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Asking Children to Help

Overall I think I’m a good mother and have done many things well. Well, some. But there are definitely areas that I haven’t been great at. For years I wanted to get my children involved in volunteer work, and for years I’ve failed. And although I have many excuses about time and being stretched too thin and there being only so much I could do, I know for a fact that if this were truly important to me, I’d have made it a priority. As I’ve made my children’s health and diet, and school, and the fact that I expect them to be active in sports and practice the piano.

But I haven’t.

And that’s my failing.

 

But I don’t want it to be theirs. I don’t want my lack of planning and prioritizing to mean that my children will walk the earth thinking that they do not have an obligation to help people who are less fortunate. I don’t want them to follow my example.

So when I heard about the devastation on Far Rockaway, I wanted to help. And help has been sorely needed. So I wrote a post about it on my blog, ordered some items online to be delivered to families and resumed doing laundry. But then something happened. My husband said “why don’t we go?” and my friend who read my blog emailed to ask if she and her kids could join.

And we did. We took my 11 year old and her two kids and we were off. We stopped at Costco on the way and bought some $800 worth of diapers, formula, wipes, tampons, bread, crackers, peanut butter, canned, tuna, water, blankets and other non-perishables. We saw several other people who were obviously doing the same. And then we drove them to a location where we loaded up a truck to be taken to the parts of NYC that needed it most.

I was glad I was able to do it. And I was glad that my son came along. With his friend (and his mom, who conveniently is my friend.) And it makes me want to make sure that my kids volunteer more. And think of those who are in need. And want to help them.

I just hope that I’m not too late.

For more of Marinka, visit her personal blog Motherhood in NYC and The Mouthy Housewives, where she doles out advice as though it were candy. Mmm … candy. Also, follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

More on Babble Kids:

Magic the Gathering: Are They Kidding Me?

NYC Public School Students Sharing Space With Evacuees: A Good Idea?

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