I was reminded last night by the mother of one of my son’s friends, of what an amazing person he really is. It made my heart smile, which made me realize this needed to be the focus of my latest post. My son is not a fan of chores, as I would imagine most kids are not. Taking out the trash always involves procrastination. Being asked to clean the cat’s litter box usually gets me one of those looks. And God forbid I ask him to clean his room, that gets me his full on attitude, and usually an interrogation about why does it need to be done now? This is why I was so surprised to get the email that I did.
His friend’s family was hit really hard by Hurricane Irene. They have a river that runs through their back yard, which completely overflowed and flooded the family room in their finished basement during the storm. The waters surrounding them had risen to over eight feet. They had to evacuate for the storm because of the potential for flooding, so they only found all of the damage that had been done when they returned home yesterday. His friend called him to see if he could come over and help them clear things out. My son went over to his house immediately, with as many other kids as he could gather, and they started moving EVERYTHING out of the basement, right down to the rugs which had to be removed.
The email I received after they had finished helping out for the day was this:
“I know that at times you question what you have to be proud of with your son, I can tell you that today he showed up at my house and worked HARD. While the other kids worked, he went above and beyond! He never stopped to ‘rest’ or tried to choose the ‘easier’ job. He volunteered for the hard heavy work and stepped up to the task with all his heart and soul. You should be very proud of the young man who worked in my house today, I am.”
Can you see why my heart is smiling? The fact that this is the kid I raised, who shows his true character when I’m not nearby, who has a heart of gold and a genuine interest in helping those in need, that is the boy I raised, the one who I am so thankful to be reminded still exists inside of the scary teenager who has taken over his body.
It would be nice if he did his chores without giving me a hard time, but honestly, I’ll deal with the attitude as much as I have to, if the kid who walks out of this house is out there doing things like that for others.
He went back today to finish the job.