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Friday, December 12, 2008

Break Your Children

I plan to break my children this week.

Here's what I mean.  When I was young, my mother would make some HUGE meals.  Not for us.  She was a single mom with 4 kids to raise.  She couldn't afford to feed us steak and potato meals all the time.  However, any time a windfall of money (equal to an hour of overtime pay) would come her way, she'd splurge on a HUGE meal.  This meal wasn't for our family though.

My mom would cook this meal with meat, potatoes, veggies, bread, and desert.  The cool thing is what we would do with that meal.  After it was finished, it would be served up on paper plates wrapped in foil to make as many meals as possible, then, we would drive around the city and find someone who seemed in need of a meal who we could give it to.  As I grew older I would sometimes get out and give the meals to people, but my fondest memory is of sitting in the car and watching through the window as my mother would approach a stranger with what could possibly have been their first warm meal in days.  I was so proud of my mom.  Even though there were times I'm sure she wondered how she would provide for her kids, she found ways to give to so many others. 

When times came that I was unable to wear the same shoes as the other kids, or wear the name brand jeans, or get a video game system (the original Nintendo), I understood how fortunate I was rather than focusing on what we lacked.  

She "broke" me.  Whenever I see someone in need, my heart breaks all over again.  She created kids who love to give.  Kids who love to help others.  Kids who are grateful for everything they have.  She created kids whose greatest desire is to help others.  I now will begin to "break" my kids and pray that they will gain some of those same attributes from the experience.

Thanks Mom.  Thanks for "breaking" me.  You're my hero and I love you.


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