Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Experiences

We spent the morning at Gymboree, and had a wonderful time. Doubly nice, we found out our Gymboree is offering a "2 for 1" sale this summer, so we enrolled Kendra in a music class. She'll go to music on Mondays, and continue her play and learn group on Saturdays.

Dan and I had an assembly line of sandwich making this morning. We made 20 sandwiches to donate to the St. Martin de Porres homeless shelter for men. We then went to the shelter tonight, with Kendra in tow, to serve dinner to the men. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I experienced.

The men were mostly polite, funny and (fairly) clean. For many of the men, if I had passed them on the street I wouldn't have thought they were homeless.. More than a few thought Kendra was a cute little bug, and took turns trying to make her giggle.

We served roughly 200 men sandwiches, chips, fruit and dessert. Dan and I traded off wearing Kendra in her baby backpack. Dan worked the front lines, and I worked in the kitchen washing fruit and handing out dessert. I enjoyed talking to the men, and they seemed genuinely appreciative that we were there.

I was worried I'd feel overwhelmed by all I can't do to help them. That I'd feel guilty for the things and people I have in my life. That somehow this would be a negative emotional experience. It was completely the opposite, and I'm looking forward to doing it again next month.

How do you teach your child empathy and concern for her fellow human being? The best way, in my mind, is to model it.

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