught her how to make an origami heart. Soon, we had made about a half dozen or so, and that’s when my other two children joined us. So, I taught them how to make hearts. What my daughter had done, unsuspectingly, was got others to volunteer their time and efforts. And it was fun! Over dinner, their was an air of excitement as my middle daughter gushed about Pa-Moja and how she was going to bring the origami to the school and teach others how to make a heart just in case they didn’t have a craft of their own.
As a parent, I’m always proud of my children. But last night, something else happened. I could sense the passion and excitement that volunteering had brought to my children. My parenting style has always been to instruct my children to be respectful and kind to others. Compassion, caring, and a willingness to help- that’s behavior that you can’t teach. My children have impressed me and they have become pretty awesome human beings. Being proud is an understatement.