My enthusiastic, amazing fiery-haired firstborn has a pretty good life. I'll be the first to say that I sure am not perfect, but all-in-all, I sure hope he knows he's loved and has a nice life compared to so many kids out there. More often than not, if Noah makes good choices at school and I have time, I'll drive through the nearby Sonic and get him an ice cream cone as a little treat. More often than not, the same young man politely serves up our ice cream with a smile day after day. Today, as we drove through Sonic, Denya (pronounced Den-Yay!) said to me, "Man, your kid is having a good childhood. I can see that. When I was a kid I hardly ever got ice cream; maybe on my birthday or something like that." Denya wasn't being mean in any way...It was obvious he just thought Noah was pretty lucky. Which he is. So, Noah and I took an impromptu field trip and bought 3 different pints of ice cream and then proceeded to drive back through the Sonic drive thru. I explained to him that Denya didn't get to have ice cream very much when he was growing up, and we were going to be good friends and get him some ice cream as a treat the same way he always gives us ice cream. It was a great teaching moment to talk about gratitude for our many blessings as well as the importance of empathy and being a friend. I could see Denya looking out the Sonic window cautiously as we drove up. He had the expression on his face that said, "Did I do something wrong? Why is this lady coming back through without ordering?" He was prepared for my complaint. Instead, I handed him the bag full of ice cream, and told him, "This is for you. Enjoy." He looked inside the bag, and was clearly touched. He smiled from ear to ear and said, "Thank you." Noah and I said, "You're welcome. See you next time!" and drove on our merry way.
Love is a verb. It's an ACTION word. Our actions matter. People matter. Relationships matter. In our hurried, rush from here to there life...we often forget the blessing of connecting with others. As human beings, we are meant to connect. Slow down. Reach out. We always receive more when we give...even if it's just a few pints of ice cream. You'll never know the impact of your words and your actions. Choose wisely. Love is a verb, indeed.