How many of you remember these little bread loaves? When I was a kid we would get them from church and put our pennies in to feed the hungry.
Awhile back we were cleaning out my Grandmother’s house and we found an empty one that she saved for some reason (she saved a lot of WTF? things). On the back this loaf is dated 1973 – 43 years is a long time to hold onto a plastic loaf – I’m just sayin’.
When my daughter spotted it she asked me what it was and I explained it to her. She asked me if she could have it. No one else wanted it, so I said she could take it home. She put it on a shelf in her room and I really haven’t thought about it since. Until yesterday when she brought the loaf to me full of money. Not just pennies but folding money (yep that’s a $20 bill in that photo). She told me I had to bring it to the hungry people. She told me she even put the lucky penny she found in there so they could have some luck too.
I was stunned. And heck yeah I got choked up! I’ve written a post before about how she forces me to buy the food-shelf bags at the grocery store and our standoff over them on one fateful trip (you really should read it – click here), but that was her being caring with my money. This was something different.
My daughter doesn’t receive an allowance yet and she’s seven so she has no job. That means whenever her Papa or Uncle (the two biggest culprits-I’m sure it’s Papa’s $20) gave her money she squirreled it away, or at least part of it, in this bread loaf so she could give it away.
What amazed me even more is that we’ve booked a trip to Disney for this year that she’s been saving for too. Yet somehow she managed to fill this loaf. It was the most selfless thing I’ve ever seen anyone do.
In total she saved $31.27 to feed the hungry and I delivered it to Second Harvest Heartland as she instructed. I emptied it from the loaf so I can return the loaf to her, so she can start again.
Everyday, I fall deeper in love with the person she’s becoming.
I’m urging all of us to follow her example and give to the Second Harvest Heartland. I have set up a food drive called $31.27 with Second Harvest Heartland. I’m challenging you all to match her donation. It’s such a small thing to do that makes a big difference. Show my daughter how much grown-ups care.
Since we’re being real here, I am a terrible mother. I do not say that like all mom’s who want other mom’s to say, “Oh no you’re not.” I know I am, and I usually keep it to myself because others will eventually know I am too. Others will try to say that I’m not but there won’t be any conviction behind the words.
This is serious. I truly mean there aren’t enough years left in her little life for the amount of expensive therapy she will need to recover from me.
Here’s an example. My mother-in-law gave us tickets to The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and my daughter was being kinda naughty that morning. So I told her that if she didn’t shape up the Grinch was going to come off the stage to steal her and I wouldn’t stop him. Well, unbeknownst to me the Grinch actually does come off the stage during the performance and run through the isles of the theater.
Yeah. We were in row 2. He ran off the stage right towards us and my daughter starts screaming, because her mother terrified her. She was clutching onto my arm like she was being sucked out of a hole in an airplane. You can’t comfort that kind of scared. And a six year old doesn’t understand, “Mommy was just kidding. Ha, ha!”
Then there was the day she hurt her knee. We were in the middle of nowhere and she had hit it pretty good, so my instinct says we need to get ice. So I pick her up to get her in the car, and hit her other leg on the door. She screamed all the way home. So now we have two ice packs. She is in desperate need of a bath so I think I’ll get her in the tub and bathe her that will help calm her down. Yeah, I dropped a cup on her head while washing her hair. So she cry’s. Then I cry. Then she strokes my hair and sings me the Laurie Berkner song, “I’m not perfect.” (if you’re a parent you’ll know that one – if not see below).
Believe me a six-year-old who has had double kneecapping and cup dropped on their head trying to comfort you for your crappy parenting does not make you feel good. No it does not. She’s doing it because she knows.
If I was not a mom I would never leave my house. Half of you just rolled your eyes and thought this statement was hyperbole but it’s not. Ask my husband. Ask my sister. They will tell you I can be completely content to be a hermit (the fact that I have a husband is still a minor miracle to me but don’t tell him I think he’s special).
BC (before child), I was happy to spend an entire weekend in the house without human contact living with just my characters for company. But now I’m have this little person with me all the time (seriously like a limpet all the time!) who isn’t content to be alone. She has friends. I marvel at this because when I was a kid I didn’t. She’s a mystery to me in that way (notice the way I kind worked in my radio show title – you should check it out here).
So when she came along I had to force myself to go out and talk to people. Put her in classes. Take her to girl scouts. You know – be a mom!
Well, it change me. A lot. I am not the same person I was seven years ago. I know what you’re thinking there is no way I changed that much and that I must fundamentally be the same person. No I am not.
I talk to people now. That doesn’t sound like a big deal but I never talked to anyone I didn’t know seven years ago. Even if I did know you I would have had to know you for a couple years before really feeling comfortable enough with you to speak.
Not any more.
Now I will talk to anyone about anything and it’s wonderful. I now have so many opportunities coming my way because I am no longer afraid to talk to people. Heck seven years ago me hosting a talk show speaking to best selling authors would have been an joke to me. I would have thought yeah right that’s going to happen. I couldn’t have opened my mouth let alone asked these people things. Now I have a talk show (seriously you should check it out here) and I have spoken to bestselling authors including Sandra Brown, Hank Phillipi Ryan Iris Johansen and JA Jance. Can you believe it?! Because I still can’t. But I am very grateful!
I marvel at how far I’ve come in such a short time. And I directly attribute all of this to the birth of my daughter. She has taken me outside my comfort zone on many occasions and I have to admit, I am better off for it.