Saying Goodbye to a Friend…

It’s never the huge things in life that really make a difference but just the everyday actions that show someone their important to us. My son taught me once again yesterday that he is indeed maturing by his small actions towards a neighbor boy. Many months ago, a divorced mother moved with her two boys into the house across the street. She was in transition and had decided to move back for a few months with her mother and stepfather. Our sons hit it off from the beginning. They both loved to play whatever nine-year-old boys love to play at the moment. One minute it was beyblade, legos, or a game of magic. The next minute they were outside for a game of football or soccer. Since the mom was divorced, the little boy split his week between this house and his father’s house. If it was a day he was with his mom, the doorbell would ring about twenty minutes after school and K would ask, “Can Solomon play now?” Most of the time my son was happy to play. Sometimes though my son would have another friend over from school and wouldn’t want me to answer the door to have him join in. Other times he’d say “Sure he can play with us too.” And the three little boys would go barreling outside for a pick up game of wall ball or football.

Last month, they let us know that it was time to move out. I couldn’t believe how sad I felt. Even though they aren’t moving very far, I knew a certain time was ending. I know K won’t just be able to run over to our house by himself to see if my son is home. Growing up, I had a couple of good friends whose houses I was allowed to go to whenever I wanted, I knew that this had been a special opportunity for my son. My son on the other hand kind of blew it off. He said, “Yeah, we’ll still see him sometimes. I am not too sad.” I was pretty surprised that he was so glib.

Last night, we stopped at Walgreens to pick up a few things, including a birthday card for my step sister. My son was looking at the cards with me and a couple of minutes later, he said, “ Can I get this one for K?” It was a Peanuts card that said, “I wish you prosperity, I wish you luck, I wish you happiness, I wish you hadn’t gone.” My first reaction was no when I turned it over an saw the $3.99 price for the card. I figured we didn’t need to spend that much to say an official goodbye, especially considering how glib he’d seemed just a few weeks before. However my son was persistent and really determined, so I agreed. This morning he saw K’s car outside and even though we were running late for school, he said, “ Can I go give K’s mom the card?” He quickly wrote, I’ll miss you and signed his name. His thoughtfulness and follow through surprised me.  I smiled though thinking that my ten-year-old son just may have learned his first lesson in what it means to be a good friend.


Connect children with mitzvahs

My stepsister emailed me this week about something she has been doing with her 9 year old son for several years.  I love this idea and have just begun it with my own two children the past few nights.

Here is what she said, “Each night as part of our bedtime routine, he recaps his day to us…and that usually leads to some sort of conversation…in addition, he always says one thing that he did that day to make the world a better place, or something good he did for someone or something.  He always comes up with something.  I had never called these things mitzvahs before.

Why not help our kids be more conscious about their actions each day. I can only assume the wonderful things my sister has learned from her son each night.

A few mitzvahs for me this week:

936) Donated to a raffle for my networking group

937) Donated more items for a raffle basket at our school

Finally, a colleague sent me a link to a wonderful new blog called
In Line Behind Me. Their tag line? What if one small action could change the world.

Mmmm sounds good to me!

Kids mitzvahs this weekend

538&539) Two parents this weekend let me know that my kids were mitzvah kids and it really made me proud. I wanted to recognize them and told them I would put it on the blog. My son helped clean up the kids play room at synagogue and one of his friend’s dads came over to tell me. My daughter had been on a playdate the same afternoon and went to the store with the mom and was “very helpful” to the mom in purchasing some items she needed. I appreciated the positive feedback.

540) My son picked up some trash over the weekend and wanted to throw it away to make the parking lot look nicer.

I love being able to praise my kids when they do good deeds for each other or other people. It’s easy to get caught up in the nagging and not praise the good behavior, but I have found with this mitzvah project I am catching the good actions alot more and sharing the praise too. I was definitely smiling after having other parent’s shared with me about my kids doing the right thing!