So the other night I was driving Jaxon to his swimming lesson after work. We were sitting in the car at a stop light and a homeless man was walking along the sidewalk with his sign. Jaxon was watching him out the window and asked me, "Mommy, what is that man doing?" So I told him that he was cold and hungry because he didn't have a home (his sign said - I wasn't making assumptions here). He pondered this as we pulled off (we were a lane over and were only there a few seconds or I would have given him some money). Then he asked "Why doesn't he have a home?" So I told him that he didn't have any money for a home because he didn't have a job. I explained that that was why Mommy and Daddy go to work so we have money to pay for our home and cars and clothes and food, and that that was why we prayed each night for Mommy to keep her job and Daddy to find a new (daytime) job. So we said a prayer for the man "God Bless the man and help him find a home and a job.
I thought that Jaxon had forgotten about this as 3 year olds are apt to do. But apparently it had made a significant impression on him since tonight at bedtime he piped up all on his own at the end "God Bless the man and help him find a job and a home." Melted my heart and almost made me cry that at 3 he is already learning to feel compassion and concern, even for strangers he has never met. I just hope he doesn't worry now about our jobs or that we might become homeless like the man we saw. We are pretty financially secure and have families that would help if we ever needed it. I just never thought I would begin to teach him these lessons until he was older but he seemed to grasp it ok. I guess we will need to start involving him soon in some volunteer work, even if it is just taking some food to the food bank or clothes to a shelter. When he gets a little older I would like to start taking him to volunteer at a shelter once a month or so too.
Anybody else do any charitable or volunteer work with their kids? Ideas? Comments?