The other day Rob signed up for doing some volunteer work at at our local Bishop’s Storehouse.
(A Bishop’s storehouse is a place that houses food and necessities for those in need and is run by our church. It’s basically a food bank).
He decided it would be a good idea if the two older boys went with him.
Of course, they were thrilled as it meant missing some school (only the morning though).
I think they were also excited as it was a chance to serve – something that we talk a lot about so this was their chance to put in some action.
They were up really early – and Zach convinced Rob is was a good idea to go to McDonald’s before hand for breakfast. They did that, then arrived bright and early at the Storehouse ready to go.
I had some clients that I couldn’t cancel so I wasn’t able to join them. I just got everyone else off to school and then headed out for my day. Just as I was leaving, I got an email. My client cancelled. Funny, my other client had just cancelled late the night before too.
How much paper work I could get done! I have been so short on paperwork time in the past few months – often working later at night and on Saturdays to get things done. I could catch up!
Or I could join them to do some service.
A quick 10-10-10 made the decision really easy, and off I went to the Storehouse too.
I arrived to see my little bees working, and smiling and laughing.
They were happy to see me (yah!), and showed me what they had done, and what they were doing. I joined in.
Rob told me that they had worked solid for a couple of hours before asking what time it was. They guessed it was around 11:30, but it was only 9:15!! Apparently they were shocked. Time doesn’t go as quickly when you are working hard I guess. Or, that’s what happens when you get to work early!
But they kept working and continued having fun. However, as soon as I got there they started on me about why they didn’t need to go to school in the afternoon. They felt they should stay home and watch movies all afternoon. They were actually quite relentless! Well, Zach was. That wasn’t going to happen though:)
I did agree, after their work was complete to take them to lunch, and run a couple of Christmas errands. Rob had to head home to a meeting.
We went to the mall and checked out a few stores. I took them into Pottery Barn to show them our new dining room table and get some opinions on some stuff. They were hilarious in the store! Boys that age don’t get decorating stuff. Although they were on me about buying a $30 bar of soap carved into a dog (not going to happen either).
They stopped off in the Apple store of course while I ran to some other stores.
They also helped me search for some gifts, which I didn’t end up finding, which was disappointing. We ended up getting goggles (because some had been lost) and chocolate.
We also had lunch. I was surprised out of all the choices they had, they chose Subway. They had had McDonald’s in the morning so wanted something “relatively healthy” for lunch then. They never cease to surprise me.
While at lunch, they talked about how awesome this day was . It was the “best day” they both said. They got to do some cool work (Gabe even said he was actually looking forward to the volunteer service trip we hope to take them on in a few years). They certainly want to do it again.
They also got to see the reality of service – where the money goes when we – and they – donate it, how large an operation like this is and how organized they must be to run it, and how many people benefit from it. They also asked a lot of questions about who needs this help and why, as they saw people coming in to fill their orders. I hope that they learned to be a bit more filled with compassion, and desire to serve, as well as feel more gratitude for the blessings and good fortune in their lives.
Then they got to have a little bit of spontaneous, unexpected fun. It was so cool for them to be playing hooky from school for another hour and be the only tween and teen in the mall!
But it was the best day for me too. A little unexpected gift in the middle of the week. To have it all aligned that I was able to join them, watch them serve, and spend a little time with them. It was the kind of day I will certainly remember forever.
It was the best day.